Pregnant And Cant Sleep 2nd Trimester

It’s normal to have trouble sleeping at any point during pregnancy, but many expectant women experience insomnia starting in the second to third trimesters, as other pregnancy symptoms increase, and a burgeoning baby belly makes it harder than ever to get comfortable in bed.

Insomnia during pregnancy doesn’t just happen in the third trimester, it can happen during the second, too! You’re likely to have trouble sleeping at any point during your pregnancy, but it often tends to get worse as other pregnancy symptoms increase and your belly starts to grow.

Trouble sleeping is common during any trimester of pregnancy. In fact, sleepless nights may start as early as the second trimester and become increasingly frequent toward the end of your third—when a baby bump and other pregnancy symptoms are taking their toll on your body and mind.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night because of your pregnancy, don’t worry – you’re not alone. It’s a common struggle that can begin in the second trimester and last through the third. But don’t despair: Here are several tips for getting better rest when you’re expecting.

5 Natural Remedies for Insomnia During Pregnancy

It’s normal to have trouble sleeping at any point during pregnancy, but many expectant women experience insomnia starting in the second to third trimesters, as other pregnancy symptoms increase, and a burgeoning baby belly makes it harder than ever to get comfortable in bed. 

Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

Still, first trimester woes can force you from your cozy bed and disturb precious sleep too, including morning sickness, which can happen any time of the day or night, and a constant need to pee. But if you’re worried that a case of insomnia may harm your baby, rest assured it won’t. So do your best not to fret — and sometimes, just letting go of these feelings is all it takes to help you sleep. 

What causes pregnancy insomnia?

Like many annoying pregnancy-related symptoms, insomnia can be pinned, in part, to hormonal changes. But along with this usual suspect there are also a whole host of different factors that may conspire to keep you awake at night, including:

  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Pregnancy heartburnconstipation or morning sickness
  • Aches and pains, including headache, round ligament pain or tender breasts
  • Leg cramps and restless leg syndrome
  • Vivid or disturbing dreams
  • A hopped-up metabolism that keeps the heat on even when it’s off
  • Difficulty getting comfortable with your growing belly
  • Kicking, flipping and rolling from your active baby on board
  • Pre-birth anxiety and worries

How long does pregnancy insomnia last?

Since it’s possible to experience insomnia and disrupted sleep at any point during pregnancy, you may be faced with a loss of shut-eye for weeks and months with no real end point in sight. But rather than letting this sleep disorder weigh on you, check in with your doctor at your next prenatal appointment for some help and guidance.

Can you take melatonin during pregnancy? 

Melatonin, a hormone that the body creates naturally to regulate sleep-wake cycles, might seem like an easy fix for a case of insomnia. But because it’s considered a dietary supplement in this country, the regulation of melatonin isn’t as carefully overseen by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) the way other drugs are, and its impact hasn’t been well studied in pregnancy. If you’re struggling with insomnia, your doctor may approve an occasional and very small dosage (such as 1 mg).

There are also other over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids that are considered safe for occasional use in pregnancy, including Unisom, Tylenol PM, Sominex and Nytol, but always check with your doctor before taking these or any kinds of herbal preparations. You should also try not to take sleep aids every night.

Sometimes, doctors recommended taking a magnesium supplement to combat constipation or leg cramps. If that’s the case for you, it makes sense to take it before bed, since magnesium has been touted for its natural muscle-relaxing powers and may help lull you to sleep. Again, always ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter or herbal sleep aid during pregnancy.

Is insomnia harmful during pregnancy?

A lost night of sleep during pregnancy here and there isn’t usually a big concern, but continued or chronic inadequate sleep has been linked to gestational diabetes, stress and depression. Insomnia and frequent snoring also have been linked to an increased risk of giving birth to a baby that’s too large or too small for its age, and sleep issues late in pregnancy have been linked to a longer labor and a greater need for a cesarean section.

How to manage pregnancy insomnia

You’re probably getting more shut-eye than you think, but it might not feel that way if your sleep is interrupted, if you’re tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position, or if you’re awake at night feeling anxious about the baby’s birth. To help, here are a couple of ways to manage sleeplessness.

  • Get out of bed. If you’re not asleep after 20 to 30 minutes, get up and find a small, boring task to accomplish (think bill paying for 15 minutes, not scrubbing the toilet) and then try to go to sleep again. You may just be tired enough by that point to get the rest you need.
  • Don’t count the hours. Though most people do best on about eight hours of sleep, some feel fine on less and some need more. Do some quick math and check how you’re feeling on the hours you’re getting. If you’re not chronically tired, you may be sleeping the right amount. 

