Fresh Start

in All Posts

Good morning!  I guess we’re really back to normal today, huh?


HELP!  I wake up around 3 – 4 AM and toss and turn for the remainder of the night. I’ve been doing this for 10 long weeks, but I can’t take it anymore.  I actually cried yesterday because I was so tired – total meltdown.  I’ve tried nearly everything that I can think of except over-the-counter sleep medication, which I’d like to avoid even if it’s deemed ‘safe’ for pregnancy…. Do any mommas out there have a solution?  (I’m going to ask my midwife, too.)


Now that my exhaustion rant is over, let’s check out breakfast:


Mmm. Grilled pear. Almost as good as grilled banana.  Almost.  Stuffed in between slices of French toast and a little brown sugar.


Achieve Your Goals in 2012


A new year, a fresh start.  Got to love the optimism and hope that comes along with January 1.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite top posts that relate to fitness goals or setting achievable resolutions. 


How to Select Your Next (or First) Race

How to Not Hate Your Long Workouts

Wait Until January 7th

Cures for Sluggish Runs


Viewing Motivation in a Positive Light

Achieve the Impossible: Goal Setting

How to Set Race Goals (and Not Drive Yourself Crazy) Part I and Part II

So You Want to Run a Half Marathon and How to Walk a Half Marathon

5 Common Training FAQs


Give Triathlons a Try and Triathlon FAQs

How to Get – And Stay – Motivated

Getting Over an Exercise or Healthy Eating Slump

How to Set (And Actually Achieve) New Year’s Resolutions

Triathalon Relay 001

Whatever your vision for 2012, I hope you have a HEALTHY and HAPPY year!



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 2, 2012, 10:05 am

    Don’t worry Caitlin, I’ve cried a few times out of sheer exhaustion, and I’m not even pregnant!! I also love the optimism and inspiration that new years bring, and I’m feeling especially motivated this year! I hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂

  • Sarah January 2, 2012, 10:07 am

    I just got a Snoogle pregnancy pillow and it has helped a lot. I was doing the same kind of thing before and now I sleep for longer stretches and wake up more comfortable and rested. It’s a bit pricey (~$60) but worth it.

    • CaitlinHTP January 2, 2012, 10:18 am

      I’ve heard such great things about the Snoogle but the $60 price tag scares me a lot.

      • Jennifer @ Happiness Here January 2, 2012, 10:56 am

        I got a body pillow from Target for ten bucks, and I am sleeping soooo much better. I’m a little ahead of you (twenty weeks), but I’ve had the same sleep problems since the beginning of the pregnancy. The body pillow really helps!

  • HRCK the Herald January 2, 2012, 10:10 am

    I don’t know how true this actually is, but whenever I was a kid and couldn’t sleep, my mom would tell me not to freak out but just to lie in bed and relax, because resting like that is just as nice as sleep. I find that when I stress about not being able to sleep and get myself all worked up, it only becomes harder to pass out. Framing not being able to actually sleep as still a good opportunity for rest/relaxation helps me a lot!

    • JessicaE January 2, 2012, 1:18 pm

      My momma said this too <3

  • Diana @ Sneakers2Sandals January 2, 2012, 10:10 am

    Since I just started reading your blog I was so happy to see this post this morning. I can’t wait to waste/enjoy some hours today reading those posts!

    • CaitlinHTP January 2, 2012, 10:17 am

      🙂 Thanks Diana

  • Dani January 2, 2012, 10:11 am

    I’m not pregnant, but I have had my fair share of sleepless nights. If I really am tossing and turning in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, I will stop trying to sleep and do something else, usually go into another room and read for a while. Once I get through a few pages, I realize that my eyes are heavy and I AM tired, and its time to go into bed and fall asleep all over again. Its like if you keep tossing and trying really hard to sleep, it will never happen but if you literally give up and go to do something else instead, sleep will creep up on you.

    Hope this helps!

    • CaitlinHTP January 2, 2012, 10:18 am

      I need a really boring book 🙂 Hehe

  • Betsy January 2, 2012, 10:12 am

    Have you tried taking melatonin? I’m not sure about whether or not it’s recommended during pregnancy, but it’s just a supplement of the hormone your body produces on its own to help you fall asleep.

    • CaitlinHTP January 2, 2012, 10:19 am

      I am def going to ask about melatonin during pregnancy tomorrow at my appointment!

