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Insomnia During Pregnancy: Causes, Treatment

svgNovember 18, 2023InsomniaLifeNator Editor

Pregnancy is the period when a woman supports life inside her womb for almost 40 days or nine months. Womanhood is miraculous and full of hardships and complications at every walk. However, some of the changes that women go from are hormonal shifts, increased blood volume, stress, and modified organ systems to support the life inside them, which causes mainly insomnia during pregnancy. Mood swings, hair fall, skin changes, and fatigue are the classic signs of hormonal changes during this period. Most people think that pregnancy is a normal thing for women, but it is not that easy.

Researches About Pregnancy And Insomnia

Many studies show that women want to sleep more and more during pregnancy. However, it may vary from individual to individual, and some women experience insomnia. Insomnia is a chronic disease? Insomnia is usually a period of restlessness due to continuously staying up or not following a normal sleeping cycle. It is when an individual is trying to sleep but not sleeping. It has been found that individuals with primary insomnia exhibit raised heart rate and sympathetic nervous system activation during sleep, abnormal hormone secretion increased whole-body and brain metabolism, and increased high-frequency EEG activity and all these cause insomnia during pregnancy.

What Are The Causes Of Insomnia During The Pregnancy?

Pre-Sleep Conditions:

There are many pre-sleep conditions women go through, like facing depression situations before going to bed, arguing, the environment around her, or frequent urination. Psychological states before going to bed, including worries about sleep, thoughts, and emotions, also induce insomnia.

Sleep Awake Schedules:

When there is a disturbance in the schedule, like the time spent falling asleep and bedtime, time of the early morning, time out of bed, and continuity of schedule (weekdays and weekends), it is the main cause of insomnia during pregnancy. Behaviors during nocturnal arousals (e.g., use of the toilet, eating or drinking in pregnant women may also lead to insomnia.

Use Of Substances And Other Drugs:

Although alcohol is not good for pregnant women, many of them consume alcohol, which may lead to many neurodevelopmental diseases and may cause insomnia. Excessive consumption of caffeine may be the cause of pregnancy insomnia. Other over-the-counter medicines usage sometimes cause pregnancy insomnia.

Due To Pain:

Pregnancy pain usually causes disturbances during sleep. This pain may be due to several reasons like abdominal cramps, calf pain due to swelling, headaches, and throat pain due to hurt burns. This pain may cause some sleep pattern disturbances in normal persons, but it may cause insomnia in pregnant women.

Anxiety And Depression:

Anxiety is the main problem during pregnancy, which may be due to hormonal or physical changes going on within pregnant women. Anxiety triggers flight and fight response in the body, which forces an individual to be in a state of continuous alertness. Anxiety usually accompanies nightmares that make it difficult to fall asleep during pregnancy.

What Are The Risks Of Insomnia During Pregnancy?

Increased Risk Of Depression And Anxiety:

Anxiety is the most common risk factor for insomnia, which is highly comorbid with depression. Insomnia and anxiety produce a negative cycle in the body due to sleep deprivation and worsen anxiety. Hormone imbalance in the human body, especially those that control emotion and stress, can be altered by sleep deprivation. Anxiety levels can increase as an effect of this imbalance.

Complications Associated With Insomnia During Childbirth And Pregnancy:

This may cause fatigue and mood swings during pregnancy. This anxiety induced by insomnia may lead to a delay in the developmental series of children, which may cause abnormal brain development in babies. Another risk of this anxiety leads women to maternal diabetes during gestation. Due to stress, there is an overproduction of cortisol hormones, which are responsible for low birth weight in babies in babies. This may also lead to postpartum depression, which results in improper mothering and childcare. Insomnia may also lead to premature births, that is, before the actual gestational period, which causes many health-related concerns in neonates.

What Are The Strategies Helpful In Dealing With Insomnia In Pregnant Women?

To Establish Sleeping Routines Due To Insomnia:

Be consistent with your sleep pattern, that is, sleep at the same time and awake at the same time regularly. You should follow this routine on weekends. Perform satisfying activities before bed like a warm bath, combing your hair, skincare routine, massage at your feet, or some mindful exercises. Sleep in dark rooms; sleep on comfortable beds and pillows; use dark curtains to help you avoid insomnia. Avoid screen usage, which is very common nowadays, before going to bed, as it is the main cause of insomnia.

Exercise Techniques:

It would help to do aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling for at least an hour daily. However, avoid all these exercises at nighttime. You should perform yoga poses with the consultation of health care professionals. Yoga relaxes your mind and improves the quality of sleep.

Diet Modifications:

Your diet should be balanced and contain all the nutrients that support your children and help improve sleep patterns. Consume a diet full of fruits, including kiwis, oranges, etc. A woman must consume almonds as they have melatonin, which prepares your body to sleep well. Consume soothing herbal tea before bed, as it relaxes your body. Use a diet full of proteins as it may support expecting women to enjoy their sleep.


An expecting woman should consult her gynecologist for safe treatment. However, there are some medicines that women may consume to reduce insomnia and protect them from any other medicinal harm:

  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Unisom (doxylamine)
  • Melatonin

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    Insomnia During Pregnancy: Causes, Treatment