In pregnancy many women feel sleep disturbance. Some women feel fatigue during pregnancy that causes sleep disturbance. It occurs during first and third trimester. The reasons of sleep disorder during pregnancy are several. This problem sometimes becomes worse. The following are some of the pregnancy problems that cause sleep problems. Pregnancy and sleep factors are important and we have discussed its symptoms, insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs and sleep disorder.
Symptoms of Pregnancy and Sleep
Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early or feeling not refreshed. Insomnia related to stress or anxiety about labor, delivery and/or balancing work and motherhood may result in significant sleep loss. The discomforts of pregnancy such as nausea, back pain and fetal movements may also disturb sleep.
Restless Legs Syndrome
There is a condition known as restless legs syndrome, in which a person feels an unpleasant feeling in the legs. This problem gets worse during night and makes a woman unable to sleep.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Or Heartburn Pregnancy
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or heart burn are the same problems. This problem also causes interruption in the sleep. Heart burn is a common condition in pregnancy. So the most women are likely to develop sleep disorders.
In pregnancy many women develop a disorder known as sleep apnea. In this problem breathing is repeatedly interrupted so an expecting mother is unable to sleep. This problem is likely to occur if you are overweight.
Sleep apnea may also be associated with the problems like preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, or low birth weight. Daytime sleepiness may also be linked with it. You must talk to your doctor if you are also suffering this problem during pregnancy.
It is very necessary for pregnant women to take proper sleep because poor sleep affects labor and delivery. Research shows that the women who sleep less than 6 hours are at greater risk of having longer labors and are more likely to have cesarean deliveries.
Mainly these are the hormones that cause changes in the body conditions. There is a change in the level of hormones during pregnancy. When the progesterone hormones are increased, they promote daytime sleepiness and it usually happens during first trimester. These hormonal changes also put some effect on the muscles and cause snoring problem.
In pregnancy women feel nausea and other type of discomforts that cause interruption in sleep. Many women feel anxiety about the delivery so they experience loss of sleep. In many cases, women are unable to get full night sleep until the baby is born. But sleep is very essential in pregnancy so pregnant women must find some effective techniques and strategies that promote sleep and manage their sleep problems.
Treating sleep problems during pregnancy is quite complicated because it is not safe to take medicines during pregnancy. The medicines that are typically used to treat sleep disorders are not recommended to be used during pregnancy. Instead the problems that are causing sleep disorder can be treated to promote sleep. Women who have low level of iron or folate usually develop RSL so treating the iron deficiency can promote the sleep.
Pregnant women must take prenatal vitamins regularly and take care of their diet. Obese women often suffer from sleep apnea. This problem can be treated through continuous positive airway pressure. Exercising is also a good and effective way to promote sleep. The sleep problem usually goes away after the baby is born.
Minimize Loss of Sleep: Coping
Sleeping well throughout pregnancy can be challenging. Follow these coping tips throughout your pregnancy to minimize loss of sleep:
- Plan, schedule and prioritize sleep.
- Unless your health care provider has advised against it, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day.
- Sleep on your left side to improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your fetus and to your uterus and kidneys. Try to avoid lying on your back for extended periods of time.
- Drink lots of fluids during the day, especially water, but cut down on the amount you drink in the hours before bedtime.
- In order to avoid heartburn, do not eat large amounts of spicy, acidic or fried foods. Also, eat frequent small meals throughout the day.
- Snoring is very common during pregnancy, but if you have pauses in your breathing associated with your snoring, you should be screened for sleep apnea. Also, have your blood pressure and urine protein checked—especially if you have swollen ankles or headaches.
- If you develop RLS, you should be evaluated for iron or folate deficiency.
- If you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed forcing yourself to sleep. Get up and read a book, knit or crochet something for your baby, write in a journal, or take a warm bath.
- When sleeping, lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent. Place pillows between your knees, under your abdomen and behind your back. This may take pressure off your lower back.
- Put a nightlight in the bathroom instead of turning on the light to use the bathroom — this will be less arousing and help you return to sleep more quickly. Add daytime naps as necessary, but reduce them or nap earlier in the day if you have difficulty falling asleep at night.
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