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Excessive Sleeping During Pregnancy: When To Be Concerned?

Updated: May 20, 2023

excessive sleeping during pregnancy

Pregnancy is an extraordinary journey that brings joy, anticipation, and, for many women, a host of unexpected physical and emotional changes. From morning sickness to cravings, each trimester presents its unique set of challenges and experiences. Among these changes, one particular phenomenon often catches expectant mothers by surprise: excessive sleep during pregnancy.

While many women associate pregnancy with fatigue and an increased need for rest, some find themselves grappling with an overwhelming desire to sleep more than usual. This intriguing phenomenon has captured the curiosity of medical professionals, researchers, and soon-to-be mothers alike. In this article, we will delve into the science behind sleep patterns during pregnancy, shedding light on the factors that contribute to excessive sleepiness.

We will also examine the potential impact on the overall well-being of expectant mothers and offer practical tips for managing this excessive need for sleep. Whether you're an expectant mother seeking answers or someone intrigued by the wonders of pregnancy, this article will provide valuable insights into a relatively lesser-known aspect of the prenatal journey. Moreover, Pink Orchid offers luxurious prenatal massages in the comfort of your home in Pune.

Table Of Contents

How Many Hours Should A Pregnant Woman Sleep?

During pregnancy, it is important for women to prioritize sleep as it plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. The amount of sleep needed can vary from person to person, but on average, most pregnant women require around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, individual needs may differ based on factors such as overall health, pregnancy stage, and personal comfort.

Pregnancy can bring about physical discomfort, hormonal changes, and increased fatigue, which may lead to a need for additional sleep. Some pregnant women may find themselves needing more sleep than usual due to the demands of their changing bodies. It is essential to listen to your body and provide it with the rest it requires.

In addition to nighttime sleep, napping during the day can also be beneficial for pregnant women. Taking short, regular naps can help combat fatigue and provide much-needed rest. Finding a comfortable sleeping position, using supportive pillows, and creating a relaxing sleep environment can contribute to better sleep quality.

Causes Of Excessive Sleeping During Pregnancy

Excessive sleeping during pregnancy can be attributed to various factors, including:

  1. Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly increased progesterone production, can contribute to feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. These hormonal shifts are essential for supporting the development of the baby and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

  2. Increased Blood Volume: The body produces more blood during pregnancy to meet the demands of the growing fetus. This increased blood volume can lead to feelings of fatigue and the need for more sleep.

  3. Physical Discomfort: As the pregnancy progresses, physical changes such as weight gain, a growing belly, and hormonal changes can cause discomfort and make it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position. This discomfort can disrupt sleep and result in the need for more rest.

  4. Energy Expenditure: Pregnancy is a time of increased energy expenditure as the body works hard to support the growth and development of the baby. This increased energy demand can lead to feelings of exhaustion and the need for additional sleep.

  5. Emotional & Psychological Factors: Pregnancy can bring about a range of emotions and stressors that can impact sleep patterns. Anxiety, hormonal fluctuations, and the anticipation of becoming a parent can all contribute to excessive sleeping as the body seeks to restore and replenish energy levels.

It's important to remember that while some degree of fatigue and excessive sleepiness is normal during pregnancy, excessive or extreme sleepiness may indicate an underlying health concern.

Are There Any Health Affects Of Excessive Sleeping During Pregnancy?

Excessive sleeping during pregnancy can have certain health effects, and it is important to be aware of them. While some degree of fatigue and increased sleep needs are common during pregnancy, excessive sleeping that interferes with daily functioning may warrant attention. Here are some potential health effects of excessive sleeping during pregnancy:

  1. Reduced Productivity: Excessive sleepiness can affect a woman's ability to carry out daily activities and responsibilities, leading to decreased productivity and engagement in work, studies, or personal life.

  2. Mood Swings & Emotional Changes: Disrupted sleep patterns and excessive sleeping can contribute to mood swings, irritability, and emotional changes. Hormonal fluctuations and sleep deprivation can exacerbate these emotional shifts, impacting overall well-being.

  3. Risk Of Developing Sleep Disorders: Excessive sleepiness during pregnancy may be a sign of an underlying sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or insomnia. These conditions can affect the quality of sleep and have potential implications for maternal and fetal health.

  4. Lack Of Physical Activity: Excessive sleep can result in reduced physical activity and exercise, which is essential for maintaining overall health and managing pregnancy-related discomforts. Regular physical activity during pregnancy has numerous benefits, including improved circulation, better mood, and reduced risk of complications.

  5. Impact On Overall Well-Being: Chronic excessive sleeping can affect a woman's overall well-being, leading to feelings of lethargy, lack of motivation, and reduced engagement in self-care activities. It is important to strike a balance between rest and staying active to promote physical and emotional well-being during pregnancy.

If you are experiencing excessive sleepiness that interferes with your daily life, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider. They can help evaluate your sleep patterns, identify any underlying causes or sleep disorders, and provide appropriate guidance to ensure optimal health and well-being during pregnancy.

