Sleep and Pregnancy

Sleep and PregnancyBeing pregnant is one of the greatest milestones in a woman’s life, but it is also one of the most difficult experiences, especially when sleeping becomes a problem. The combination of sleep and pregnancy can result in various problems including insomnia, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep apnea, etc. Lack of sleep often occurs among pregnant women even if they haven’t had trouble sleeping before. Sleep and pregnancy can be hard to balance, but with proper care and attention, these two can help make giving birth easy.


Common sleep and pregnancy problems

One of the most common problems during pregnancy is sleeplessness or insomnia. Pregnant women often have difficulty falling and staying asleep for as long as they want. Various reasons are attributed to these: stress about the impending labor, imbalance between motherhood and work, pregnancy discomforts, etc.

Restless leg syndrome or RLS is another common 4A0-107 problem. Pregnant women find this painful, tingly, or generally uncomfortable, most especially at night when bed time approaches.

Breathing difficulties can also arise, leading to sleep apnea or frequent, long breathing pauses. Sleep apnea is common among pregnant women who are obese and results in heavy snoring as well as choking or gasping during sleep.

Bathroom trips increase because pregnant women also experience the urge to urinate more. Because of the developing fetus inside you, there is also an increase in the production of blood. Therefore, your kidneys work harder to filter the additional blood produced, yielding more urine.

Other sleep and pregnancy problems include shortness of breath, back pain, heartburn, night time GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), and constipation.


What to do to get more sleep

No matter how many sleep and pregnancy problems you’re experiencing, they can be dealt with accordingly. An important thing to remember is to keep away from over-the-counter sleeping remedies, even herbal ones, as they can have adverse effects on the child you’re carrying. The following are alternative ways to help you sleep more:

1)      As much as possible, refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages, especially a few hours before going to sleep.

2)      Fluids and meals should be taken more in the morning and at lunch instead of in the evening.

3)      Do your best to routinely go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and day.

4)      Do some exercises, but never go for rigorous ones and not before going to bed. Attending yoga classes for pregnant women is also advisable.

5)      For leg pain and cramps, make sure that you absorb more calcium and folate. For temporary relief, you can stretch your legs or apply some movement on them.

6)      Decrease your intake of acidic, fried, and spicy food to avoid heartburn.

7)      Do not force yourself to sleep when you really can’t. Instead, do things that can make you sleepy like reading, knitting, writing, or anything productive or relaxing.

8)      Take naps earlier in the day if necessary.

You can learn other ways of coping with sleeping problems by enrolling in childbirth or parenting classes.


Pregnancy sleeping positions

The most common sleeping position is to sleep on your back. This becomes more difficult as your pregnancy progresses because your back muscles, intestines, major blood vessels, and spine will bear your uterus, leading to muscle pain, decreased blood circulation (yours and your baby’s), and general discomfort. Sleeping on your right side, on the other hand, will put pressure on your liver. Hence, it is best to sleep on your left side.

Sleeping on your left side has many benefits including decreased back pressure and improved blood circulation. In addition, sleeping on your left side allows your baby to have a better blood flow, resulting in improved nutrient absorption in the placenta. Moreover, this position helps your kidneys expel waste from your body easily, and therefore, decreases swelling in your hands, ankles, and feet.

Don’t expect to hold this position for as long as you sleep. It is normal to shift positions during sleep, and it is something you can’t really control. You need not worry about finding yourself sleeping on your back or in other pregnancy sleeping positions because any discomfort will eventually wake you up. Also, most likely during the last trimester, your body will have already adjusted to not sleeping on your back because it is very uncomfortable.

Being pregnant entails a lot of challenges including sleep and pregnancy difficulties, but you can surely overcome them. Stay positive and think about how much love you’ll be feeling once your little one arrives.

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