  • HilaryJo January 2, 2012, 10:13 am

    Not pregnant, but a couple things have helped me sleep through the night!! (used to be a terrible sleeper): yoga before bed helps me fall asleep, if I wake up in the night and dont fall right back asleep, getting up and reading helps me! (in not too bright light, and not a computer). If I think I may fall right back asleep, I try to relax my body, especially my neck and face!

    Of course, these may not work for you, half the advice people used to give to me kept me up later as I worried!! I hope you feel better 😉

  • Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 2, 2012, 10:17 am

    Happy New Year to you! You certainly have a very exciting year ahead!

  • Ursula January 2, 2012, 10:18 am

    You don’t need to be pregnant to have that problem Caitlin.

    I’m not pregnant and I cry every night between 1 am and 4 am…I then proceed through each day in absolute exhaustion.

    I really love that bread (I bought it for something “new”). The slices are so small , I have to eat 3 at a time per meal (my sister eats only one at a time…”carb phobe”…whatever).

  • Laine January 2, 2012, 10:19 am

    I had really bad insomnia for a while. Yoga and acupuncture really helped. Also cutting back on computer/phone time towards bed time helped. Over the counter sleep aids did nothing for me.

  • Leah January 2, 2012, 10:19 am

    I’m sure you are watching your caffeine intake, but when I was pregnant (and now nursing as well) I tried to stop any caffeine after 1 pm. If I had any after that I couldn’t get sleep at all. There were a few nights I took Benadryl to help me settle to sleep and that really helped…and I felt better about that than other sleep aids.

    Hope you get some rest!

  • Rachel Starr January 2, 2012, 10:20 am

    Insomnia seems to be pretty common among me & my friends too. Try popping a benedryl. Works every time! Be patient though, my insomnia did go away after a while. The benedryl helped my body “reset” & put my mind at ease. So much of my insomnia is tied to anxiety.

  • Karen January 2, 2012, 10:25 am

    I don’t know what your midwife will recommend, but I have been taking melatonin each night to help with sleep. Now I only wake up to go to the bathroom but I have no problem falling back asleep. You would think that being pregnant would keep us asleep, not awake 🙂

  • EMily January 2, 2012, 10:26 am

    Unfortunately, it is part of pregnancy. Here I am at 37 weeks, still waking up at least once a night (or more) for nightly trips to the potty. Two things. First, a little bit further into your second trimester you may experience a little boost in energy…I know I did. Second, make certain you are guzzling water like a camel!! Dehydration can make you feel even more sleepy and since you have a flexible schedule, you may want to consider scheduling in naps. They will greatly improve your mood! Hang in there.

  • Ellen January 2, 2012, 10:31 am

    I am a former insomniac. I now take magnesium glycinate (other forms may give you the runs) and 3 amino acids (5-HTP, L-Theanine and GABA) and have never slept better in my life. These are very safe to take during pregnancy, and almost all Americans are deficient in magnesium so it helps replenish your stores while giving you a good nights sleep. I really recommend it as a natural way to sleep better.

    • Ellen January 2, 2012, 10:32 am

      I should add, magnesium deficiency is implicated in anxiety, restless leg syndrome, etc. All things that can wake you up at night.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon January 2, 2012, 10:36 am

    Mmm…I love throwing fruit on the griddle with my french toast. Such a great breakfast! Pear’s actually my favorite to eat that way!!
    And thanks for posting those triathlon links! I’d really really like to do one this year!

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 2, 2012, 10:39 am

    I really do want to learn to *really ride a bike. I fell off a lot as a kid and haven’t been back on one that wasn’t attached firmly to the ground. I am a great swimmer, and a decent runner, but a biker I am not.

  • Christy January 2, 2012, 10:41 am

    Sorry to hear you are experiencing such restless nights! But you might as well be prepared for when the baby comes and you only sleep an hour(?) at a time. And there will be lots of crying involved from the lack of sleep. Don’t be surprised. No one ever really explained that to me so I was not prepared for that. I am sure your doctor will have some great advice. Hang in there and good luck!

  • Sarah January 2, 2012, 10:55 am

    Not pregnant, but I’ve had insomnia for years, and I recently found something that works for me! It’s and iPhone app called “Ultimate Hypnosis by Glenn Harrold.” Sounds scary, but it’s really just a try deep meditation. One of the recordings on the app is called “Instant Sleep.” At first when I started using it, it only worked (put me to sleep) sometimes, but now it works almost all the time. I think that’s the hypnosis aspect; he says that it will make you fall asleep every time, and after hearing that over and over, you internalize the message, and really do! Now, I don’t know if it works for everyone (I happen to know that I am susceptible to hypnosis). Also, it means falling asleep with earbuds or headphones (unless you’re totally alone and can play it out loud), which some people don’t like, but I’ve never had and issue with it, and it has saved my life this year!

