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sleep aids in pregnancy?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm 17 weeks pregnant with a complicated bedrest pregnancy. You'd think with the bedrest I'd be getting plenty of rest at least but I'm having a real problem with sleep.

I'm fine as long as nothing wakes me up, but if I wake up I'm having a really hard time going back to sleep, (and since I have a three year old who isn't a great sleeper that happens pretty frequently) and if I get too little sleep I'm getting all kinds of aches and pains and cramps that make it even harder to go back to sleep. If I get these when I'm not pregnant I take ibuprofen and they go away but I'm trying to limit taking it since its not totally safe in pregnancy and because of my cerclage I've already had to use quite a bit.

I've never taken a sleep aid before, but I'm feeling sort of desperate...I'm truly afraid that with lack of sleep increasing my crampyness that it could cause me to have problems with the pregnancy. Is anything safe to take while pregnant? Especially anything that could be taken and work quickly? (like if I am awakened at 3 am and can't go back to sleep?)
post #2 of 16

Hi! My daughter's Ped. just had a baby in April. She highly recommended Unisom. I believe it is the same active ingredient as regular Benadryl, which is supposed to be safe in pregnancy.

I took Benadryl a few times this pregnancy when I had a cold and could not get to sleep, which was causing my cold to get worse. It made me really sleepy, which was great! I decided I would rather take the Benadryl than get no sleep and end up sicker, and possibly taking an antibiotic.

post #3 of 16
Give a single benadryl a try, and see if that doesn't help. One usually makes me sleepy, two puts me right out. I was on hospitalized bedrest for an extended period and they had me on Ambien when I first got there (it was pretty noisy at night), but after a few days of settling in we switched to benadryl. I felt MUCH better about taking an antihistamine than a sleeping pill, for both me and the baby.

I hope you feel better soon!
post #4 of 16
Rescue Remedy makes a sleep spray called like, well, Sleep Remedy or somesuch that I use with success.

post #5 of 16
My midwife said that valerian was safe and melatonin on occasion as well(although the studies of hormones haven't been fully done..but I don't take it very often).

The valerian is great.

I also highly recommend Calms Forte by Hylands. It is a great calmer and works pretty quickly as well.

Happy sleep mama!
post #6 of 16
I've taken Benadryl several times during this pregnancy for allergies but they make me so sleepy that I only take them when I am not at work. My OB said it was fine. I was on bedrest for 2 months with my daughter and I can relate to how you are feeling. I hope you get some good sleep soon.
post #7 of 16
Unisom tablets (not the gel caps) are the same ingredient as the prescription morning sickness medication diclectin that is prescribed in Canada, so to me that would mean they'd be okay to take in pregnancy. Since up here it's actually prescribed during pregnancy!
post #8 of 16
Skullcap tincture provides deep, refreshing sleep. Take up to 30 drops of commercial tincture (from dried plants) or 5-15 drops of fresh plant tincture half an hour before you go to bed. An infusion of the dried plant nourishes and strengthens the nerves. Drink two cups daily for several months if your nerves feel frayed and you are easily upset."

Weeds, Herbals for the Childbearing Years (or something like that).
post #9 of 16
I second the unisom (not the gel-caps). It's an anti-nausea med that for legal drama can't be marketed as such, but since it has a very high drowsy side-effect (more than benadryl) it is marketed as a sleep aid. It was practically made for preg! I take one every night along with a B complex vitamin. It's a good nights sleep and calm stomach the entire next day!
post #10 of 16
Calms Forte
post #11 of 16
As a former (and future) bedrester I can sympathize. It's hard to feel sleepy when you haven't really done anything all day. It's very frustrating.

Unisom is great. You want to get the tabs which are Doxylamine Succinate. Up here in Canada it is sold as Diclectin which is a class A (totally safe) drug during pregnancy. I take it every night both to help me sleep and because I have really awful morning sickness.
post #12 of 16
i had bedrest with DD too, i so know how hard it is to sleep. i took melatonin per MW recs last time. and this time my new MW ok'ed it as well.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by Alison View Post
Unisom tablets (not the gel caps) are the same ingredient as the prescription morning sickness medication diclectin that is prescribed in Canada, so to me that would mean they'd be okay to take in pregnancy. Since up here it's actually prescribed during pregnancy!
yep, that's what i've been taking (the unisom/b6 combo) here in the states... it's over the counter but recommended by my midwife/OB practice for a way to treat morning sickness. for me i got the sickest at night so it was a double blessing-- i got to sleep and wasn't as sick. it's non-habit forming and mild. i was nervous taking it at first because i am super sensitive to sleep-aid like drugs, but this one doesnt make me feel loopy and drugged, just helps me sleep.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
ah ok, I looked at the Unisom tablets and gel caps and was confused because they weren't the same things. Now I understand.

I need to take something that I can just take in the middle of the night to go back to sleep, it sounds like both Valerian and skullcap are meant to take a while before you go to bed?
post #15 of 16
I'm reviving a defunct thread because it's the only one I can find that is close to my question. I've been having more trouble sleeping (as seen in last week's message), and my mw suggested skullcap, which she does recommend during labor. However, in all my research, I've found heaps of conflicting reports. It seems it's either highly recommended during pregnancy, or supposed to be super unknown and advised to avoid during pregnancy! I expected to see conflicts on the safety of herbs, but this is practically 50/50 and such opposite conclusions. DH even read that it "could" cause miscarriage!

I used it for about 5 nights, and I do believe that it helped, but I'm kind of afraid to keep using it regularly. How does a person make a choice like this???

post #16 of 16
There are a handful of herbs that you need to avoid during pregnancy, but valerian and skullcap do not fall into that category. Most of the data you'll find out there in computerland is totally contradictory and much of it is false.

From everything I've read and learned from trusted and reputable sources, both valerian and skullcap are safe to use during pregnancy. It's hard to know what info to trust about herbal remedies but if you can, get some herbal books, because everything online is really skewed and a lot of it is not correct. You could easily find the same negative info online for just about every herb known to man. Every midwife I've met supports using these two herbs medicinally during pregnancy. They are also both quite fast-acting.

FWIW, the FDA has been wrong about many many of the drugs they have deemed 'safe' for us consumers. I personally would not use any chemical OTC medicines during pregnancy (if ever) because I really do not trust the FDA as far as I could throw them. How many times have approved drugs ended up causing damage and taking lives? Too many to count. You know, the FDA are the ones telling us that BPA is safe for babies to consume and that pesticides are no problem at all, and that we should irradiate all our food before we eat it. These are not people I trust. But you gotta make your own choices.
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