How to prevent pregnancy insomnia 

You don’t have to take insomnia lying down! Instead, consider a few of the many ways you can try and beat back sleeplessness and finally summon the sandman:

  • Clear the emotional decks. If you have persistent worries that are keeping you up at night, talk about them with a friend or your partner so you can sort them out during daylight hours. You can also try meditation or writing your thoughts on paper.
  • Avoid caffeine and chocolate. Especially in the late afternoon or evening, since they can keep you awake. 
  • Eat small and early. A big meal, eaten late in the evening, can keep you from falling and staying asleep, so try to eat a lighter, earlier dinner.
  • Take your time. Don’t wolf your food down at your evening meal. A leisurely pace can help keep symptoms of heartburn at bay.
  • Top it off. A light snack before you turn in will tide you over until breakfast, but choose a healthy carb-protein pair to keep your blood sugar stable, such as a whole grain muffin and a glass of warm milk, or a cheese stick and a few dried apricots.
  • Slow the flow. Fill your daily requirement of fluids during the earlier in the day and cut back on what you’re drinking after 6 p.m. This may help to cut down on bathroom runs after you’ve hit the hay.
  • Work it out. Getting some daily pregnancy exercise can make you sleepier at night. Just avoid hitting the gym too close to bedtime, since a post-workout buzz can keep you awake.
  • Make a bedtime routine. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. Craft a routine that includes activities such as: light reading, soothing music, gentle yoga poses or relaxation exercises, a warm bath, prenatal massage and sex.
  • Download sleep. There are plenty of apps that promise to help you sleep, so download some of the better-rated ones that rely on self-guided meditation, nature sounds or other white noise.
  • Try nasal strips. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to a pregnancy runny nose, nasal strips may help you breathe more easily at night.
  • Try white noise and black-out shades. Consider a machine that emits a quiet pulse or drone sound and room-darkening curtains to block light that might be keeping you up.
  • Wean off the screen. Using your phone, tablet, e-reader, TV or laptop before bed can mess with your Zzzs. The screen’s blue light alters sleepiness and alertness and suppresses levels of melatonin. Power off at least an hour before bed.
  • Air it out. Is your bedroom too cold? Is it a sauna? Check the temperature, and make sure you’re using a mattress and pillows that provide solid support without feeling like bricks. Open a window to keep the room from getting stuffy — you’re sure to heat up during the night.
  • Get comfy. There is no such thing as too many pillows during pregnancy. Use them to prop you up, support you where you need it or just cozy up to (or better yet, invest in a good pregnancy pillow). After the first trimester, you can also try snoozing upright in a recliner, which will allow you to stay on your back without lying flat.
  • Save your bed for sex and sleep. If you’re doing daytime activities in bed, you might be unwittingly associating that part of your home with being awake — and with stress. Pay your bills in the kitchen, and save the bed for two purposes only — sex and sleeping.
  • Smell your way to sleep. A lavender-scented pillow or sachet tucked into your pillowcase can help you relax and bring on sleep faster.

Pregnant and Cant Sleep 2nd Trimester Mumsnet

The second trimester is an exciting time in pregnancy, with morning sickness abating and the baby bump starting to show. For most women, the second trimester is also a relief in terms of sleep quality. Still, there are a number of factors to take into consideration if you want to sleep well during your second trimester.

We’ll go over whether it’s ok to sleep on your back and stomach while pregnant in your second trimester. We’ll also take a look at some of the common sleep conditions that can arise during the second trimester, including sleep apnea and heartburn, and provide advice on how to improve the quality of your sleep.

How Does Sleep Change in the Second Trimester?

Most women find it much easier to sleep in the second trimester compared with the first and third trimesters. Stabilizing hormone levels give you a welcome break from morning sickness1 and tender breasts2, and the baby isn’t big enough yet to interfere drastically with sleep. Moreover, the uterus has moved further away from your bladder, reducing the frequency of trips to the bathroom.

On average, women tend to get around 7.5 hours of sleep3 per night in their second trimester. Our advice is to use this trimester wisely, preparing for the baby’s arrival but also prioritizing storing up energy reserves for the more taxing third trimester.

The second trimester brings a few sleep problems of its own. You may start to experience leg cramps4 and swollen feet, while weight gain and loosening ligaments5 in the pelvic area can cause lower back pain6. Many pregnant women also have strange, vivid dreams and find that they tend to wake and fall asleep earlier7, as in the first trimester. Headaches are also common, but most are benign like migraines and tension headaches. However, be sure to mention them to your care provider as they can sometimes indicate something more serious8.