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Downloaded! Gonna try this tonight. Thank you!

      • Adrienne January 2, 2012, 4:39 pm

        Thanks Sarah, I’m going to download this too. As I wrote on your FB, I find that the relaxation techniques learned in our Hypnobirthing classes have really helped me sleep, that really deep and rested sleep. We were given a guided relaxation track which I use to put me to sleep, or if I have a 20 min nap-time – get up super refreshed. Look forward to trying this Instant Sleep one too!

      • Sarah January 3, 2012, 1:29 pm

        Hope it worked for you!

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 2, 2012, 10:57 am

    Happy New Yeat Caitlin! I am so looking forward to this year. I have set my goals with plans to achieve them. I’m not really a resolution person, I like well planned goals. Breakfast looks amazing. Good luck with the sleep problems. My kids are 13 and almost 11…I still don’t sleep well at night. I’ve studied about zinc, magnesium and phosphatidylserine. I need to give these a try. I’m not sure if they are safe if you’re pregnant though. I’m curious to know what your midwife says.

  • ash January 2, 2012, 10:58 am

    maybe ask your dr if bach’s rescue remedy is safe for preg women. I use if when I wake in the middle of the night for anxiety/insomnia! hang in there!!!

    • Isabella January 2, 2012, 12:07 pm

      It totally is! I have been doing some research on the Bach Rescue Remedies and might buy the stress one (high school!!!).

  • Gina January 2, 2012, 11:00 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    34 weeks pregnant and had the same thing since the second trimester. It really sucks, but the best thing to do is avoid getting on your iphone or kindle when you can’t fall back to sleep. I have found eating a snack and then reading a “real” magazine or a book does the trick. I am up usually only for a half hour or so vs. hours… Good luck!!

  • Laura January 2, 2012, 11:06 am

    If you don’t have a Snoogle, get one! I am 28 weeks pregnant and just got one for Christmas and it has transformed my sleep. Seriously. Get. One.

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 1:00 pm

      I think I need to get one of these things…

  • Ann January 2, 2012, 11:18 am

    Pregnancy insomnia is no joke, I’ve had it the entire time. Sadly I have no helpful hints, I relied heavily on my naps and warned people to steer clear the rest of the time.

  • Katie January 2, 2012, 11:21 am

    Sorry about the sleeplessness. All these little difficulties during pregnancy are sometimes so unexpected. And it’s almost like you’re getting a primer for having a newborn. So, having been there my advice would be to stop fighting being awake at that time of night. But to figure out when in the day you can make up for that sleep. Can you get some work done in the middle of the night? And go to bed early? Or take a long nap. Pregnancy and having an infant is all about adjusting to the new albeit temporary reality you’re in! Food luck. It won’t be forever. Promise.

  • Chelsea @ Go Chelsea Go! January 2, 2012, 11:24 am

    I hear you about the exhaustion! Although I am not pregnant, I’ve been having ridiculous insomnia the past week. What works for me is turning on the sound machine app on my phone, and listening to the ‘rain’ or ‘waves.’ I wish I was one of those people who could just read a book, but whenever I try that, I just become engrossed in the book (and then I never fall asleep)!

  • Natalie January 2, 2012, 11:36 am

    Yep you are pregnant. I had horrible morning sickness with both my kids and also at the end of pregnancy #1 I also had huge sleep issues- you described perfectly above. I ended up taking 1/2 tab unisom nightly and that helped both sleep and nausea/vomiting. Also, go ahead and cry. It may allow you to relax.

  • Emily January 2, 2012, 11:37 am

    Hi! I don’t have any mummy tips having never been pregnant, but insomnia is something I do know. Mine is steroid induced and typically means I wake up randomly during the night and struggle to sleep. At its worse I literally sleep in 20 minute chunks and then wonder how I’m still alive come morning.

    My biggest tip is to figure out what is keeping you awake. My usual issue is a racing mind which jumps from one thing to another and doesn’t let me switch off. My best solution is relaxing music. I get something on in my headphones and force myself to count the bass line (I focus on that to push out the racing thoughts). You could also try those white noise apps, which I have heard good things about.

