Pregnancy Insomnia


I always knew becoming a mother would mean many sleepless nights, but I didn’t expect it to start before the baby was born.

(And everyone who tells me pregnancy insomnia is just nature’s way of preparing me for a night-waking newborn? I’m going to add their phone numbers to the list of people I’ll call at 2 a.m. when I’m wide awake and bored.)

I’ve been dealing with (but more like “suffering from”) pregnancy insomnia for the past few weeks, and although I know it’s common and normal and not damaging to the baby’s health to be up in the middle of the night for hours and hours and hours at a time, I still wish it would just go away and let me have my precious sleeeeeeep.

Some of the things keeping me awake are physical – trips to the bathroom, trying to find a comfortable position for my growing belly – but mostly it’s the thoughts swirling through my brain that make it hard to just relax and fall asleep (and then stay asleep). Only some of these thoughts are baby-related—what if it’s born with health problems? where will we put the crib in our tiny house? what if our baby runs away from home when it’s thirteen?—and the rest run the gamut from the mundane to the far-fetched. (What should we have for dinner tomorrow? What if there’s an earthquake and our house falls into a giant crack in the earth’s crust?)

When it’s thoughts keeping me awake, one solution is to get up and jot down some notes to help me organize and process my anxiety. I make lists of errands to run, projects to start or finish, and deadlines to meet. Sometimes this works. Usually, though, I just lay in bed, staring at the wall and cursing under my breath because I’m SO TIRED so why can’t I just GO TO SLEEP? At least when the baby’s here I’ll have a reason to be up at night; this is just stupid.

Have you experienced pregnancy insomnia? Do you have any cures or prevention tips? What do you do when you’re up at night? Do you watch t.v., surf the internet, read, make a meatloaf, or just lie awake in bed,  trying to ignore the person blissfully snoring away beside you?