WellSpan Home

Sleep Problems During Pregnancy

Topic Overview

Sleep problems are common during pregnancy. Sleep studies tell us that hormonal changes, plus the discomforts of later pregnancy, can break up a pregnant woman's sleep cycle.

  • The first trimester can bring insomnia and night waking. Most women feel the need to take naps to battle daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
  • The second trimester tends to feel more normal for many women. This is often a period of improved daytime energy and less need for naps.
  • The third trimester is a time to expect increasing insomnia and night waking. Most women wake up 3 to 5 times a night, usually because of such discomforts as back pain, needing to urinate, leg cramps, heartburn, and fetal movement. Strange dreams are also common in the last few weeks of pregnancy. The need to take daily naps returns as the due date approaches.

Managing sleep problems during pregnancy

You can take a few simple measures to get the best possible sleep during pregnancy.

  • Get regular exercise.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Keep your naps as short as possible.
  • Use your bed only for sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. (For more information, see the topic Stress Management.)
  • Reduce your exposure to sounds that might wake you.
  • Limit your fluid intake after 6 p.m. to reduce nighttime bathroom visits.
  • Prop yourself with extra pillows to reduce aches and pains.

If you continue to have problems with insomnia, go to bed only when you're tired, and get out of bed when you're wide awake in the middle of the night.

Medicines are seldom used to aid sleep during pregnancy, because most are dangerous to a growing baby. If you have sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

Current as ofNovember 21, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×