HomePregnancy5 reasons you can’t sleep during the first trimester

5 reasons you can’t sleep during the first trimester


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The pregnancy period is one of the most memorable phases in a woman’s life. However, it comes with a lot of challenges as a woman has to endure a lot of hardships as her body goes through a number of changes during that period. A woman has to deal with a lot of challenges in which insomnia during the early trimester remains the biggest challenge for a woman. Apart from the physical changes, most pregnant women experience sleeping problems and it begins to take a toll on their health as well. Owing to the hormones in early pregnancy, a pregnant woman feels more sleepy in the daytime during the first trimester but the quality of sleep tends to drop during nighttime. Apart from making the pregnant woman feel the urge to pee all the time during midnight, first trimester insomnia can for sure make the woman feel exhausted as one can feel the little legs kicking the bladder and other pregnancy woes like heartburn, headaches, leg cramps, tender breasts, congestion, among others may take a toll thus leaving one sleep deprived.

Women may have insomnia during all stages of pregnancy and thus, they may not be able to sleep during pregnancy but the problem is more commonly reported during the first and third trimesters. The first-trimester sleep is influenced by rising levels of hormones progesterone where you may be sleepy during the daytime. Also, this hormone can disrupt your sleep cycle at night, thereby making you feel more fatigue during the daytime. 

What causes pregnancy sleeping disorder

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for a healthy pregnancy but as per research, more than half of pregnant women have faced pregnancy sleeping disorder. Right from finding a comfortable position to accommodate the growing baby bump to leg cramps, nasal congestion, among others, a woman has to endure them all.  Mentioned below are some reasons which may lead to sleeping disorders during pregnancy and they must be addressed:

  1.  Frequent need to pee
    Due to higher levels of pregnancy hormones, one may have to visit the washroom frequently, day and night. Also, the growing uterus may put unwanted pressure on the bladder adding to the pregnancy woes. The kidney also needs to filter more blood than usual, thus forcing one to visit the washroom on a frequent basis. In order to avoid excessive peeing, It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids during the day and cut down too much water intake in the late afternoon and evening. Caffeine also adds to excessive peeing, thus avoiding them can help in lowering our trips to the washroom at night.

  2. Daytime Drowsiness
    High levels of the hormone progesterone have the ability to not only make one feel drowsy all day long but also disrupt one’s sleep during the night adding to daytime fatigue. Following all the hormonal and physical changes, one finds it difficult to cope with the daily chore activities and the prevalence of sleep-related complaints is much higher. In order to avoid such a situation, pregnant women must get a short nap or two during the daytime.

  3.  Nausea and vomiting
    During the first trimester, nausea and vomiting can plague pregnant women at all times be it day and night and drain one’s energy. It can turn unpleasant at night and the condition at times may also force you to stay out of bed the whole night. In order to keep nausea and vomiting at bay, one must keep light snacks by their side as one can easily consume them when waking up and thus feel better. Sipping ginger tea before bedtime can also help in reducing nausea.

  4. Midnight Hunger and heartburn
    Constantly feeling hungry can keep a pregnant woman awake all night. Also, heartburn can take place during any time of the day and it gets worse at night and ruins one’s sleep when one is lying down. Heartburn is a type of indigestion that feels like a burning sensation on your chest and throat. One may also feel heartburn when the baby bump tends to push up on the abdomen. In order to avoid this situation, eating a balanced diet with whole grains, and lean proteins may help.

  5. Insomnia
    Anxiety about motherhood, hormones or other sleep problems like leg cramps, snoring and sleep apnea, etc. can lead to lack of sleep during pregnancy. Insomnia (the ability to fall or stay asleep) can make one feel tired and one can easily get irritated by it.  Drinking a warm glass of milk, soaking in a warm bath, and trying some relaxation techniques can help one overcome insomnia. 

How to sleep during pregnancy in first trimester

If your sleep is disturbed on a regular basis, there is nothing to worry about as you are not alone. The first trimester can definitely be tiring as pregnant women have to go through physical and mental obstacles. If you are also suffereing from the same due to difficulty in finding a comfortable sleeping position or feel the urgent need to pee, among others symptoms, listed below are some strategies on how to sleep during pregnancy in the first trimester.

  1. Exercise

    According to Mayoclinic, doing some moderate level of exercise during the day time can help in tiring your muscles and thereby make you fall asleep a little bit easier. Exercise reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and improves your heart health. However, one must always consult the doctor before performing any exercise during pregnancy.

  2. Practice better sleep hygiene

    This kind of practice can help one in falling asleep easily. It can be done by:

  1.  Sleeping only in the bed and not anywhere else.
  2. Waking up and sleeping at the same time every day.
  3. Keeping the bedroom dark and cool to set the right mood 
  4. Avoid using electronics one hour before sleep


  1. Diet

    Changing your diet during pregnancy can work wonders. It is advisable to avoid consuming too many liquids for an hour or so before going to bed. You must also avoid heavy meals to help your body get a good night’s rest instead of struggling to digest a heavy meal. Cutting out caffeine a couple of hours before bed is also advisable.

  2. Relaxation techniques

    If you want to calm your anxious mind, you can try various relaxation techniques as they may help you in relieving stress and will let you sleep peacefully. Resorting to yoga, and meditation may help in keeping insomnia during pregnancy at bay. Visualization, deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can also help in relaxing your mind.

  3. Eating early

    It can help you in hitting the bed early as a heavy meal right before bedtime can prevent you from sleeping. Also, having a night snack before bedtime will help you stay away from late-night hunger pangs. Also, try to eat your dinner slowly in order to avoid heartburn. A high-protein diet can help in maintaining blood sugar levels. Also, drinking a warm glass of milk can also make you feel sleepy.


Insomnia during the early stages of pregnancy is normal. However, with proper treatment and lifestyle changes like exercise and therapy, a pregnant woman can easily overcome insomnia during pregnancy. Thus, It is advisable to find proper stress-busting techniques which may help you in getting sound sleep during the night time. Despite trying these methods, if you are not able to sleep during pregnancy, you should consider consulting your doctor for better medical advice. 

Srujana Mohanty
She is the Managing Editor of Cogito137, one of India’s leading student-run science communication magazines. She's been working in scientific and medical writing and editing since 2018, also associated with the quality assurance team of scientific journal editing. Majored in Chemistry with a minor in Biology at IISER Kolkata, Srujana loves doodling and watching series.


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