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Sleep problems during pregnancy? Try our natural remedies to deal with this

Certain herbs have soothing and relaxing properties that prove effective in calming the nerves and inducing sleep. © Shutterstock

If you are pregnant, it is essential that you get proper sleep for a healthy delivery. But this may not always be possible. Here are a few natural remedies that will help you sleep better.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : December 27, 2019 10:46 AM IST

Sleep is important for everyone. It becomes all the more important when you are pregnant. But due to hormonal changes during this period, a pregnant woman may not be able to get proper sleep. This is bad. According to researchers from University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, poor sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy can disrupt normal immune processes and lead to lower birth weights and other complications. The journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Published this study that also says that women with depression are more likely than non-depressed women to suffer from disturbed sleep and to experience immune system disruption and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

A study at the UCSF School of Nursing says that women who have less sleep or severely disrupted sleep in late pregnancy are significantly more likely to have longer labours. Researchers say that they are also more likely to have caesarean births. Another study at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus says that even mild sleep apnoea changed sugar levels during pregnancy and was connected to infant growth patterns related to increased risk of obesity. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published this study.

In fact the importance of getting proper sleep becomes all the more important with each passing trimester. Good-quality sleep also becomes difficult as time goes by. Thankfully, we have some remedies for you to deal with the crisis!

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Read on to understand about what exactly happens while you are pregnant and its effects on your sleep pattern.


The following changes occur during every trimester of pregnancy:

First trimester

Waking up frequently to visit the bathroom

Physical and emotional stress, leading to sleep disturbances

Feeling sleepier during the day

Second trimester

The foetus moves above the bladder and reduces pressure on it. Thus you may feel fewer urges to urinate at night.

Emotional stress and the baby's growth may still disturb sleep

Third trimester

Discomfort due to increase in the size of the belly

Sinus congestion, heartburn and leg cramps

The baby's position changes and pressure on the bladder increases again. Thus, sleep is disrupted by frequent visits to the bathroom.


During pregnancy you must be careful about what you consume. Medical approval must be taken before trying anything new. Several medications are said to counter interact during pregnancy because of the unknown effects or the adverse effects on the foetus. However, there are certain safe and effective natural remedies that you can try to help improve the quality of sleep.

Essential oils of lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile

You can use around 2-3 drops of the essential oils of lavender, ylang-ylang or chamomile to comfort your nerves. Not more than a few drops should be used as it may prove to be unsafe if used in excess. Use of lavender oil could be harmful during the first trimester of pregnancy. Check with your doctor, and if you do use it, do so occasionally and not more than 3 drops at a time.

Place the drops on a tissue instead of your pillow. This will ensure that the oil is fresh every time. You can also indulge in relaxing with a warm bath just before going to bed. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the bath. If you are using a vaporizer, ensure that it is not left on for more than 15-20 minutes. Too much of exposure may cause nausea and headaches.

Another way in which you can use essential oils to help you sleep is by asking your partner to give you a neck and shoulder rub or a foot massage. Dilute around 4 drops of the essential oil in 2 teaspoons of a base oil like olive oil or grapeseed oil.

Bach Flower Remedies

If stress and tension during pregnancy are the main culprits for your sleep problems, you can try Rescue Remedy to soothe your symptoms. If you find yourself waking up suddenly at night, especially after vivid dreams, take 2 drops of Mimulus (single flower remedy) for fear or Rock Rose for terror. Weariness caused by not having slept well at night can be treated with olive oil or Hornbeam.

Herbal Teas

Certain herbs have soothing and relaxing properties that prove effective in calming the nerves and inducing sleep. The herbs that can be tried are Valerian, St. John's wort and Kava. They are available at most health food stores.

Herbal tea is prepared by adding 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to a cup of freshly-boiled water. Let the herbs steep in the water for 1 hour. Strain and re-heat the tea before drinking. Herbal teas are best drunk in the following ways 1 cup in the morning, 1 cup at noon and 1 cup at night. Be cautious about the valerian tea as it has a sedative effect and should not be taken during the day.

Cherry juice

Cherry juice has no known side effects and has been proven to reduce the severity of insomnia. For pregnant women, it may be a safe and natural alternative to hypnotic drugs.

Fermented Ginseng

According to a study published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety in 2008, ginseng does not give rise to any adverse effects in pregnant women. Small amounts of ginseng have been proved to be safe to consume during pregnancy. By fermenting ginseng the body is able to absorb it better.

Pregnancy can be tough but it does not have to be the most miserable 9 months of your life. Staying active through gentle exercises and eating sufficient portions of well-balanced meals should help you sail through this miraculous period.

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