Dealing with Pregnancy Insomnia: Tips for Better Sleep

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative journey, but it often brings along various challenges, including changes in sleep patterns. In this blog, we will discuss pregnancy insomnia during pregnancy, offering practical tips to sleep better. 

A healthy amount of sleep is something that the body naturally needs. Full sleep is a necessity and a chance for a pregnant woman to recover, recharge, and build strength for a new day. Sleep problems are very common during pregnancy. Insomnia begins as early as the first trimester of pregnancy for many women.

The pregnant woman has a lot of thoughts running through her head that keep her from falling asleep; she can’t settle into a comfortable position and tosses and turns; in the second trimester, her expanding belly starts to interfere; and in the third trimester, thoughts about the impending birth keep her awake. A pregnant woman who gets too little sleep may experience cardiovascular disease, blood pressure issues, or even an early birth.

(pic credit – freepik)

Understanding the Causes of Pregnancy Insomnia

Insomnia is more common in pregnant women; it is observed in 75% of cases. The following reasons can affect the quality and duration of sleep during pregnancy:

(pic credit – freepik)
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormones, particularly increased levels of progesterone and estrogen, can disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to insomnia.
  • Frequent urination: The expanding uterus puts pressure on the bladder, leading to increased trips to the bathroom during the night. This frequent urge to urinate can interrupt sleep and contribute to insomnia.
  • Physical discomfort: As the pregnancy progresses, the growing belly, changes in weight distribution, and pressure on organs can lead to physical discomfort. Finding a comfortable sleeping position becomes challenging, and discomfort can disrupt sleep.
  • Anxiety and stress: Pregnancy can bring about heightened emotions, anxiety about appearance, childbirth, parenting, and other life changes. Anxious thoughts and worries can keep expectant mothers awake at night.
  • Heartburn and indigestion: Hormonal changes and the growing uterus can cause stomach acids to flow back into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn and indigestion. Discomfort from these digestive issues can make it difficult to sleep.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): RLS, characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them, can worsen during pregnancy. Symptoms often intensify at night, disrupting sleep.
  • Leg Cramps: Many pregnant women experience leg cramps, especially during the later stages of pregnancy. These sudden and painful cramps can occur at night and disturb sleep.
(pic credit- freepik)

Tips for Better Sleep: How to Avoid Insomnia During Pregnancy?

1. Eliminate stress: The state of your mind affects you a lot. If you are agitated, upset, or have too many negative thoughts, you are unlikely to be able to sleep. Stress can also impact the quality of your sleep. So do your best to relax before bed.

2. Listen to your body: Some women take time to nap during the day for a quick energy boost. However, for some women, it can cause a restless night’s sleep. So, always make sure to listen to your body and do what you feel is best for you and your baby.

3. Eating mindfully: Avoid overeating and make sure you have dinner at least two hours before bedtime.

(pic credit- freepik)

4. Create a comfortable environment: Creating a soothing environment conducive to sleep is essential. Dim the lights and keep your bedroom quiet to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

5. Limit fluid intake before bed: While it’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, reducing fluid intake closer to bedtime can minimize the need for frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.

6. Stay away from electronics: Avoid screens such as phones, tablets, and computers at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted by these devices can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.

7. Seek professional advice: In general, it is not recommended to take sleeping pills or sedatives during pregnancy, but it all depends on the individual case. If insomnia is a serious and persistent condition, if you feel tired and weak, or if you are in a depressed mood, discuss this problem with your doctor. Together with a healthcare professional, you can determine the cause of your insomnia.

(pic credit – freepik)

What Not to Do When Facing Third-trimester Insomnia:

Facing third-trimester insomnia can be challenging, but there are certain things you should avoid to help improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. Here’s a list of what not to do when dealing with third-trimester insomnia:

  • Sleeping or lying on your back: When a pregnant woman lies or sleeps in the wrong posture or lies on her back, the uterus presses on vital blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the baby and some parts of the woman’s body. Therefore, sleeping on your side with a pillow under your leg is recommended.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine: Limit your intake of caffeine, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods: Spicy and acidic foods can contribute to heartburn and indigestion, which can disrupt your sleep. Opt for lighter, easily digestible meals before bedtime.
  • Say no to stimulating activities: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as intense discussions or work-related tasks, right before bed can make it harder to switch your mind off for sleep.
(pic credit – freepik)

Prioritise Rest for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy and the birth of a baby are important and joyful periods in a woman’s life. Those around her should also take care of the comfort of the expectant mother, in particular taking care of her sleep is important. It must be remembered that a full, sound sleep is the best rest for a pregnant woman!

When dealing with insomnia during pregnancy, following these tips can significantly improve your sleep quality and overall well-being during this special time. Remember that seeking guidance from your healthcare provider is crucial if you’re facing persistent sleep issues during pregnancy. By taking proactive steps to ensure better sleep, you’re not only nurturing your health but also providing a nurturing environment for your growing baby.

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