Third Trimester Insomnia
Let me guess…you're reading this because you've been tossing and turning in your bed for hours and you decided it isn't fair to wake your partner. Instead, you went to your study to boot up the PC and see what you could find out about third trimester insomnia.
Catch Some Z's
As it turns out, you're not alone: most pregnant women have sleep issues in their third trimesters, with some women waking up 3-5 times a night. But don't lose sleep over the issue—we have some good strategies to help you get a decent night's sleep. Get ready to catch some zzzzzzzzz's.
The large girth of your abdomen makes it hard to find a comfy position for sleep. Here's a good one to try:
Lie on your left side with your knees bent. Place one pillow under your belly and a second one between your legs. Body pillows are even better! Another benefit: lying on your left side promotes better blood flow for your baby. Some pregnant women find that sleeping in a recliner does the trick since it gives support everywhere you need it.
Growing unborn babies like to press deep down…on your bladder, that is. That means that you just about take up permanent residency in the bathroom. Now you do have to make sure to drink lots of fluids, but get your drinking done during daylight hours. Limiting your fluid intake in the evenings can help make those middle of the night visits to the lavatory a thing of the past. Make sure you take the time to really empty your bladder when you urinate and cut out the caffeine. The stuff is no good for growing fetuses and makes your bladder work overtime.
Besides the difficulty of finding a comfortable position and not waking up to pee every hour on the hour, there are some other pregnancy-specific annoyances that tend to rob you of your beauty sleep:
Leg Cramps-Lots of pregnant ladies get painful leg cramps, most often in the calf muscles. Try doing some simple stretches before you go to sleep. Taking a calcium supplement can ease the cramps and make you sleep, well, like a baby.
Snoring-The extra fluid in a woman's body during pregnancy can cause the nasal passages to swell which can bring on snoring in 30% of all pregnant women. Besides waking your partner, your own snoring means you're getting a less than peaceful night's sleep. An extra pillow under your head can help.
Heartburn-Oy! Stay away from spicy or acidic foods. Try to eat smaller meals more often and make sure you chew your food well. Don't eat or drink within a few hours of beddy-bye. Talk to your doctor about the gentle medications that are available to help pregnant ladies with this problem. When all else fails, sleep in an upright position.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)-Some 15% of pregnant women have the condition called restless leg syndrome in which they have an uncontrollable urge to move their legs. Of course, this tends to happen only during the night. Sigh. There's no help for it—at least there's no medication for it that's safe for pregnancy, but the nasty condition almost always goes away with delivery.
Get advice from other pregnant women experiencing sleepless nights and pregnancy fatique in our pregnancy forum.