- Hormonal changes
- Discomfort due to the increased size of the belly
- Back pain
- Waking frequently to urinate in the night
- Anticipation of the arrival of the baby
- Frequent and vivid dreams
For pregnant women who have severe sleep disorders or other medical conditions that cause sleeping problems, a doctor may recommend medication to help you sleep while pregnant. Never take any medication, even over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or supplements, during pregnancy without first talking to your doctor.
Medicines that may be recommended for pregnant women to help them sleep include the following remedies in the table below.
|Sleep Aid Type||Examples and Uses|
Prescription medications for pregnant women who have severe insomnia or anxiety
Prescription sleep medications should be avoided during late pregnancy because they may cause breathing and muscle tone problems in infants exposed to these medications.
What Are Tips to Sleep Better While Pregnant?
There are a number of ways to improve sleep during pregnancy that don’t involve medications.
- Limit caffeine during the day and avoid it in the afternoon and evening
- Drink less in the evening to reduce urination during the night
- Avoid heavy meals and spicy foods before bedtime which can cause heartburn and indigestion
- Snacking before bedtime may reduce morning sickness
- Drink warm milk before bed
- Take naps: keep naps 30 to 60 minutes and do not nap too late in the day
- Write down the things you worry about before bed and to reduce waking in the middle of the night with anxiety
- Enroll in a class about labor and delivery, baby care, or breastfeeding, so you don’t worry about what to expect
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided imagery
- Get a massage
- Choose the right pillows
- A pillow tucked between bent knees can support the lower back
- A pillow tucked behind the back can help you sleep on your side
- Special pillows can support the belly
- Use extra pillows under the head to help relieve heartburn
- An egg-crate foam mattress pad may help relieve hip discomfort
- Practice good sleep hygiene
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
- Keep the room cool and dark
- Maintain a relaxing bedtime routine
- Sleep on your side
- Use the bed only for sleep and sex
- If you can’t sleep after 20 to 30 minutes, get out of bed and listen to soft music or read
- Go back to bed when you feel sleepy
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