5 ways to fight insomnia during pregnancy


If you’re pregnant, then congratulations!

It’s an exciting time for you and your family. Throughout the 9-month period, your body and mind experience quite a lot of changes. Your skin glows, you get the VIP treatment from everyone, and you can feel proud that you’re bringing another beautiful baby into the world.

Pregnancy is a time when you need to pay particular attention to your health, because the state of your health can impact the development and growth of your baby1. Unfortunately, sleep disturbances during pregnancy are common, however if they occur frequently, this can lead to insomnia2.

Everyone needs good quality sleep each night to awaken at their best, but this is even more important while you’re pregnant.  

To help you sleep well and manage insomnia when pregnant, here is some more information and 5 general tips to try and reclaim your slumber.

Difficulties sleeping while pregnant

It’s quite normal for pregnant women to feel tired.

After all, your body is doing a lot more work, spending its energy on creating a new life! As a result, you may find that you don’t sleep as deeply as you used to3, which can cause you to wake up throughout the night.

This is all the more reason to spend more time resting or sleeping to compensate.

If you experience ongoing trouble sleeping, this can lead to insomnia, which is the medical term given to regularly having a difficult time falling asleep, remaining asleep or getting back to sleep if you wake during the night.

What causes insomnia during pregnancy?

Insomnia is a complex sleeping disorder because it can be the result of so many different causes.

Specific to pregnancy, hormonal shifts, feeling anxious about giving birth or restless legs syndrome have all shown to impact sleep while pregnant4.

Regardless of the reason, it’s best to find ways to treat insomnia early rather than allow it to linger on. So, if you suspect that you’re experiencing the symptoms of insomnia, try these simple tips to take control and awaken at your best.

1. Manage your liquids

While you’re pregnant, you will find that you spend a lot of time going to the bathroom.

To help reduce the number of toilet trips during the night that break up your sleep, try going to the toilet just before heading to bed and avoid drinking too much close to bedtime.

2. Improve your sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to good habits that will improve the quality of sleep you get each night. While everyone should practice good sleep hygiene, it’s especially important during pregnancy.

Healthy sleep hygiene habits include the following:

  •       Only sleep in your bed rather than anywhere
  •       Go to bed and wake up at consistent times each day
  •       Keep the bedroom dark and cool
  •       Ensure your bed is comfortable
  •       Do not use screens or electronics in bed, such as phones or the TV
  •       If you can’t drift off to sleep, get up for 15 minutes and relax before trying again

3. Focus on relaxation

An active mind can make nodding off and staying asleep difficult.

Relaxation techniques can help quiet your thoughts, slow your mind and be more at peace to get the best sleep. Studies have shown that relaxation via meditation and prenatal hatha yoga may help manage and overcome insomnia in pregnant women5.

4. Get (a little) active

Yes, it sounds a bit counterproductive to exercise when you’re pregnant, however studies suggest that gentle exercise for about 30 minutes a day around 4 to 6 hours before your bedtime may help you sleep better6.

But, to be on the safe side, make sure you consult your medical professional or GP before you begin a workout routine.

5. Lie on your side

Everyone sleeps differently, but if you are used to sleeping on your back or front, these positions can become quite uncomfortable due to the weight of your baby.

Instead, try sleeping on your side. This may lessen your discomfort, especially in the later months of being pregnant, and help improve your quality of sleep.

Take the 14 Day Sleep Challenge

Do you want to wake up feeling more refreshed throughout your pregnancy?

Now that you’ve read the 5 tips to treating insomnia when pregnant, it’s time to give our 14 Day Sleep Challenge a go.

You can sign up for the 14 Day Sleep Challenge here, where you will receive regular emails with quick insights and information about how you can improve the quality of your sleep. You’ll be able to track your progress throughout the challenge and discover what you need to do to ensure a better night’s sleep.

All the best, and enjoy this beautiful time!

14 Day Sleep Challenge

This challenge offers 14 important tips to help improve your sleep quality.


Take the sleep challenge



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Insomnia during pregnancy: Diagnosis and Rational Interventions. Pak J Med Sci. 2016 Jul-Aug; 32(4): 1030–1037. doi: 10.12669/pjms.324.10421.


Pregnancy and Sleep. Sleep Health Foundation, Australia.


Sleep disorders in pregnancy. Obstet Med. 2009 Sep; 2(3): 100–106.


Insomnia and sleep deficiency in pregnancy. Obstet Med. 2015 Dec; 8(4): 168–171.


Insomnia during pregnancy: Diagnosis and Rational Interventions. Pak J Med Sci. 2016 Jul-Aug; 32(4): 1030–1037.

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