For many women, sleep can be evasive during pregnancy. Physical discomfort, changing hormones, and excitement and anxiety about being a new mother lead to a host of sleep problems.
Infact some women even suffer from insomnia .
Why Does Sleep Change During Pregnancy?
A multitude of factors leads to insomnia during pregnancy in:
- Breast tenderness
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Higher body temperature
- Frequent night time urination
- Leg cramp
Common Sleep Disorders and Problems During Pregnancy
The most common sleep disorders that tend to occur during pregnancy are obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disorder.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Weight gain and nasal congestion lead many women to start snoring.
- Restless Legs Syndrome: People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) are plagued by sensations best described as a crawling, tickling, or itching that cause an irrepressible urge to move the legs.
Why you need a full night’s sleep?
The quality and quantity of sleep you get can also affect your labour and delivery plans! For example, too little sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure, and in turn, the risk of preeclampsia.
Likewise, too little sleep can increase your risk of gestational diabetes, because it impacts blood sugar levels through regulating insulin metabolism.
Sleep also effect your immune system as well because in pregnancy, your immune system actually stands down in deference to the baby.
Sleep Hygiene for Pregnant Women
• Keep a cool, dark, quiet bedroom and limit the bed to sleeping.
•Prioritize sleep and stick to a consistent bedtime, scheduling naps earlier in the day so they don’t interfere with night time sleep.
• Read a book, take a bath, or indulge in another calming activity in preparation for bedtime.
• Use a nightlight to make it easier to get back to sleep after bathroom breaks.
• Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, and heavy meals too close to bedtime to reduce the risk of GERD.
• Avoid taking technology into the bedroom, and turn off screens at least an hour before bed.
• Get regular exercise earlier in the day.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but reduce liquid intake before bed to reduce night time bathroom breaks.
• If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something else until you feel sleepy.
• Write down thoughts in your journal, or seek help from your partner, friends, doctor, or childbirth classes if you’re feeling stressed.
With these tips, you literally have what you need to manage, control and dictate the number of hours for which you get to sleep in pregnancy.