Insomnia usually means a condition where a person experiences poor quality of sleep. Every day, millions of people, especially pregnant women, suffer through bouts of insomnia. This is especially evident in the third trimester, when sleeping can be quite a task!
Insomnia During Pregnancy:
Insomnia is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy. Each trimester brings its own unique sleep challenges due to physical and emotional stress associated with pregnancy. If you are experiencing insomnia, you don’t have to worry, as it is not going to hurt you or your baby in any way. Moreover, just letting go of your worry might also be a great way to get a better night’s sleep.
What Causes Insomnia During Pregnancy:
Pregnancy is riddled with various changes, in your body as well as in your mind. While you are trying to nurture the little one inside you, there can be many queries that play around in your mind. These worries and thoughts, combined with various medication and c
Here are the most common causes of sleepless nights in pregnancy:
1. Hormonal Changes:
Changes in the levels of progesterone disrupts the sleeping pattern during pregnancy. This happens mostly in the first and third trimester. According to Dr. Jill Powell, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at St. Louis University School of Medicine, “Progesterone is a natural sedative, and a woman may be so tired she has this sensation of not being able to keep her eyes open. She may react by napping during the day or falling asleep on the couch after work. This then gets her out of her normal sleep patterns.”
2. Frequent Urination:
Frequent urination is very common in early stages of pregnancy. But this is also one of the common reasons for insomnia. The frequent urge to urinate during the night is one of the biggest problems faced by all to-be moms. This mainly happens due to expansion of the uterus on the bladder that requires the frequent emptying of the bladder.
3. Back Pains:
As your pregnancy progresses, your abdomen size increases, and you may experience back pain with your normal sleeping positions. Back pains can also have a negative impact on your day-to-day life. Studies show that most women report back pain during their pregnancy and a majority claim that it causes sleep disturbances.
During pregnancy, the hormone produced by placenta, relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows gastric acids to shoot back upwards, causing that unpleasant burning sensation and disrupting your sleep. Heartburns unfortunately continue until you deliver your baby.
Anxieties like worrying about your baby’s health or parenting responsibilities can disturb your sleeping pattern. All this is very common in the early stages of pregnancy, especially in the case of first time moms.
How To Minimize Insomnia?
While insomnia is a growing condition that is experienced by most women in their pregnancy, a few changes in lifestyle can help you bring it down.
1. Sleeping Positions:
Expectant mothers often lack peaceful sleep due to the increased belly size and the resulting backache. The best position to sleep during pregnancy is to sleep on the side. This will help in relieving back pain. It is advisable to sleep on the left side as this will help to increase the flow of nutrients and blood to your placenta.
2. Food Intake:
Proper food intake is healthy for you and your baby. Cut down completely on carbonated drinks, spicy, fried, highly seasoned, alcohol, acidic foods like fruit juices, citrus fruits and tomatoes. These are a complete no-no. Avoid chocolate and caffeine, especially in the second half of the day, as it can keep you up at night. Instead of having big meals, take smaller meals and chew properly. Fill your necessary requirements of fluids during early evening as to avoid the urge of urination late at night.
3. Intake Of Nutrition:
Foods high in carbohydrates such as crackers, bread or a warm glass of milk promotes good sleep. In addition, a high protein snack can help prevent sleep disturbances and headaches. Right amount of nutrition can help you curb several other pregnancy problems as well.
Check the temperature of your sleeping environment before hitting the bed. Make sure your room is neither too cold nor too hot. If you are not at ease in the temperature, you won’t be able to sleep properly. Make sure you are using a mattress that provides comfortable support.
5. Clear Your Emotional Deck:
If you are worried about something, it is better to get it out of your system. Talk to your loved ones about your worries and sort out any issues immediately, so that you are relaxed while sleeping.
Most women experience insomnia in some levels during pregnancy. If you have already tried out the above steps and still nothing seems to help, it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor. If you are extremely stressed out, or facing any relationship or emotional issues, resorting to counseling may be appropriate. On the other hand, if backache or any other health issue is keeping you up at night, osteopathy may be of help.
We hope the above steps will help you get those much needed hours of restful sleep. Remember to eat right and stay happy!
Have more effective methods to curb sleepless nights during pregnancy? Please share them with other would-be moms.
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