Insomnia is a somewhat common, yet very frustrating, symptom of pregnancy. The fact of the matter is that, between the morning sickness, hormone changes, your growing belly, anxiety, and sheer exhaustion, it is a wonder that a woman can get any sleep at all during pregnancy. This is especially true during the first trimester and the third trimester, although insomnia can strike at any time during a woman’s pregnancy. Fortunately, there are a variety of herbs that may be able to help you with insomnia during pregnancy.
It is important to understand a little bit about insomnia during pregnancy. There are very often physiological reasons that you can’t seem to get enough sleep during pregnancy. During the first trimester especially, you have a huge increase in the hormone progesterone. Progesterone can have something of a sedative effect. This sedative effect can make it so that you need to nap during the day, and therefore have trouble sleeping at night. In addition, progesterone can cause fatigue, which can paradoxically keep you from getting enough sleep. Later on in pregnancy, you will find that your baby’s increasing size, combined with pressure on your bladder, will very likely make it hard for you to get enough sleep.
One of the ways that herbs can help you with insomnia during pregnancy is through the use of herbal teas. If you have insomnia due to morning sickness, for example, you may find that a nice warm cup of ginger tea before bed is able to help your stomach stay settled enough to allow you to fall asleep. If your insomnia is due to anxiety, you might try a herbal tea that has herbs that can help you with insomnia during pregnancy by helping you relax. These sorts of herbs might include things like chamomile, lavender, oatstraw, and lemon balm. Using herbal teas for relaxation can also help to reduce your stress level, which is shown to actually help you to have a healthier pregnancy, and can even reduce certain risks to your baby.
There are other ways, in addition to herbs, that can help you with insomnia during pregnancy. You might, for example, try a relaxation or hypnosis CD. You might try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs. You might consider a white noise machine or a white noise CD.
If your insomnia is severe and you are not able to help it with herbs or other remedies, you should speak with your health care provider. If left untreated, insomnia can even be harmful to you and to your baby.