As the baby bump grows and the nasal passages9 start to get congested, the second trimester can sometimes bring increased snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Constipation10 and heartburn11 also plague some women, although the latter is usually worse in the third trimester.

At around the 20-week point, mothers will start to feel their baby move12. For many women, this is the moment it dawns on you that you’re about to become a new mom, a realization that brings excitement but also anxiety.

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Why Sleep Is Important During Your Second Trimester

The second trimester is your best chance at getting quality sleep before the baby comes, so it’s important to make this a priority. Inadequate sleep in the second trimester has been linked to gestational diabetes13stress14depression15, and reduced quality of life16. Sleep apnea, in particular, can be a risk factor for preterm delivery17preeclampsia18, and gestational diabetes mellitus19.

How to Sleep Better During Your Second Trimester

Managing pregnancy-related sleep conditions and practicing healthy sleep hygiene can help you beat insomnia in the second trimester. This includes adopting the best sleeping positions for you and the baby.

What Is the Best Second Trimester Sleeping Position?

Left side sleeping20 is considered the best sleeping position for later pregnancy as it allows for unrestricted blood flow to the fetus and kidneys. While this may not be necessary yet at the start of the second trimester21, this is a good time to practice switching over to your left side. If you’re having trouble finding a comfortable position, a recliner may be a good option.

Stomach sleeping may be fine for the first part of the second trimester, until the growing baby bump makes this position uncomfortable. Starting around week 16, you should try to avoid sleeping on your back. This position puts the weight of the uterus on top of the inferior vena cava, which can cut off blood flow, cause swelling in your legs and ankles.

If you’re not a natural side sleeper, you can try using strategically placed pillows to prevent yourself from rolling over onto your back. A pregnancy body pillow or wedge pillow may help you to adopt a more comfortable position. Likewise, smaller pillows tucked under the waist and belly may relieve pressure, and a pillow between the knees can help improve the alignment of the hips and spine.

Sleeping Products to Help With Second Trimester Sleep

It’s best not to take medications such as sleeping pills during your pregnancy unless prescribed by your doctor, but you may consider other sleep aids. Mineral supplements and light stretching before bed may help reduce leg cramps. Some pregnant women use herbal remedies, although you should always consult with your doctor first. The scent of lavender22 is a relatively innocuous choice that may help some people sleep. Additional options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I), guided relaxation exercises, yoga, and acupuncture.

If your bedroom is noisy or too bright, you may wish to try a white noise machine or an eye mask. Now that your body is growing, it’s also important to find a properly supportive mattress and pillow.

Sleep Hygiene Tips for the Second Trimester

Regular sleep hygiene advice is just as valid as ever during the second trimester of pregnancy. Create a sleep-friendly bedroom by turning down the thermostat, quieting the noise, and blocking any potential light sources. Save your bed for sleep and sex only, and try to keep a regular schedule of waking up and going to sleep at more or less the same time every day.

In preparation for bedtime, put away the smartphone and laptop. The blue light from these devices delays sleep by fooling your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Instead of watching TV, try reading a book, listening to music, or practicing meditation and relaxation techniques. A prenatal massage or a warm bath are other ways to relax your body and mind in preparation for sleep.

You probably won’t need to visit the bathroom as often as you did in the first trimester, but it’s still helpful to drink your liquids earlier in the day and avoid caffeine. Likewise, to ward off heartburn, stick to smaller meals, and don’t lie down right after eating. Spicy and greasy foods can also trigger acid reflux. If you suffer from heartburn despite all these preventative measures, try sleeping on your left side with your head slightly raised, to keep the esophagus higher than the stomach.

Take advantage of your rising energy levels to get some morning or afternoon exercise, which is beneficial for fatigue23 and depression24. As your baby bump grows bigger, exercises to strengthen your core25 may also help reduce back and leg pain, and pave the way for smoother labor.

You probably won’t feel as tired during the day as you did during the first trimester. However, if you feel the need to nap, try to keep it short and early in the day so it doesn’t interfere with your nightly sleep.

Mental Health Tips

Pregnancy hormones26 can cause mood swings and anxiety, which can take their toll on your energy levels. Reach out to your support network to help you navigate tough changes or issues that might be stressing you out. If you’re kept awake at night worrying about everything you need to get done, try jotting down a to-do list to keep from ruminating.

To lower stress levels, try guided imagery, deep breathing, or mindfulness techniques. A prenatal yoga group may be a productive way of sharing your experience with other women while getting some exercise. Research shows that your coping style can have a direct impact on your stress levels27, which affects your sleep quality28. So, take this opportunity to pamper yourself.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue that seems overwhelming, always reach out to your doctor for help.

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