40 winks - sleepless nights with a baby on board

Forty winks is all it feels like I get some nights. I'm really struggling with sleeping and am constantly feeling hazy with tiredness.

Pregnant woman having trouble sleeping

Pregnancy insider blog

I've always been used to sleeping really well, for a solid 8-9 hours a night, so this disturbed sleep malarky may be proving even more difficult for me! At 31 weeks I'm now finding it increasingly hard to find a comfy position in bed. Nothing feels quite right. Luckily the only thing that is horribly uncomfortable for me is sleeping on my back which I know you're advised not to do now because of the stillbirth risk.

I've been using a pregnancy pillow

I do have a ‘pregnancy’ pillow which was given to me by a friend and curves round so I can use it to support my bump and put it between my legs for added support of my pelvis. I do find it helpful but you can only use it for lying on one side, unless you want to physically get up and move it over to the other side. In the middle of the night when I’m sleepy I certainly don’t! So I spend a lot of time tossing and turning, although that’s getting increasingly problematic the bigger I get!

Leg cramps are really common in pregnancy and are something I have been experiencing at night. I think sometimes they do wake me up as I wake up with them and have to spend a few minutes stretching my legs out. Luckily this hasn’t yet necessitated me to actually get out of bed – I’m dreading if that day comes!

Needing to wee is another fabulous cause of interrupted sleep time

Sometimes she lies in a way that makes me feel like I constantly need to wee because my bladder is so squashed – she’s also started the fun trick of what feels like stamping on my bladder! What’s most frustrating is when I lug myself out of bed only to find a teaspoon of wee comes out when it feels like I’m bursting. Oh the joys!

Another cause of my pregnancy insomnia I learnt recently could be low blood sugar level, which can drop during the night. I do sometimes wake up at 4am feeling ravenous but not always.

Any excuse for a mini picnic or midnight feast

I started keeping cereal bars next to the bed and munching on one of them when I woke up around this time. I have found this has helped me go back to sleep much quicker and stay asleep until the alarm goes off. Also having something to eat about half an hour before I go to sleep seems to have helped me stay asleep for longer during the night. Any excuse for a mini picnic or midnight feast!

Bring on maternity leave, that’s all I can say. Then hopefully I can catch up on some zzzz’s before baby arrives!

Read tips from Tommy's midwives about how to get more sleep in pregnancy.

Read the next instalment of the Pregnancy Insider.

The pregnancy insider profile

Follow our Pregnancy Insider, the blogger who tells it like it is, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook page. Our Pregnancy Insider is 29, lives in East Anglia, practices yoga and is a big fan of House of Cards - and she's pregnant with her first baby. Look out for her blog each week. 

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