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Sleep Problems during pregnancy

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

“It is time you get some sleep”, “now is the best time to sleep”, every pregnant woman gets to hear this! But you know what, it is not as easy as you think it is, it is not easy to get quality sleep even when the baby is inside the belly still.


The heartburn, tiredness, acid refluxes, frequent visits to the bathroom, cramping of legs, stuffy nose, midnight hunger pangs, all this could hamper the quality of sleep that you are trying really hard to get.


Sleep problems during pregnancy
Sleep problems during pregnancy

These are the common sleep disorders during pregnancy -

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Weight gain and nasal congestion lead many women to start snoring7 during pregnancy, which may be a risk factor for high blood pressure. Some women may go on to develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep condition characterized by snoring, gasping, and repeated lapses in breathing that disrupt sleep quality.

  • Restless Legs Syndrome. People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) are plagued by sensations best described as crawling, tickling, or itching that cause an irrepressible urge to move the legs. This condition can make it difficult to fall asleep, as the symptoms are more severe when the person is at rest.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder. Otherwise known as heartburn or acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the esophagus, especially when lying down. It’s a common cause of insomnia in pregnant women across all trimesters.

Let me tell you something, you are not the one who will diagnose the disorder. When you share your symptoms with your healthcare provider, he/she would be able to diagnose and medicate you accordingly if needed.


Some tips to follow -

  • Make yourself comfortable on your bed. Take extra pillows if needed, and adjust the fan or AC as per your need.

  • Good nutrition is important. If you are deprived of nutrition, then your sleep is also affected because you will end up waking up to fill your hunger pangs.

  • Learn some relaxation techniques. Prenatal yoga, massaging your body every day before a bath can do wonders if done properly. A warm shower before bed can relax your muscles so well!

  • Exercise regularly. Exercises strengthen your muscles, and you will also feel sleepy by the end of the day, helping you fall asleep.

  • Set up good habits. Good habits help you build discipline. If you are in the stage where you are not getting quality sleep, then first set up sleeping habits.


Why is sleep important?

While sleeping, you are giving the rest your body needs, both inside and outside. A good sound sleep can heal you from within.


Getting quality sleep during pregnancy is important for both mother and baby. For the mother, those sleepless nights end up leading to fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Sleep also plays a major role in memory, learning, appetite, mood, and decision-making, all important when preparing to welcome a newborn baby into your home.


Chronic sleep deprivation takes its toll on the immune system. Some researchers believe this may be part of the reason why a lack of sleep has such a significant impact on maternal and fetal health.


Do not compromise your sleep for anyone! Only when you are not able to sleep, you will realize its importance. Sleep while you can rest while you can, if you are not able to, then seek help.



Resources

Pregnancy and sleep

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/pregnancy#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20sleep%20disorders,factor%20for%20high%20blood%20pressure.


How to kick insomnia in early pregnancy

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-insomnia


Sleep problems in pregnancy

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/pregnancy-insomnia



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