Trouble sleeping in early pregnancy: Pregnancy symptoms affecting a good night’s sleep

Many women have trouble sleeping in early pregnancy. For some women, they experience the symptoms of pregnancy before they even discover they are pregnant and for all women symptoms vary in intensity, frequency and duration. This can begin to impact your sleeping patterns as your body adjusts to the changes it begins to go through.

Trouble Sleeping in Early Pregnancy | Sleeptime in Pregnancy |

Sleep-related pregnancy symptoms can include:



Fatigue and tiredness are usually the first symptoms mums-to-be experience, especially during the early weeks when hormone levels begin to rise. Coupled with a drop in blood sugar levels and increased blood production, trouble sleeping in early pregnancy can soon begin to zap energy levels.

Tiredness is a signal from your body to simply get some rest and ensure you’re not overdoing it, especially during the early days where it’s even more important to take it easy. Take plenty of rests during the daytime and nap when you can. A relaxing bedtime routine can be beneficial allowing you to get an early night’s sleep.

It may be tempting to include a relaxing bath into your bedtime routine however, there are precautions you should take when contemplating a long soak. Hot baths that can raise your core temperature beyond 39°C are advised against, especially in your first trimester, which not only increases the risk of dizziness and fainting but can also interfere with your baby’s development.

Although many women experience trouble sleeping in early pregnancy, the good news is that your tiredness typically gets better in your second trimester but other pregnancy related symptoms might begin, which can keep you awake at night.


Heartburn and indigestion

One of the most common pregnancy related symptoms a mum-to-be might face is heartburn and indigestion, which can often be worse during the evening when you’re lying down. The feeling of burning in the chest or throat can often be bothersome but there are some simple steps you can take to help you to get to sleep and stay asleep. These include eating at least three hours before you go to bed to allow your food to digest and to prop yourself up at an angle when asleep allowing gravity to minimise reflux. A pregnancy or feeding pillow, such as the Boppy Pillow [link], could help with this.


Sleeping Positions

There are many reasons why women have trouble sleeping in early pregnancy. Nearly all expectant mums find getting a comfortable position when sleeping harder to achieve as they progress through pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. Guidelines from the NHS recommend that from 28 weeks women don’t lie on their backs with the best sleeping position lying on the left side to improve blood flow. However, don’t worry if you wake up on your back, simply roll to your side as you go back to sleep.

While pregnancy can cause a whole range of symptoms varying at different stages, it’s important to remember all women are different so it’s essential to listen to your body and get the rest you need when you can as your body works hard to grow your little one.

If you are having trouble sleeping in early pregnancy, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a loved one or your partner, you’ll have plenty of heavy lifting to do in the coming months. Overdoing it will zap your energy so make sure you are looking after yourself first and foremost.

If your symptoms are causing significant discomfort or are causing you to suffer sleep insomnia it is recommended that you seek medical advice from either your GP or midwife who can advise you further.


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