Insomnia in My Third Trimester

by Sofia (Marin County, CA)

I am now 28 weeks pregnant and have been suffering from some insomnia. It's strange because there are days when I am so tired I have to take a nap and I sleep for 3 hours in the middle of the day, then I only sleep on and off for about 4 hours per night.

When I have a busy day and don't take a nap, I may sleep for 6 hours straight but very uncomfortably. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of this pregnancy. I am still nauseous all day long and have little energy and brain function.

Washing the dogs and vacuuming the house takes up enough energy for two days. I guess now I'm venting. I know, only 12 weeks left, give or take but every day feels like a week. Also, this time I'm having a boy and he very seldom stops moving which makes resting difficult as well. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Don't worry Sofia, your complaints are perfectly normal – and venting is perfectly OK!

Pregnancy can sometimes just be…tiring. I mean, we are building brand new humans – that's a lot of work 😉 So don't feel guilty for being tired of being pregnant sometimes (or even most of the time). It's even normal to get tired of the constant movement from baby.

I would say that first, if you do fall asleep and nap for 3 hours in a day then don't worry about it – just let yourself nap. Your body is telling you to rest and it's good to listen to it.

Some thoughts for nighttime – do you have pillows and things you can use to help yourself get comfortable? Lots of moms find it helpful to use pillows to support any part of themselves that needs supporting. I always wanted an extra pillow or two, and I know some women who wanted even more than that!

Are you getting outside in the fresh air for a little while every day? This may help you feel better and pick up your energy levels. Doing some walking and enjoying the sunlight helps get your blood circulating well and helps your body absorb more nutrients. It could also help you sleep better at night.

A relaxing shower or warm bath before bed may help you get to sleep. A cup of hot tea could enhance the effect.

Reading is also a good way to help yourself get tired – take a book with you and read until you can't keep your eyes open. You can also read any time you're up in the night.

Eat something right before you go to bed. Also eat something if you get up to go to the bathroom, or can't get back to sleep. A slice of apple or orange is a good choice for the middle of the night.

Fresh oranges in the night are supposed to help with morning sickness and it will also keep your blood sugar high. Sometimes blood sugar will drop really low overnight in pregnancy because your body is working so hard and that could cause discomfort for you.

You could try getting up a little earlier to see if that would also help you get to sleep at night (and sleep more soundly.) A lot of people find insomnia lessens when they get up earlier in the morning, then go to bed when they're tired.

Are you eating well? That'll help you feel better overall. Eat several small meals throughout the day, and as I mentioned above, try a snack before bed and in the night (you can keep it beside your bed). Eating frequently may help your nausea. Also be sure you're getting enough to drink. If water makes you feel sick drink herbal tea, milk, or soup broths.

I think that a “fuzzy brain” sort of just comes with pregnancy and motherhood ;P I've often felt like day-to-day nurturing (and growing) of children uses up some part of a mother's brainpower and she just can't have it back until the kids are older.

But good nutrition, getting outside and moving each day, and finding ways to rest will help with that foggy feeling a bit.

Go easy on yourself and remember that pregnancy is a big job. Decide what you really must get done in a day and do those things first. Then, if you feel like it, do more. Or rest. You're growing your baby every day, which is absolutely vital work! And it's hard work! Do try and take some moments where you can just relax and enjoy being pregnant – and yes, it will soon be over 😉

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About the author 

Kristen

Kristen is childbirth educator, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! She has spent years helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Find her on her website NaturalBirthandBabyCare.com and helping families through her online childbirth class MamaBabyBirthing.com

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