Trouble with sleep is one of the most common ailments that can accompany pregnancy. Inadequate sleep, or sleep that is poor in quality, can be caused by a variety of factors during pregnancy. Insomnia is most common in pregnancy during the first and third trimesters, although it can certainly happen at any time during pregnancy.
During the first trimester, you might find that you are starting to crave naps. An increase in the hormone progesterone can sometimes have something of a sedating effect on the pregnant woman. It is during the first trimester that this increase is the greatest. The combination of napping during the day and the fatigue that progesterone can bring on can affect your nighttime sleep, and can even lead to insomnia. It can also be difficult to get comfortable during the first trimester. Tender and sore breasts can make it hard for you to find a comfortable sleeping position. This is probably the best time to get used to sleeping on your side, as it can make it easier to be comfortable, and is also the best sleeping position for later on during your pregnancy. Finally, you might also find that you are needing to peep more often. The pressure that your uterus puts on your bladder even at this stage can wake you up during the night, or make it hard to fall asleep.
The second trimester is often the most peaceful period of pregnancy. You’ve passed the initial hormone surges and the excitement about finding out you are pregnant, and you’re still not getting too big to where the baby is in your way. If you had insomnia during your first trimester, you might find a nice repose from it during your second.
The third trimester of pregnancy is often the most uncomfortable. Baby’s increasing size can make it difficult for you to get any good sleep at all. If you have problems getting comfortable, you might find that laying on your side and having a pillow between your legs and even behind your back. Also during the third trimester, your baby might decide that the nighttime is time to kick and play, keeping you up with him. During the third trimester, your bladder will be under even more pressure, this time not just from your uterus, but from the baby inside! Leg cramps and other aches are also very common during the third trimester, and can lead to insomnia.
The good news is that your insomnia will not last forever. While you won’t be sleeping through the night until after your baby does, this too will be temporary.