Trouble Sleeping While Pregnant?

Are you having trouble sleeping while pregnant?

Read this article and get some relief (or hopefully sleep!).

But first, it’s important to note: insomnia during pregnancy cannot hurt you or your baby.

So take a deep breath and read on!

Insomnia During Pregnancy Isn’t Fun

Sleeping while pregnant isn’t easy.

Soon-to-be mothers hope to sleep as much as possible during pregnancy.

Already hearing horror stories about sleepless nights to come once the baby arrives, to be experiencing insomnia during pregnancy is especially anxiety-inducing.

Fear not. You are not alone. Many women experience insomnia during pregnancy.

If you have been through a pregnancy already, you know that sleeping can be elusive.

That’s why we have created this list of issues many women experience when it comes to trouble sleeping during pregnancy (or at least trying to).

This is accompanied by tips that will help you worry less and sleep more.

Common Problems Sleeping While Pregnant

Insomnia when pregnant

It’s common to experience trouble sleeping when pregnant. Excitement grows as the due date nears.

Instead of tossing and turning, trapped in a whirlpool of thoughts, try the following tips to help with pregnancy -induced insomnia.

Whatever you do, don’t look at the clock.

Watching the time pass won’t help. It will only make things worse.

Additional stress and anxiety will not only keep you awake but can also lower your immune system, diminishing your body’s ability to fight rampant winter-illnesses.

Instead of giving into the urge to check the time, try closing your eyes, concentrating on your breathing. Take deep breaths in through the nose, hold it for 5 seconds and blow it slowly out through the mouth.

Some research suggests a paradox exists when trying to stay awake, which causes us to fall asleep instead¹. So if all else fails, try and trick your sleep-deprived brain. Tell yourself you want to stay awake at all costs and maybe you’ll be asleep in no time.


Needing to (constantly) Urinate

There is nothing mysterious about this one.

There is only so much real estate within your body. As the uterus continues to grow, it limits space as well as pressing upon the bladder.

While there isn’t much you would want to do in the way of shrinking your baby’s temporary home, there is something you can do.

Remaining hydrated is always important, especially when pregnant. After all, you’re drinking for two! Drink a large amount of water earlier in the day, limiting intake as the day passes.

Drink a lot of water earlier in the day

This is especially true for the one to two hours before bed.

If you are experiencing problems sleeping when pregnant, try not to go heavy on the liquids. This should help with the nighttime bathroom visits.


Feeling Queasy

While those having trouble sleeping while pregnant should reduce liquid intake at night, this isn’t the case when it comes to food.

An empty stomach is fertile grounds for nausea. In order to combat queasiness ( and even help reduce morning sickness) try indulging in a light, hi-carb snack.

BONUS: Many of the mothers in our online breast pumping community suggest leaving something light on the night stand, such as rice cakes or crackers. Having them at your disposal come morning will help.



Nothing can regularly make sleeping when pregnant more uncomfortable than heartburn.

Make pregnant sleep more easily attainable by eating smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to three large ones.

Don’t eat too much in the three to four hours before bedtime, opting for a lighter snack instead.

Also, make sure you lay off the following list of foods, as they are known to cause heartburn:

  • Chocolate³ (I know, I’m sorry)
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus
  • Caffeine

If this still doesn’t work, an antacid tablet directly after meals is okay. But as always, discuss this with your personal doctor as this blog is not meant to provide professional medical advice.



Worrying about the health of your baby is completely normal, so don’t beat yourself up for being anxious.

While there are many unknowns, you can always arm yourself with information (which is what you’re doing right now!).

You can take a class on childbirth preparation or go back to doing relaxation techniques. Also, don’t forget to talk about your worries with your partner.

Confiding in them is likely to help both of you. Not only does it help to talk about anxiety and fears, but your partner may be experiencing these emotions too.


Leg Cramps

Pregnant sleeping is made further difficult for some women due to leg cramps. They report occasionally being awakened at night.

If your problems sleeping when pregnant are compounded by leg cramps, try the following:

  • Stretch your legs before bed and in the morning²
  • Stretch your calf by flexing your foot, heel first.
  • Gently massage your leg muscles (or better yet, ask your partner).
  • Place a hot water bottle or pack directly on the cramped parts of your legs.
  • Get up and walk around.



Sleeping when pregnant can grow increasingly difficult as the months roll along. Sleeping pregnant is already tough (ever had a watermelon in your stomach?) due to limited sleeping positions.

Issues such as insomnia while pregnant, leg cramps and anxiety are common.

At the very least you are getting some practice with sleeping less, which you will likely need in those first few weeks after birth.


DISCLAIMER: Nothing within this article is meant to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. The suggestions listed here is not medical advice and does not take the place of professional medical advice. For any questions or concerns specific to your pregnancy you should consult your physician.