In the first trimester, hormonal shifts are the most likely cause. Levels of the hormone progesterone are high during the first trimester , and this can cause sleepiness and napping during the day. Other less obvious causes include difficulty breathing, with this difficulty sometimes affecting a person's breathing at night when they are pregnant. This can cause snoring and brief pauses in breathing called apnea.
Breathing problems during sleep at the end of the second and during the third trimester are more common. According to early studies, use of sleeping pills during pregnancy requires caution. This restriction may feel frustrating, but some natural remedies can safely treat insomnia:. Sleep hygiene refers to habits that make it easier to fall asleep. Good sleep hygiene signals the brain to wind down and begin sleeping. Other habits to promote sleep include having a massage to reduce stress or taking a warm bath before bed. People who are pregnant should not use dietary supplements without first talking to a doctor.
Herbal and dietary supplements may help with sleep, however. A limited body of research suggests melatonin may also support healthy brain development in a baby. However, a Cochrane review emphasizes that more research is necessary to confirm this possible effect. People with RLS may be deficient in iron and folic acid , so if RLS keeps a person awake at night, they should ask their doctor to test them for nutritional deficiencies. People can try progressive relaxation, which involves slowly and steadily relaxing each muscle in the body one at a time, beginning with the toes.
Meditation may also help. A study in the journal Obstetric Medicine concludes that meditation may help insomnia in pregnancy. The study says that meditation is a nonpharmacological way of managing insomnia and that prenatal hatha yoga may help. More studies are needed to make this a definite recommendation, but people may find it useful to try yoga. A model of CBT therapy known as CBT for insomnia can help people manage their thoughts and feelings about sleep and sleeping while changing their behavior.
CBT for insomnia can treat people with severe sleep deprivation get better sleep. It can help a person:. The physical demands of pregnancy alongside steady weight gain can make it difficult to keep active. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are many benefits to exercise during pregnancy. These include:. Gentle exercise can also help with insomnia. Any exercise during pregnancy should come with the recommendation of a doctor. A study from the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences suggests around 30 minutes a day at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
Some conditions may make it unsafe to exercise during pregnancy, so people should consult a doctor before starting any new workout routine.
Insomnia during the early and late stages of pregnancy is common and does not usually mean anything is wrong. The study of pregnancies found that insomnia occurs after pregnancy in Living with a newborn may, in part, account for many of the sleep challenges people face after a baby is born. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and therapy, a person may be able to overcome insomnia during pregnancy.
A doctor may also be able to help identify causes and help people find solutions. Article last reviewed by Fri 26 October All references are available in the References tab. Balserak, B. Sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Exercise during pregnancy. Hashmi, A. Insomnia during pregnancy: Diagnosis and rational interventions. Lie, J. Pharmacological treatment of insomnia. But agonizing and expecting sleep difficulties only makes insomnia worse.
If sleep worries are getting in the way of your ability to unwind at night, the following strategies may help. The goal is to train your body to associate the bed with sleep and nothing else—especially not frustration and anxiety. Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. Move bedroom clocks out of view. Tossing and turning only amps up the anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading, drinking a cup of herbal tea, or taking a bath.
The key is to recognize self-defeating thoughts and replace them with more realistic ones. Remember, learning how to stop worrying takes time and practice.
You may find it helpful to jot down your own list, taking note of the negative thoughts that pop up and how you can dispute them. You may be surprised at how often these negative thoughts run through your head. Be patient and ask for support if you need it. Many people with insomnia are able to fall asleep at bedtime, but then wake up in the middle of the night.
They then struggle to get back to sleep, often lying awake for hours. If this describes you, the following tips may help. Stay out of your head. Hard as it may be, try not to stress over your inability to fall back to sleep, because that stress only encourages your body to stay awake. To stay out of your head, focus on the feelings in your body or practice breathing exercises.
Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. If you find it hard to fall back to sleep, try a relaxation technique such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, which can be done without even getting out of bed. Promote relaxation by rubbing your ears or rolling your eyes. Rubbing the Shen Men acupressure point at the top of the ear can promote calmness and relaxation.
Another simple way to promote sleep is to close your eyes and slowly roll them upwards a few times. Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity. Postpone worrying and brainstorming. If you wake during the night feeling anxious about something, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone worrying about it until the next day when it will be easier to resolve. Abdominal breathing. Breathing deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and ribcage, can help relaxation. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Progressive muscle relaxation. Make yourself comfortable. Starting with your feet, tense the muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10, and then relax.
Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body, working your way up from your feet to the top of your head. Mindfulness meditation. Sit or lie quietly and focus on your natural breathing and how your body feels in the moment. Allow thoughts and emotions to come and go without judgment, always returning to focus on breath and your body. There are many dietary and herbal supplements marketed for their sleep-promoting effects. For more information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. While scientific evidence is still being gathered for alternative sleep remedies, you might find that some of them work wonderfully for you.
The two supplements with the most evidence supporting their effectiveness for insomnia are melatonin and valerian.
And if not used carefully, they actually make insomnia worse in the long run. First, try changing your sleep habits, your daily routine, and your attitudes about sleep. Evidence shows that lifestyle and behavioral changes make the largest and most lasting difference when it comes to insomnia. In general, sleeping pills and sleep aids are most effective when used sparingly for short-term situations, such as traveling across time zones or recovering from a medical procedure.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems by modifying negative thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior.
It is not clear how long a person can go without sleep, but in a We also discuss the short- and long-term health effects of sleep Woman in bed going without sleep suffering from insomnia covering eyes with hands What is sleep deprivation? The CDC claim that staying awake for at least 24 hours is. HOW to GET to SLEEP - Simple Basic Facts That Work eBook: Joseph Harper: rapyzure.tk: Kindle Store. INSOMNIA - What's Keeping You Awake?.
It can be conducted individually, in a group, or even online. A study at Harvard Medical School found that CBT was more effective at treating chronic insomnia than prescription sleep medication—but without the risks or side effects.
National Institutes of Health. National Sleep Foundation.
Stress Less, Sleep More — Tips for reducing stress to promote better sleep, including the use of acupressure. The Mayo Clinic.
Last updated: June Symptoms of insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired Waking up frequently during the night Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened Unrefreshing sleep Relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep Waking up too early in the morning Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability Difficulty concentrating during the day. Things to avoid before bed: Drinking too many liquids. Relaxation techniques that can help you get back to sleep Abdominal breathing.
Other resources. National Sleep Foundation Stress Less, Sleep More — Tips for reducing stress to promote better sleep, including the use of acupressure. Was this page helpful?