Insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy: Causes and Remedies

Insomnia is quite frequent in pregnant women. Many physiological changes happen in the first trimester related to body temperature and levels of melatonin, prolactin, and cortisol, all of which contribute to insomnia. Insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy may be more complicated because of hormonal changes that happen during this stage.

It is important to not be hung up on the negatives during this trimester. Instead, spend your energy looking for alternative solutions to help you sleep better at night. Sleeping well is vital for our quality of life, and sleep disorders need to be treated when you go more than a few nights without sleep. In the case of insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy, your body will probably adjust and get back to normal shortly.

Insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy
Insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy

Ana Maria Estrada, 28, remembers feeling especially tired in her first trimester. She didn’t have energy during the day and had a hard time falling asleep at night. “It felt a little bit like I was fading away, because before getting pregnant I did a lot of exercise; besides working, I ran, skated, and swam. Now I only swim and walk”, she tells us.

Possible causes of insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy

Baby’s development: When the baby starts to grow, it causes changes in our bodies which makes us tense and uncomfortable. During the first trimester, women undergo many hormonal changes. It’s possible that the hormone that regulates fatigue gets interrupted at night, making us more tired during the day. Remember to drink lots of water and non-caffeinated teas to help you relax at night. Chamomile tea may help you relax and fall asleep easier.

Stress: Pregnancy is a process that brings a new life into the world, so it’s normal that the soon-to-be mother worries about how their child will turn out, if it will be healthy, if they have enough money to support it, etc. There are more concerns than hours in the night, so she ends up staying awake worrying about all of the new changes. This stress can go away if you work to make it better but left untreated, it could turn into depression which could be dangerous for you and the baby.

Pains: If there are any complications during the pregnancy, we may experience some pain or bleeding. These pains may make falling asleep difficult, but luckily it’s not one of the more common reasons for insomnia during pregnancy.

Remedies for insomnia during the first trimester of pregnancy

Insomnia during pregnancy can be treated with home remedies.

1.Develop a bedtime routine. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and start your routine with something that can help you unwind.

2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day but minimize intake after 7pm that what you won’t be up all night going to the bathroom.

3. Eat a healthy dinner and enjoy it slowly to reduce your chances of heartburn.  Eat a light snack if you need to eat something late in the evening.

4. Get comfortable. Make yourself as comfortable as possible in bed that way you won’t wake up trying to find comfort.

5. Keep your room quiet, dark and cool. Remember that these things are important to maintain a correct rest mode.

6. Exercise. Exercising always helps the body relax, remember to ask your doctor before doing so. Having sex with your partner will produce endorphins, which helps you fall asleep.

7. Relax. If after doing these you’re still having trouble, try to relax and clear your mind. Practice yoga or mindfulness meditation or breathing exercises. All these techniques can help your heart rate slow down and you can start relaxing.

If you can’t sleep because of pain: back, sciatica, feet… talk to your doctor. If your insomnia is caused by something mental, you can go to another specialist to try relaxation therapies or a cognitive stimulation program to help treat sleep disorders.

Remember that you’re creating a new life! It is normal to see changes in yourself, both physically and emotionally. While it may be hard sometimes due to circumstances out of our control, it is important that you, especially, as a pregnant woman get enough sleep. Nap when you can, create a comfortable sleeping environment, and try not to stress too much! Not sleeping can alter your emotions and cause adverse effects, like depression, which is another problem that some pregnant women face due to the many changes that they go through before giving birth. Take some time for yourself in these few months, rely on family and friends, and get ready to bring a new life into the world!