    If you’re worrying about things, or remembering things to do the next day, keep a notepad by the bed and write things down. That gets them out of your head and you can promise yourself to deal with them tomorrow, and so relax more. I often find myself thinking about what I’m going to eat, who I want to speak to, who I want to email (racing minds are ridiculous) so I write it down and tell myself to shut up.

    My other two tips are: any light wakes you up more. If you have to get up in the night to pee, try to do it without putting lights on. Don’t put your phone etc on, as the light from the screen will start waking you up too. Lastly, while its usually best to get right back into bed and shut your eyes, if you’ve been awake awhile and it doesn’t look like the end is in sight get up, go sit and have a glass of water (in the dark?) let yourself be a bit frustrated, then calm down and go back to bed with whatever strategy you choose.

    Oh! And try not to accept you may have some awake time for a little while. Being frustrated about it makes it worse: aim for calm. I haven’t slept through a night in months, but the disruption now is usually less than ten minutes once or twice a night which isn’t too hard to deal with.

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 12:59 pm

      These are awesome tips, Emily. Thank you!

  • Georgia January 2, 2012, 11:42 am

    1. buy the pregnancy boppy pillow for your belly.. wonderful
    2. make naps your new best friend
    3. I know this is awful but… I think it’s God’s way of preparing you for baby.. I am a SUPER heavy sleeper and was just like you in pregnancy. We’re now almost 6 months into our sweety and it was TOTAL PREPARATION…. No longer a heavy sleeper here.. (boo).

  • Tami January 2, 2012, 11:42 am

    I had a boppie pills for pregnant woman. I forget the exact name, but I could only describe it as the shape of a paisley, or half of a Yin-yang sign. After I got that I had no troubles, in fact after our daughter was born my husband had to pry that pillow from our bed! I loved that thing!

    • Tami January 2, 2012, 8:38 pm

      OMG! I just saw I put boppie pills!!! lol! I might pillow! I hope you realized that!

  • Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life January 2, 2012, 11:48 am

    You sound like me with the pregnancy and sleeping issue. I totally had a meltdown yesterday too and just started crying out of the blue becuase I am so tired. I would try getting a body pillow (one helped me a little bit with back and hip pain that was keeping me awake). That is the only thing that has helped me a bit. I have a problem waking up at 1:30am and then tossing and turning the remainder of the night. My brain is constantly filled with baby thoughts that keep me up and things I need to get done before she is here. Also if you have flexibility to nap during the day, do it. I would love to tell you it gets better later in pregnancy but I’m 35 weeks and still sleep deprived.

  • Kathleen Ojo @ Onward; Inward January 2, 2012, 11:48 am

    I’m 10 weeks pregnant and experiencing the same thing! Which is weird, because I used to take FOREVER to fall asleep, but then be out like a light for the rest of the night. Now, I fall asleep instantly, but wake up like clockwork at 4am and toss and turn the rest of the night. So annoying. I haven’t found a solution yet, but know that you’re not alone!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats January 2, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Sorry I can’t help, I’ve been like that off and on for years and I’m not even pregnant!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 2, 2012, 12:14 pm

    seriously, CHEERS to a happy and healthy 2012!!! SO stoked for a good new year 🙂

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition January 2, 2012, 12:17 pm

    When i am having an endless loop of sleepless nights, I take a benedryl one or two nights in a row. My mom’s doctor recommended it when I was having sleep issues in high school, and it really does help. I know you want to avoid OTC sleep aids, but talk to your doctor and see if taking one for a few days could help. I’d rather exhaust all my natural options and then go to an OTC something for sleep instead of being exhausted to the point of tears for days on end.

  • faith January 2, 2012, 12:21 pm

    I totally relate to the crying out of tiredness thing, I had insomnia for 8 years! This is probably preaching to the choir, but one of the few things that seemed to help at all was acupuncture! Best wishes for some rest, I know that lack of sleep makes everything in life challenging!

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 12:58 pm

      I need to do more acupuncture. Having an acupuncturist husband is kind of like living next to the ocean.. you’d think that i’d always be at the beach but i never go 🙂

      • faith January 2, 2012, 1:08 pm

        I know, I’ll go days with a backache or stiff neck before remembering that my chiropractor husband can fix me right up!

