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    How to cope with pregnancy insomnia

    Updated 23 March 2023 |
    Published 27 September 2019
    Fact Checked
    Dr. Barbara Levy
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Barbara Levy, Clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief medical officer, Visana Health, California, US
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Sleepless nights feel like part of the deal when you become a new parent. But what about before your baby is born? Here’s everything you need to know about pregnancy insomnia — from what causes it to how to cope with it. 

    Any new parent will know the reality of sleepless nights in the first few months with their newborn. Nothing can quite prepare you beforehand for what it’ll feel like to be doing the fourth feed overnight before the day breaks. But what if difficulty sleeping kicks in before you give birth? 

    For some, pregnancy insomnia is a real problem. Whether it's a fear of giving birth that's keeping you awake at night, or the need to pee every five minutes (that's how it feels, anyway) it can be frustrating. But as your body goes through the monumental physical and emotional changes that come with being pregnant, it’s hardly surprising that your sleep schedule can become interrupted. 

    Having trouble sleeping might not have been at the top of your list of expected pregnancy symptoms, and it can be tough when you’re trying to get as much rest as you can. But you don’t have to tackle pregnancy insomnia by yourself. Here, a Flo expert explains everything you need to know, from how it affects both you and your baby to the best ways to cope with it and what not to do if you’re struggling to get your full eight hours of sleep.  

    What is pregnancy insomnia? 

    Struggling to fall asleep, waking up during the night, and waking up too early are all symptoms of insomnia. It’s a common sleep disorder that affects around one in three of us at some point in our lives and a massive 60% of pregnant people. Insomnia can fall into two categories: short term and chronic.

    Short-term insomnia is exactly what it sounds like lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. On the other end of the scale, symptoms that occur at least three times a week for more than three months would be considered chronic insomnia.

    Pregnancy insomnia is just like any other kind of insomnia, only (as the name suggests) it affects you when you’re pregnant. So if you’re expecting and have been struggling to get some decent shut-eye, remember that you’re certainly not the only one. 

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