What Existing Problems Can Lead To Excessive Sleep In Pregnancy

excessive sleeping during pregnancy

Excessive sleep during pregnancy can be influenced by several existing problems or factors. Here are a few potential causes:

  1. Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia is common during pregnancy and can result in feelings of extreme fatigue and excessive sleepiness. It is essential to maintain adequate iron levels through a balanced diet and prenatal supplements to prevent or address anemia-related sleep issues.

  2. Gestational Diabetes: Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, which can cause fatigue and excessive sleepiness. Proper management of gestational diabetes, including monitoring blood sugar levels and following a healthy diet, can help alleviate these symptoms.

  3. Thyroid Disorders: Thyroid imbalances, such as hypothyroidism, can impact energy levels and sleep patterns. Women with existing thyroid disorders may experience increased sleepiness during pregnancy, and it is crucial to monitor thyroid function and follow the appropriate treatment plan.

  4. Sleep Disturbances: Existing sleep disorders or difficulties, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, can be exacerbated during pregnancy, leading to excessive sleepiness. Addressing these sleep disturbances with the help of a healthcare professional can promote better sleep quality and reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.

  5. Medications & Prenatal Vitamins: Certain medications or prenatal vitamins can have sedative effects, potentially contributing to excessive sleepiness during pregnancy. It is important to discuss any concerns or side effects with your healthcare provider and explore alternative options if necessary.

If you are experiencing excessive sleep during pregnancy, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your overall health, review any existing problems or conditions, and provide appropriate guidance or treatment to manage excessive sleepiness and ensure a healthy pregnancy.

5 Tips For Better Sleep During Pregnancy

Getting adequate and quality sleep during pregnancy is crucial for your well-being and the healthy development of your baby. Here are five tips to help you achieve better sleep during pregnancy:

  1. Establish A Bedtime Routine: Establish a soothing pre-bedtime regimen to indicate to your body that it is time to relax and prepare for rest. This may include activities like taking a warm bath, practicing gentle stretches, or engaging in a soothing activity such as reading a book.

  2. Optimize Your Sleep Environment: Create a sleep-friendly environment that is cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows that provide proper support for your changing body. Take into account the option of utilizing blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine as a means of reducing disturbances and interruptions.

  3. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Avoid stimulating activities and electronic devices close to bedtime as they can interfere with sleep. Create a calm and relaxing bedroom atmosphere to promote better sleep.

  4. Find A Comfortable Sleeping Position: As your pregnancy progresses, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be challenging. Sleeping on your left side is generally recommended as it improves blood flow to the baby. Consider using pregnancy pillows or extra pillows for support and to relieve pressure on your back and hips.

  5. Manage Discomfort & Sleep Disturbances: Pregnancy can bring about physical discomfort and sleep disturbances. Experiment with different pillows, cushions, or mattress toppers to alleviate discomfort. If you experience issues like heartburn, leg cramps, or frequent urination, consult with your healthcare provider for strategies to manage these symptoms.

Remember, if you continue to struggle with sleep despite implementing these tips, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can provide further guidance, address any underlying issues, and help ensure you get the restful sleep you need for a healthy pregnancy.

Here’s When To Call Your Doctor

Excessive sleeping during pregnancy is a common occurrence, but there are situations when it's necessary to reach out to your healthcare provider. One such instance is if you notice a sudden and severe increase in sleepiness. While it's natural to feel more tired during pregnancy, a sudden change that significantly impacts your ability to function in daily activities may warrant medical attention. Your doctor can help determine if there are any underlying health concerns that need to be addressed.

Another reason to contact your doctor is if you find it difficult to stay awake even during routine tasks. If you're struggling to stay alert while driving, working, or engaging in conversations, it's essential to seek medical advice. This persistent drowsiness could be a symptom of an underlying condition that requires attention. Your healthcare provider can evaluate your symptoms, review your medical history, and provide appropriate guidance to ensure the well-being of both you and your baby during pregnancy.


1. Is It Okay To Sleep A Lot During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is generally okay to sleep a lot during pregnancy as your body undergoes significant physical and hormonal changes, and sleep is essential for your overall well-being and the healthy development of your baby.

2. What Causes Too Much Sleep During Pregnancy?

The increased need for sleep during pregnancy is primarily caused by hormonal changes, higher levels of progesterone, and the body's natural response to the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy.

3. Is It Good To Sleep In The Day Time During Pregnancy?

Yes, it can be beneficial to take daytime naps during pregnancy as they help alleviate fatigue, restore energy levels, and support overall well-being.


excessive sleeping during pregnancy

Excessive sleep during pregnancy can be a puzzling experience for expectant mothers, but it is often a normal and natural response to the physiological and hormonal changes occurring in the body. While it's essential to stay vigilant and differentiate between typical sleep patterns and potential sleep disorders, most women can find relief in knowing that their increased need for rest is a common occurrence.

As with any pregnancy symptom, it is crucial to maintain open communication with healthcare providers and seek their guidance if excessive sleep begins to interfere with daily functioning or if other concerning symptoms accompany it. In most cases, adopting healthy sleep habits, managing stress levels, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle can help alleviate excessive sleepiness and promote overall well-being during this transformative time.

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