Pregnant And Cant Sleep 3rd Trimester

In the third trimester of pregnancy, many women find themselves snoozing less and less. Firm muscles and a growing baby bump make it harder than ever to get comfortable in bed. But that doesn’t mean you should spend the night on the couch! There are plenty of ways to get some zzzz’s while still allowing your body to rest during this crucial time. Here are some tips for battling the sleeplessness of late 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.

Trouble sleeping is a common problem for pregnant moms. As you move into your third trimester, it’s normal to experience insomnia caused by increased blood flow and weight gain. Learn what you can do to get the sleep you need.

Sleep is a precious commodity during pregnancy, and many women experience insomnia at some point during their nine months. Pregnant women often find they get less comfortable as the pregnancy progresses, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

Pregnant And Cant Sleep at Night

Your third trimester is usually the hardest time during pregnancy to get good sleep. Many women wake up during the night and then have trouble keeping their eyes open during the day.

If you usually get 8 hours of shut-eye, you may need 10 when you’re pregnant to feel rested. But if you’re too busy to squeeze in 10 hours, aim for 8 hours of sleep at night and nap during the day.

Here are some causes of sleepless nights and what to about them.


Back and muscle aches are common side effects of pregnancy. Your ligaments around your pelvic bones soften and your joints loosen to get your body ready to give birth. This can make your back feel sore.

Weight gain also can affect your posture and lead to pain that may keep you up at night. For relief, you can try to:

  • Stand and sit straight, and keep good posture.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support.
  • Lift items with your legs, not your back.
  • Sleep on your side.
  • Use a heat pack, ice pack, or massage your back.
  • Exercise gently.


When your belly grows, your uterus gets pressed up against your diaphragm. That causes some women to snore. Also, about three out of 10 pregnant women start snoring because of a stuffy nose from swollen nasal veins.

Snoring, in turn, is linked to high blood pressure. In serious cases, you may get sleep apnea, which is when you stop breathing for brief periods while you sleep. This can affect your health and your baby’s health. So talk to your doctor if you snore. They may want to check your urine protein levels and your blood pressure.

Leg Discomfort

About 15% of women get restless legs syndrome (RLS) during their pregnancy. Your calffoot, or upper leg may feel uncomfortable so that you get an urge to move or shake them. RLS can awaken you many times during the night. A lack of iron in your diet may be one cause.

Leg cramps are another common complaint during the third. Some doctors think they stem from too much phosphorous and not enough calcium in your blood.

It may help to stay away from carbonated drinks, which are associated with cramps. Straighten your leg and flex your foot to shake off the cramps. Try it before you go to bed. If you have restless legs, ask your doctor if you need to test your iron levels.

Belly Size

You’ll be at your largest during your final trimester. Sleeping on your left side may allow for more restful nights. This will also direct your blood flow to your baby, uterus, and kidneys. A pregnancy pillow, which is made for your body shape when you’re pregnant, may help.


You may get this in the evenings during your third trimester. Eat smaller meals and chew slower to help prevent the pain. Avoid carbonated drinks, and stay away from fatty, spicy, and acidic foods that cause heartburn.

Third Trimester Pregnancy Sleeping Positions

Pregnancy is a magical time in many ways, but your sleep schedule during these nine months might be less than dreamy. The growing belly, the aches, the pains, the heartburn — many women experience sleepless nights long before there’s a hungry, crying infant in the picture.

Having trouble sleeping is common during pregnancy, says Grace Pien, M.D., M.S.C.E. , assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center . A growing belly, pressure on the diaphragm, increased urinary frequency, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS) are just a few of the hurdles standing between you and a restful night.

Changes can begin as early as the first trimester, when women feel drowsier than normal due to a spike in progesterone, a hormone made by the ovaries and the placenta during pregnancy. The second trimester often brings some relief, says Pien. But by the third trimester, it can become hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. At this stage, high levels of estrogen can also cause some women to develop rhinitis (swelling of the nasal tissue), which can be associated with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea .

How Lack of Sleep Affects Pregnancy

Lack of sleep is more than an inconvenience. New research suggests that women who don’t get enough sleep during pregnancy may have higher risks of developing pregnancy complications including:

  • Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Longer labors and higher rates of cesarean section , particularly among women who get fewer than six hours of sleep over the course of 24 hours

Restless Legs Syndrome and Pregnancy

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), an uncontrollable urge to move the legs while at rest, is usually associated with older adults. But it’s also one of the most common reasons for sleeplessness during pregnancy.

RLS typically occurs in the evening, often when you get into bed. Though it’s uncomfortable, there is a silver lining: It doesn’t last forever. “It does get better after delivery and actually pretty quickly, within the first week or so,” Pien says.

RLS is often linked to anemia , which is common in pregnant women. Talk to your doctor about taking prenatal vitamins and supplements, such as folic acid and iron, to keep anemia under control.

How to Get Enough Rest While Pregnant

You’ll probably endure plenty of sleepless nights once the baby arrives, so it’s important to get enough sleep while you can. For occasional help, over-the-counter remedies containing diphenhydramine are fairly safe, Pien says.

For more chronic sleep problems, lifestyle changes like abandoning television and electronics before bed are helpful. Pregnant women should not underestimate the effect of stress on their sleep. Stress reduction techniques are essential.

“It’s clearly a time when there are a lot of biological changes going on, but, in addition, expectant parents may be moving homes or just trying to figure out what they’re going to do after the baby is born,” Pien says. “There can be a lot of other stressors, and sometimes the first chance that people get to think about it is when the lights go out.”

She suggests making to-do lists for the next day before bedtime to avoid taking stress to bed with you.

Once the baby comes, make sure to prioritize sleep, even though your lifestyle will change.

“People are going to want to come over, but don’t worry so much about making sure that the house is clean and all of that,” she says. “Set priorities around getting enough sleep, and know that it’s going to take a few months.”

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