Third trimester pregnancy, tips to overcome tiredness and insomnia

Five tips against fatigue and insomnia

Slow down the pace: at least now that the pregnancy is coming to an end, indulge in softer work rhythms, less fatigue, less stress.

Follow healthy food hygiene: in the evening, consume light food, without alcohol and caffeine, and avoid going to bed immediately after a meal.

Ok to all the relaxing strategies: it is perfectly fine to indulge in an afternoon nap, while in the evening yes to all the quiet activities, such as a reading, a walk or a bit of television (no lively movies though!).

Yes also to mildly sedative herbal teas, such as valerian, while discussed is the use of melatonin, so before using it it is advisable to discuss it with the gynecologist.

Medicines only when needed. In particularly serious cases, the doctor may evaluate the need to prescribe the use, albeit at low doses, of pharmacological sedatives of the benzodiazepine group and, in the most serious cases in which a depressive component is present, of antidepressants such as paroxetine.

Finally, always talk to your doctor: sometimes a soothing word from the right person is the best natural sedative!

(Consultation by Simona Boito, Level I Manager at the Obstetric-Gynecological Clinic in our city)

Why this fatigue at the end of pregnancy? Hormones, but not only

“From the earliest stages, pregnancy determines important changes in sleep, circadian rhythms, sleep-wake rhythms and dream activity” explains Simona Boito, Level I Manager at the Obstetric-Gynecological Clinic in our city.

“These changes are due in part to the changed hormonal environment, but above all to changes in the brain regions that regulate sleep-wake rhythms and to circadian changes in body temperature.

If in the first trimester a feeling of tiredness and drowsiness dominates, mainly due to the rise in progesterone levels, in the second half of pregnancy it is above all insomnia during pregnancy that afflicts most future mothers, affecting the necessary night rest ".

Pregnancy insomnia is due to the change of the body ...

There are several factors that contribute to determining insomnia at the end of pregnancy: "In addition to hormonal and neuronal factors, it is necessary to consider the anatomical-functional changes of the third trimester, namely the encumbrance of the uterine volume, the compression of the fetus on the chest that it involves respiratory problems, the difficulty in finding the ideal position for sleep, the urgency and frequency of urination, which leads to getting up several times during the night ”continues the gynecologist.

… And also to anxiety and fatigue accumulated during the day

  • To the factors listed above, continues Boito, "are added the state of anxiety related to childbirth, plus the stress and fatigue that accumulate during the day, especially for mothers who have other children to care for or for those who continue to work. until the term of pregnancy.
  • In some cases, sleep is disturbed by congestion of the rhino-or-pharyngeal mucous membranes, which cause snoring, or the nocturnal fits of apnea, a true respiratory disease that mainly affects overweight and diabetic pregnant women.


    Even the increased dream activity can disturb sleep, especially if, as usually happens in future mothers, dreams have an obsessive character of childhood memories or generic nightmares but above all relating to the fetus and the newborn.


  • Another condition that strongly interferes with falling asleep is the so-called "restless legs syndrome", which can occur especially after excessive physical activity during the day.
  • Considering the numerous factors that intervene, concludes Boito, “pregnancy insomnia should not be considered a trivial disorder but can cause not negligible consequences for the health of the pregnant woman and the fetus. Numerous studies show, for example, that snoring and apnea attacks are risk factors for pregnancy pathologies such as diabetes and hypertension. Furthermore, the serious and chronic deprivation of sleep in the final part of pregnancy can influence the establishment of a serene psycho-affective mother-infant relationship ".


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