Causes and Treatment of Pregnancy Insomnia

pregnancy insomnia

Insomnia is a common problem during pregnancy, affecting up to 70% of women.

This may be caused due to various factors, including hormonal changes, physical discomfort, stress, and anxiety.

We be explaining more in details to the causes as well as the treatment to this issue.

Pregnancy Insomnia: What It is To Know

Pregnancy insomnia is a common sleep disorder that occurs during pregnancy.
It is characterized by challenges initiating or maintaining sleep or early morning awakenings.
Pregnancy insomnia can affect women of all ages and at all stages of pregnancy, but it is most common in the first and third trimesters.

Causes of Insomnia During Pregnancy

There are many causes of pregnancy insomnia,the major ones include;

  • Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, there are significant changes in hormone levels, including increased progesterone and estrogen levels. These hormones can interfere with sleep, causing fatigue, restlessness, and difficulty falling asleep.
  • Physical discomfort: As the pregnancy progresses, the growing baby can pressure the mother’s organs and make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Other physical discomforts contributing to insomnia during pregnancy include back pain, leg cramps, and heartburn.
  • Stress and anxiety: Pregnancy often brings about stress, which can impede the ability to initiate and maintain sleep. Pressure can also contribute to insomnia, making it difficult to relax and release worries.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and depression, can also contribute to insomnia during pregnancy.

Check out: Sleep Apnea Treatment and Remedies

Consequences Insomnia During Pregnancy

Insomnia during pregnancy can have several negative consequences for both the mother and the baby. For the mother, it can lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

It can also increase the likelihood of developing blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and premature labor. It can result in the baby having low birth weight and experiencing developmental delays.

The good news is that there are multiple actions you can take to enhance your sleep while pregnant.

By following these tips, you can get the rest you need to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

  • Create good sleep habits: Go to bed and wake up simultaneously each day, even on weekends. Create a calming pre-sleep routine and refrain from consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Make changes to your bedroom environment: Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and relaxed. Steer clear of using electronic devices in the bedroom due to the blue light they emit, as it can they cast these devices can interfere with sleep.
  • Use relaxation techniques: Practicing relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can aid in alleviating stress and anxiety, facilitating an easier transition into sleep.
  • Maintain a consistent exercise routine: Physical activity can enhance your sleep quality. However, avoiding exercising shortly before bedtime is advisable, as this can hinder the ability to initiate sleep.
  • Talk to your doctor: If you are struggling with pregnancy insomnia, talk to your doctor. They can assist you in pinpointing the root cause of your insomnia and creating a treatment strategy.

Risks of Sleep Medications During Pregnancy

Sleep is essential for both the mother and the baby during pregnancy. However, some women may experience insomnia during pregnancy, making it challenging to get the rest they need. 

In some cases, sleep medications may be prescribed to help improve sleep. However, knowing the risks of taking sleep medications during pregnancy is essential.

There are a number of risks associated with taking sleep medications during pregnancy. Some of these risks include:

  • Congenital disabilities: Some studies have shown that taking sleep medications during pregnancy can increase the risk of congenital disabilities, such as cleft lip and palate.
  • Low birth weight: Sleep medications can also increase the possibility of low birth weight, resulting in health problems for the baby later in life.
  • Preterm birth: Sleep medications can also increase the baby’s likelihood of being born prematurely before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): Certain cases show that sleep medications may increase the potential for SIDS, a term referring to the sudden and unexplained passing of an infant under the age of 1 year.

Related: Anemia in Pregnancy ICD 10


Can you take melatonin while pregnant?

Insufficient evidence exists to ascertain the safety of melatonin supplementation during pregnancy.

 If you encounter difficulties falling asleep or remaining asleep during pregnancy, discussing the matter with your healthcare provider is advisable.

When does pregnancy insomnia start?

The onset of pregnancy insomnia can occur during gestation, frequently commencing in the initial trimester.

When does pregnancy insomnia end?

Typically, insomnia related to pregnancy diminishes around the period of childbirth.

 However, after childbirth, postpartum insomnia often occurs due to nighttime feedings, physical discomfort, and mood fluctuations.


Insomnia during pregnancy is a common problem, but there are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep. By following the tips in this article, you can get the rest you need to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Remember, you are not alone. Many women experience insomnia during pregnancy. By following these tips, you can get the rest you need to enjoy this special time in your life.

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