Sleep is important for everyone, but especially for pregnant women. A healthy dose of 7 or more hours of sleep is crucial to the well-being of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby or babies. Research has shown that good quality sleep during pregnancy reduces the risk of birth complications. In addition to that, more than 20% of women who have sleep problems during pregnancy need to undergo cesarean section and might experience longer labour.
The Top 8 Causes of Poor Sleep In Pregnancy
78% of women experience disturbed sleep during pregnancy. Different pregnancy trimesters come with different challenges:
- The first trimester is the period between conceiving and the third month of pregnancy. A woman experiences many changes affecting the quality of her sleep. Morning sickness and heartburn can show up during any stage but especially the first trimester of pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day – including nighttime! When it happens at night, sleep is definitely interrupted when you feel like hugging the toilet bowl or you’re dealing with searing pain in your esophagus.
- Another common cause of poor sleep is extreme fatigue. This leads to oversleeping during the day which causes wakefulness at night.
- Breast tenderness makes it hard to get comfortable. A u-shaped pillow is perfect in such instances.
- Constantly waking up to urinate also makes staying asleep quite difficult. You feel like taking your pillow and a blanket and just trying to sleep on the toilet!
- The second trimester marks an end to morning sickness for most women but it also has its own share of problems. 30% to 50% of pregnant women experience consistent heart burn which mostly worsens at night as soon as you lie down.
- Some women also get nasal congestion at night. So many aspects of your body are working over-time during pregnancy – even your sinuses. It’s pretty hard to sleep when you can only breathe through your mouth.
- The third trimester brings back constant trips to the bathroom. This is also accompanied by strains on the back, the pelvic area and hips and shoulders caused by the growing belly. It becomes increasingly difficult to find a perfect sleeping position. A c-shaped and wedge-shaped pregnancy pillow can greatly help with this.
- Leg Cramps can wake up a pregnant mom with a vengeance. OUCH! When this happens it means your body needs Vitamin D3, Calcium, and magnesium.
98% of women have poor sleep several times throughout their pregnancy.
Now that’s a sad statistic!
10 Tips For Getting Some ZZZZ’s During Your Pregnancy
- Drink a lot of water, every day, earlier in the day, before 6 pm. During pregnancy, you need about 64 ounces of water every day. Nutrients and vitamins get absorbed into your body through water. If you find that you’re having to pee ALL THE TIME, then drink water with electrolytes. Your body will make better use of the water. You can drink coconut water, Smart Water, or buy electrolyte packages an add it to your drinks.
- Exercise If you can manage to walk at the very minimum 20 minutes a day, it will help. But walking, swimming, or any cardio exercise for 45-60 minutes a day is best. Your baby’s cardiovascular system and immune system are strengthened by your cardio exercise. And you will benefit in labor and birth if you are active during your pregnancy, you may have a shorter labor than women who are sedentary during pregnancy. You can also practice yoga before bed or any time of the day or evening. There are some great yoga classes online that are free and some inexpensive yoga classes you can pay for at Yogadownload. Prenatal Yoga Package – The perfect Pregnancy companion, only $40
- You can request a massage from your partner and/or give your partner a massage, then you get one in return.
- If both of you are in the mood, go ahead and make love. Having an orgasm will help produce oxytocin and will help you fall asleep faster.
- Pregnancy Pillows are the best bet for good quality sleep during pregnancy. A wedge-shaped pillow is great for propping up your belly or back when lying down or sitting.hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge for Maternity | Memory Foam Pillows Support Body, Belly, Back, Knees (Black) It can be used together with a regular pillow.
A u-shaped pillow provides support for the entire body especially the back and belly. To reduce pelvic pressure and water retention in the legs, a C-shaped pillow works best.
Rest assured, no pun intended, these pillows will make pregnant women look forward to a good night’s rest.
- Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower Essence that helps calm you and helps you sleep.
- A sleep routine that includes a warm bath, an hour before bed time, really helps. Add to your bath at least 1-2 lbs of epsom salts and a few drops of lavender. Soak for at least 15 minutes while listening to some relaxation recordings.
- Enjoy a snack high in protein and calcium. Some ideas are: Greek yogurt, Raw almonds (they also help prevent heartburn), seeds, whey protein and leafy greens, cheese and toast, edamame, figs and dates, a glass of milk.
- Extra Vitamin D3, Calcium, and Magnesium can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
- Turn off the ipad, smart phone, TV, Kindle an hour before you want to go to sleep. They all prevent your body from producing melatonin.Hopefully these tips will help you fall into and stay in a deep, restful, dream-filled sleep.
Nighty-night and sleep tight!