  • Emily January 2, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Good luck with sleep. I obviously don’t know yet (as I have not been pregnant before) but I would guess it is going to get worse before it gets better!

    On the positive side, your breakfast looks delicious!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 2, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I was the same way with sleep while pregnant. Usually I would fall asleep just fine but then wake at 2 or 3 a.m. and could not fall back to sleep. All I can say is that it got much better as the pregnancy progressed. Then it returned about a month before my due date. Try to take naps if you can during the day. There were days that I would come home from work at 5 pm, nap for an hour, then go about the rest of the night. It really helped with fatigue. Good luck!

  • Khushboo January 2, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Sorry I can’t offer much help but have you tried the standard tricks like warm milk/chamomile tea before bed?

  • JenRD January 2, 2012, 12:49 pm

    I feel your pain! And the LAST thing I wanted to hear if I ever mentioned difficulty sleeping when I was pregnant was “oh, it’s nature’s way of preparing you for sleepless nights when the baby is born.” Grrr.
    However, I really do feel that my boppy pregnancy body pillow worked wonders, especially since Iw as a back sleeper, and after about 20 weeks you are supposed to sleep on your side. The $50 price tag is hefty, but I figure if you divide that up by the number of nights you have left in your pregnancy, it is pennies per day for better sleep!

    I have also heard that lavender helps, so I use a lavender body lotion on my hands before going to sleep.

    Sweet dreams!

  • Shannon @ Mon Amour January 2, 2012, 12:50 pm

    So sorry to hear about your trouble sleeping. I am a mess if I can’t sleep. I’m really glad you posted all those links- I’m getting into triathlons this year so they are very helpful!

  • Natalie @fitjamericangirl January 2, 2012, 12:58 pm

    I’m not pregnant so I can’t account for pregnancy hormones but I have suffered from abnormal sleep patterns for stretches of time. A few things have really helped and been my saving grace. The first and surprisingly most effective is that corny relaxing music that’s designed to help you fall asleep. You can find tons of that stuff on youtube. The second is hot milk or tea and the third and final resort is to read. I feel like your brain just gets really tuckered out when you read while tired and you will eventually just go to sleep.
    Good luck!

  • Marie January 2, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Right now, I’d kill to get as much sleep as you’re getting! Just wait until the baby’s born. Only then will you know true exhaustion. =D

  • JessicaE January 2, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I’m 11 1/2 weeks pregnant and I have had a couple sleepless nights as well. I know you don’t like the idea of over the counter stuff, but my midwife recommended half a Unisom to aid with both sleep and nausea. Its 100% perfectly safe. I was a tiny bit skeptical at first, but she reminded me that sleep deprivation and the stress that comes along with it isn’t good for you or your baby either.

    Other than that, I would reccomend getting a relaxing bedtime routine going: a hot bath, some hot Sleepy Time or chamomile tea, reading in bed, then lights out. I have also had success counting backwards by 100 if its racing thoughts keeping me awake.

    Also, once you can sleep, I know I tend to get more and more anxious about it. Sometimes it actually helps to just get up and get out of bed. Eat a little snack with warm milk, or drink a hot drink. Unwind more and then return to bed. Once your bed is a stressful stress it can be hard to get back to sleep in that spot. Perhaps try snoozing for a bit on the couch.

    Good luck little mama.

    • JessicaE January 2, 2012, 1:17 pm

      Also once you can’t**** sleep. 🙂

  • Kristin January 2, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Hope you and your family (including the unborn), have a healthy, happy New Year too! Thank you for your consistent and wonderful blogging efforts!
    It is wonderful to be able to follow your journey everyday!

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 1:33 pm

      Thank you Kristin!

  • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs January 2, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Awe I’m sorry about your sleeping issues! My mom had the same thing while she was pregnant and still wakes up SO early. I think it has to be hormonal. I hope that you find something that works for you. When I can’t sleep I pop on a show I’ve seen a million times like 30 Rock or something and I’m usually out within an episode or 2 🙂 I think the key is to get into a routine and stick to it. Maybe only a 30 min nap if you need one but other than that try for going to bed and waking up at the same time.

  • Molly January 2, 2012, 1:35 pm

    I am sure 50 something people have already said this but….get used to it. It taught me to take naps which I was NEVER able to do before. I was glad I had that down when the baby was born.

