Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pregnancy Insomnia

The hardest issue I've dealt with during my pregnancies has not been heartburn, nor a growing waistline, nor strikes of extreme hunger pains at times, although each of those has been unpleasant.  Before the stork brings the baby, as the saying goes, it brings me many sleepless nights. There's really nothing on my mind keeping me awake, I just can't sleep.

During my first pregnancy, I was anchoring and producing the morning news for our local NBC station. I had to be up at 2AM to be in at 3AM. I just chalked the inability to sleep up to a crazy schedule. Fortunately, I often napped in the afternoon (but I didn't have any kids then either).

With pregnancy number two, the problem returned. This time, I knew it was a real problem, since I was now on a regular sleep schedule. Same thing with pregnancy number three, and now with pregnancy number four.

My body is sleepy; it just forgot how to actually fall asleep.

My doctor explained to me that my insomnia results from the way my body is reacting to all the hormones. Some nights, no matter how tired I truly am, I feel like I am on an adrenaline high, or like I drank three shots of espresso. I lay down and rest, but most nights, I don't sleep. On about night three or night four of no sleep, I may try to take a Unisom (although I generally try to avoid it). Unfortunately, it doesn't help.

Although my day is pretty active anyway, I've experimented with seeing if extra exercise during the day helps me sleep at night. It doesn't. I've tried the hot-bath or shower-before-bed idea. Nope. A glass of warm milk or peppermint tea makes me drowsy; but the drowsy feeling doesn't translate into inducing my body into sleep. So I don't really know.

When your body forgets how to sleep, it can make you anxious.
The good news, though, is--whatever hormones are keeping me up at night are also carrying me through the day. I think it's God's mercy.

Eventually, my body will adjust, and I'll sleep again. Until then, I'm curious:

Have you ever dealt with pregnancy insomnia, and what did you do about it?


  1. I have it now also! It is horrible! And most of the time I can't sleep at all during the day because of our 2 year old. I have absolutely no energy! Don't know how I stay awake all day...and all night...hope I will be able to sleep when the baby gets here...well when he does and Little Girl naps! Hopefully at the same time!

  2. I wish I had wisdom to share, but insomnia during pregnancy was not one of my symptoms. You do, however, have my sincere sympathy! I can't even imagine how rough that must be - especially with small children! I think you are right - it's God's mercy getting you through the day. Does the ability to fall asleep return after the 1st trimester or not till after giving birth?

  3. I've got insominia and I am not even pregnant... at least you have an excuse... I am thinking maybe it is peri-menopause, but it's still frustrating burning the candle at both ends. Hoping you get some rest soon...
    Denise in Saskatchewan