There is no one-remedy-fits-all solution with insomnia during pregnancy. Why? Because your insomnia and my insomnia may not have the same cause. Therefore, simply trying all of these 5+ natural remedies for insomnia during pregnancy may not yield results.
But tell me the cause of it, and I’ll tell you exactly what to try.
Main Types of Pregnancy Insomnia Causes
There are two main groups of causes of pregnancy insomnia: the first are the physical issues, the second – the mental struggles that come with pregnancy.
If you’re suffering from pregnancy insomnia in the third trimester, you may be experiencing it due to your belly getting in the way. Finding a comfortable (yet safe) sleeping position is probably getting harder and harder. Personally, if I’m laying somewhat comfortably and my baby starts squirming, I get convinced I’m crushing him! So I keep moving back and forth which isn’t really helping my situation.
Along the lines of your growing belly is another physical cause of many sleeping problems during pregnancy: our babies throwing a party the moment we lay down to sleep. This mostly happens to me if I try sleeping during the day. It can be hard to fall asleep if someone is kicking you from the inside constantly.
Away from the belly, some other common causes of pregnancy insomnia are sciatica (boy is it annoying!), leg cramps, carpal tunnel issues, and even extreme heartburn.
If you find you’re feeling just fine physically but still suffer from insomnia, natural remedies for your insomnia during pregnancy may have to be focused on thoughts you’re battling with, such as:
- Will everything be alright at birth?
- Will it hurt? Can I do it?
- What do I do with the baby after they’re born?
- What if I’m a terrible mom?
And so on and so forth, each of these being a product of anxiety. It may help to know that pregnancy insomnia and anxiety often go hand in hand, so you’re not alone.
Now that you’ve hopefully pinpointed the cause of your insomnia, here are the respective remedies to try.
5+ Natural Remedies for Insomnia During Pregnancy
Cause: Can’t find a comfortable position
Remedy: Get a pregnancy pillow – a wedge pillow would be best, and be sure to use it right.
Cause: Baby moving too much
Remedy: Try rocking back and forth, as if trying to get them to sleep. Alternatively, track when they’re most and least active and plan your naps around those times.
Remedy: Find all the remedies you need in one of my previous posts.
Cause: Carpal tunnel or leg cramps
Remedy: Extend and rotate your joints before sleep, and as you wake up. If you’re willing to try another type of help with insomnia during pregnancy, try magnesium supplements or some water with extra Magnesium.
Remedy: Try nibbling on almonds or (this works even better for me), drinking a glass of cold milk.
Cause: Pregnancy anxiety
Remedy: You have a couple of options here, and it’s worth noting that this can trouble you at any time during pregnancy. Insomnia in the second trimester and especially before that 12-week mark can also happen – here’s what you can do regardless of when it starts happening.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Sure, the thoughts themselves are pesky, but if you’re also hot and uncomfortable, you can kiss any decent sleep goodbye. To create a sleep-friendly environment, be sure to:
- Sleep in the dark, and avoid screens before bed
- Create a comfortable temperature
- Use comfortable mattress and pillows
- If unable to sleep for 15-30 mins, get up and try some warm-milk or pregnancy-friendly teas (such as lavender or oatstraw – here’s which ones to avoid during pregnancy)
If that works for you by itself, great! Otherwise, you’ll need to deal with those anxious thoughts in order to get to sleep. What I find helpful are pregnancy and birth affirmations. However, it may not be enough for you, and you may need ether therapy or at least some self-help book (this one is among my favorites).
If you find yourself in need of professional help, feel free to schedule a session with me. I am a Psychology bachelor with 2 years of REBT psychotherapy education – plus, I’m 8 months pregnant and probably know exactly what you’re going through.
Let me know if these 5+ natural remedies for insomnia during pregnancy helped you, and good luck!