  • Erica January 2, 2012, 1:41 pm

    I didn’t read the other commenters so I apologize if this is a repeat. Could you be hungry or thirsty? Right when I transitioned into second trimester I started waking up in the middle of the night and tossing around for about an hour. One night I got bored and so I went to eat some toast or something and get a drink of water. I fell back asleep instantly! When you wake up, try getting out of bed and getting a drink or eating something small and see if that helps. Hunger hits at weird times when you are pregnant, so maybe it’s waking you up!

    • Erica January 2, 2012, 1:42 pm

      And this reminds me of a cute story my grandma told me over christmas break. She said that when she was pregnant with my dad, she would wake up every night to eat a cheddar cheese and bell pepper sandwich with spicy brown mustard. Every night for the last 6 months of her pregnancy. Isn’t that the cutest?

  • Janelle January 2, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Dr. recommended, I would mash 1/2 a melatonin into some tea and drink before bed. I also used this with some luck:
    (really, just a magnesium supplement)

    And..I found that often when I woke up, I was hungry! I never wanted to eat at 3 a.m., but once I gave in and had a bowl of cereal or pb on a banana, I would fall back asleep. Baby needed food! Eating probably worked better than melatonin and the Mama Calm.

  • stephanie January 2, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Yuck – I feel for you. With my first pregnancy, I was awake during that same timeframe every night. The second time around, I have been sleeping better. Trying not to nap during the day seems to have helped me sleep better at night – easier said than done I know! There are some great suggestions here, so I hope you find something that helps you.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 2, 2012, 2:41 pm

    I don’t have time to read through the comments so someone else may have suggested this buttt… have you tried melatonin? One of my good friends has really good luck using it to help her sleep and I’m pretty sure it’s natural. Good luck. Not sleeping SUCKS!

  • Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine January 2, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Awww, so sorry you’re feeling tired. Maybe try foods that up your melatonin levels? 🙂

  • nancy January 2, 2012, 2:59 pm

    My guess is that your blood sugar is getting low and waking you up. Try some warm milk or cereal and milk before bed and see if that helps. Even though you are sleeping your body is still working awfully hard to make that baby. Maybe a little extra nutritional support before bed will get you through the night.

  • Heather January 2, 2012, 3:08 pm

    great posts! I hope you get to sleeping through the night soon! maybe just preparation for mommy hood?

  • Allison January 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    I made french toast with grilled bananas [with a touch of agave syrup] for my Dear this morning- he loved it! I haven’t grilled bananas in so long, must start doing it again… They taste like sugar!

  • Amber K January 2, 2012, 3:30 pm

    I cried out of exhaustion last night too. My sleep schedule is totally off, and I’m not even pregnant!

    I hope you can find a great solution.

  • Kelli January 2, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I come from a huge family, and have often heard discussions of the “first and third trimester sleeping blues.” Not a terribly catchy name, but it lets you know you’re not a lone. A couple of tips from the cousins and aunts:

    -You may have to sleep alone for a while. Women who are normally heavy sleepers can be more easily disrupted during pregnancy, and having a room to yourself may be extremely beneficial in getting you a good night’s sleep.
    -Avoid exercise and liquids for two hours before bed. If you drink a nightly cup of tea, try switching to a calming bath with essential oils like chamomile or lavender.
    -Remove any lighted screens or clocks from your bedroom and try blackout curtains for any windows. Even the littlest light may begin to bother you during pregnancy.
    -Start sleeping on your left side. This is often the most comfortable position starting in the second trimester, as well as being a great position for baby to absorb nutrients and you to digest properly.
    -Make sure you’re eating enough during the day. You may be underestimating the calories you need, which can cause subtle hunger pains that wake you up.
    -Institute a strict sleeping schedule, never varying from your bedtime.
    -You absolutely NEED to nap if your work schedule permits. High levels of progesterone will affect your ability to function without sleepiness during the day. The same hormone that makes you sleepy during the day can cause sleeplessness at night, so your afternoon nap can be a savior when you wake up at 3 and 4 am. (This is a piece of advice from my dad–he’s an anesthesiologist and works with a lot of OBGYNs.)

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 10:02 pm

      This is sooo helpful. thank you Kelli!

      • Kelli January 4, 2012, 7:11 pm

        No problem! Glad you found a method that works for you. There are few things as frustrating as not being able to sleep 🙂

  • Carrie @ No More Tomorrows January 2, 2012, 4:29 pm

    The same thing happened to me and I just figured out a way to tire myself back to sleep. It became routine. I got up and peed. Then got water. And then I would read or watch TV. I was awake for maybe 15 minutes and I would be back to sleep.

