Are you suffering from pregnancy insomnia or sleep deprivation post-partum? Here’s my tried and tested list of products that have helped improve my sleep during a challenging time.
Oh, pregnancy! It’s a miracle but wow it’s challenging at times! In general, I’ve breezed through some of the stages. My nausea in the first trimester was never too bad, and my energy levels have stayed pretty good throughout.
However, my sleep has suffered. I’ve battled with insomnia over the years, but it’s never been as consistent as it is right now. I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant and just heading into my third trimester. My pregnancy insomnia started around week 6, and while it hasn’t occurred every night, it’s definitely been a challenge.
Sleep plays such an important role in how you feel as a person. It affects your mood, your concentration, your reflexes and your happiness. After several days of sleep deprivation, I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the smallest things. I’ll spill something and burst into tears, or struggle to park the car and feel like I’m having palpitations. On some days I’ve found it a huge struggle to focus on my work… which has then led to feelings of failure.
If you’re feeling similarly, perhaps because you’re also suffering from pregnancy insomnia, post-natal insomnia or you’re sleep-deprived due to stress or another cause, I’ve rounded up a few of the wonder products that have helped me through this challenging time. I’m not going to say there’s one obvious answer to the issue, but a combination of all of these have definitely aided me. I hope they help you too, and remember if you’re struggling, you’re not alone!
11 Wonder Products To Beat Pregnancy Insomnia, Post-Natal Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation
There’s something very powerful about scents when you’re trying to relax. I’ve tried a few sleep sprays that claim they will help you nod off, but This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is the best one I’ve discovered so far.
The aromatherapy-style fragrance is a mix of lavender, camomile and vetiver. It’s not quite like a traditional spa scent; it feels a bit heavier. It clings to fabrics a little, but wears off overnight. I usually spritz 2-3 sprays over my pillow and pjs and it helps put me in a zen space!
Even if you’re still in the first trimester I’d recommend buying a pregnancy pillow. I found mine to be an absolute lifesaver! I asked a lot of friends who had recently had kids for their top recommendations, and the BBHugMe Pregnancy Body Pillow came out on top.
It’s pricier than many, and I don’t think I would have dived straight in and bought it if I hadn’t had SO many personal recommendations. It is amazing though. It’s been developed by Scandinavian health professionals and offers 5-point firm full body support for your belly, pelvis, lower back, knees, and ankles. It’s filled with tiny beads, a bit like a beanbag.
I’ve found it particularly useful for side-sleeping – something that didn’t come naturally to me at first. Lots of people use it for breast feeding too, as you can prop it around your waist to support your baby or behind your head to prop you up. I can’t see that I’ll be kicking it out of bed anytime soon (although my partner is getting jealous of it!!)
I’ve always used sleep masks on my travels (great for flights!) but now I’m finding myself reaching for it a lot at home too. My partner often stays up a little later than me, so it’s the best way to create a really dark environment, while he keeps a side light on.
I’ve tried several over the years, but this one is my new favourite. It’s very padded but contours around my face neatly, blocking out all light. The strap around the back feels comfortable and secures firmly, so it doesn’t slip as you dose off.
Another great item to have within easy reach are a pair of earplugs. I’m not a very deep sleeper and find I get woken by small noises. Sometimes it’s just something like a car driving past or a fox in the garden!
I’ve tried several types of ear plugs over the years. I had a really expensive set that had different additions to match the shape of your ear, another set that were made of a putty-like substance that you mould into shape, and of course those squishy foam ones you get free on flights.
However, these noise cancelling silicon ear plugs are my favourites. They really do eliminate all sound and they sit really snugly in my ears. They’re comfortable and usually stay in all night too. There are also some available that are attached to a string, so they’re easier to find in the morning if they do fall out!
This was a bit of a game changer for me. So much so, I’ve added it into my night time routine. Each evening I brew a strong cup of chamomile tea and have it around 1 hour before going to bed (after all you don’t want to be needing the loo as soon as you climb under the covers!)
Chamomile tea has a mild natural sedative effect that is known for helping to induce sleep. It’s not just about helping you nod off either, it’s supposed to help improve sleep quality in general. There are lots of brands you can choose from, but the Teapigs brand is my favourite. Rather than simple tea leaves, this one has whole flowers which makes the flavour more intense (and the quality of sleep better!)
If you’re a bath lover like me, then no doubt you’ve been having lots to help encourage relaxation while suffering from pregnancy insomnia. I’ve woken up at 4 or 5am and after a few hours tossing and turning, given up and run a lovely warm bath around 6am!
This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak bath salts are absolutely amazing! The scent is so relaxing and the tub lasts a long time as you only need a small handful each time. The chamomile, vetivert and lavender fragrance is so relaxing and helps ease aches and pains too. Just light a few candles and you’ll be feeling stress-free in no time.
NEOM make the most stylish home diffusers around. This one also works as a nightlight, and has a special breathing mode to help you relax (you breathe in time with the light as it dims).
There are a selection of fragrances to choose from. For relaxation or as a sleep aid I’d recommend trying the Bedtime Hero (Chamomile, Ylang Ylang and Cedarwood) or the Moment of Calm (Wild Rose and Neroli). They both smell like gorgeous spas, and definitely bring feelings of rest.
This is one item I haven’t bought yet, but I’m considering buying. I’ve read lots of great reviews too. It’s essentially a comfortable headband that has ultra-thin Bluetooth headphones built into the ear area.
One thing I’ve found very helpful during bouts of pregnancy insomnia is listening to meditation podcasts or relaxing music. The part that’s annoying is that I have wires from earphones getting in the way, or if I use my Bluetooth earbuds, they dig in when I’m sleeping on my side.
This genius sleep band looks like it could solve all of those issues! Definitely one for me to add to my list to try soon.
I only started taking these sporadically in my second trimester, but I wish I’d started earlier! It’s not vital to take a supplement, as you can make dietary changes that might do the job. It’s suggested you need anywhere from 350 to 400 milligrams of magnesium every day while you’re pregnant.
Some studies have shown it to improve sleep quality in pregnancy, particularly if you find that restless-legs syndrome is one of the causes. It comes in capsule form, and many believe the better option for pregnancy is Magnesium Glycinate as it doesn’t give digestive discomfort. As with any supplements, I’d always suggest speaking to your doctor or midwife first!
Do you have a mattress topper on your bed? I’ve struggled with side sleeping as it often feels like there’s such a huge weight bearing down on my hip and pelvis. Even with a comfortable mattress, there are extra measures you can take to improve your sleep sanctuary.
There are several types of mattress topper around, some with gel inside, others with foam. The Inofia Sleep King is one of the best around right now, and it has a particular focus on relieving pressure.
Another great addition to your slumber zone is a selection of relaxing candles. I just got given this set for my birthday and it’s lovely!
The key ingredient is lavender, known for its sleep-inducing qualities! There’s also fragrant ylang ylang, geranium and chamomile. These candles are ideal for anyone suffering from sleep deprivation or high stress levels.
I really hope my list of insomnia sleep aids comes in handy. It’s a challenging time, but things will get better! If I discover any additional products, I’ll be sure to add them to this list too.