  • Army Amy* January 2, 2012, 5:06 pm

    Does melatonin count as sleep medication? I take it to sleep every now and then since my husband deployed. It’s really gentle and I never feel groggy.*

  • ErikaMC January 2, 2012, 5:30 pm

    I was super tired in the beginning of my pregnancy too. I was told to take Benadryl but didn’t want to. Soon enough I was able to sleep.

  • Samantha January 2, 2012, 5:49 pm

    You might try progressive relaxation. Unfortunately its not immediate, it can take up to 2 weeks for the mind and muscles to automatically go to a relaxed state when your body tenses up but it’s something to try.

  • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 6:23 pm

    Thanks for the link to half marathon training! That is one of my goals for the upcoming year. Happy New Year!

  • JJ January 2, 2012, 6:32 pm

    Have you ever heard of drinking cherry juice to aid with falling and staying asleep? I know you would prefer natural remedies, so thought I would share this with you. I’m not sure what the secret ingredient is, but I know a few friends who had it recommended to them by nutritionists/docs and they swear by it. It’s very concentrated and kind of expensive, but you only take a tablespoon or so each night. Might be worth a try!

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 10:02 pm

      Interesting! I would think the sugar would wake you up. I will look into this.

  • Amanda January 2, 2012, 8:04 pm

    That sounds really frustrating! Have you tried any relaxing tea blends from teavana? The lavender dreams one has candied lavender in it.

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 10:01 pm


  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) January 2, 2012, 8:16 pm

    Oh, sweetie…I wish I had the answer for you. Hormones are stinky during this part of pregnancy. I resorted to taking medication to help me sleep and let me tell you even that did nothing! I ended up just suffering through it and napping during the day if I could. Hormone induced insomnia is crazy.

    I will pray for you though! I had 3 children at the time (including 2 of 3 that were newly adopted from Detroit) and I was a zombie for a few months till it went away!

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 10:01 pm

      thank you 🙂 i think prayers will help! LOL

  • Caroline Leigh January 2, 2012, 9:11 pm

    caitlin – it looks like you’ve been given some good advice here, but i have to tell you in case you don’t know about it – ‘5HTP’ is a life saver for me when i can’t sleep. the trick for me is i have to relax when i take it. if i allow my mind to race/worry that i won’t fall asleep, it doesn’t work as well. i’m assuming it’s savfe to take while pregnant, but obviously check on that!

    • Caitlin January 2, 2012, 9:52 pm

      I will ask Kristien about this – we sell it at the clinic!

  • tina January 2, 2012, 10:30 pm

    Sadly, I think it’s preggo hormones. For 4 weeks before I realized I was pregnant, I had the same experience–typically from 2am-4 or 5 am. It went away in the second trimester, but basically I dealt with it by building naps into my schedule and getting out of bed and reading for a little bit. Perhaps it’s the body preparing for those late night feedings!

  • ali January 3, 2012, 10:38 am

    I felt like stretching every night before bed (especially my hips) was key. I also got this foam one inch pad for the bed that made it more comfortable for me. I think it was $40 at target? I think what it was for me was that I was slightly uncomfortable all over so that was just enough to keep me awake so it was a matter of making myself really comfortable. Friends have used body pillows (cheap at target) although that didn’t do much for me. There is also this “Earth Mama, Angel Baby” tea that worked sometimes. And strangely enough a warm glass of milk worked for me a number of times. I have heard there is some sort of chemical thing that happens to milk when it warms although I can’t remember the source so it could be bologna.

  • Amy January 3, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I’m just a few weeks ahead of you and I wake up around that time too- and usually at least two other times (regardless of how much I drink, I always have to pee). I try not to stress too much and instead day dream about who the baby will be or what it’s doing in my belly. It totally sucks but the only thing that has helped me is to go to bed earlier and to nap on the weekends (I won’t take medicine either). I hope it improves for you!

  • liz January 3, 2012, 4:06 pm

    I highly recommend some kind of body pillow – it is the only thing that gets me a full night of sleep.

  • Sig January 4, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Happy New Year to you and ur bubs as well!

    Thanks for all the motivation and resolution posts. Have been reading them to help me stay on track this year (I have a terrible habit of breaking my goals!).

    I even did a vision board (that’s when you can tell I’m getting serious :P). Hope the sleeping gets better as well!

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point