• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Insomnia In Pregnancy-Let’s Discuss

Most women experience sleep disturbances during pregnancy. Insomnia is you find difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. Learn the causes of insomnia during pregnancy and ways to handle it.

What is Insomnia?

Women may experience insomnia during all stages of pregnancy, but they are more common in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. Insomnia is seen in 75 percent of expectant moms. Insomnia can be trouble falling asleep when you try to go to bed or wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep.

Sleep disturbances are due to the changes in the hormones, heartburn, leg cramps, your needs to go to the bathroom, and congestion. You may be physically and mentally tired due to insomnia, but the good news is it does not affect your baby.

Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia Causes

A woman with abdominal discomfort, Credits: pixabay


The main causes of insomnia are hormonal changes. During the first trimester, a rise in progesterone levels can cause day time sleepiness, decreased muscle tone, and increased risk of sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

The other causes of insomnia include

  1. Nausea and vomiting

  2. Pregnancy Heartburn

  3. Leg cramps

  4. Need to urinate frequently

  5. Back pain

  6. Breast tenderness

  7. Congestion

  8. Frequent and Vivid dreams

  9. Abdominal discomfort

  10. Physical discomfort

  11. Restless leg syndrome

  12. Feeling anxious about labor and delivery

How Can I Get Relief from Insomnia?

You can try the following to combat insomnia during pregnancy.

  1. Establish a bedtime Routine

  2. Water

  3. Dinner

  4. Exercises

  5. Sleep on the Side

  6. Be comfortable

  7. No to Supplements

  8. Divert

  9. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

  10. Restless leg syndrome

Establish aBedtime Routine

Try to establish a bedtime routine. Avoid the use of smartphones and computers at least two hours before your bedtime as the blue light can interfere with sleep hormones. Instead, read a book. Take a warm bath and avoid hot tubs.

Water

Stay hydrated

A woman drinking water, Credits: pixabay


Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to avoid leg cramps. Limit the intake of caffeine as it can disturb your sleep.

Dinner

Cashews contain magnesium

Cashews, Credits: pixabay


Have a healthy and early dinner to avoid heartburns. You can plan for light and protein snacks late in the evening. A warm glass of milk also helps in better sleep. Other foods that help you have good sleep include

  1. Almonds or cashews contain magnesium that helps relax you into sleep.

  2. Bananas containpotassium and melatonin which can induce drowsiness.

  3. Cheese contains tryptophan that boosts the production of melatonin.

  4. Tart cherries are rich in anthocyanin that help ease aches and pains and help relieve insomnia.

Exercises

Yoga

A woman doing yoga, Credits: pixabay


Exercises, meditation, and relaxation techniques can help you sleep better. You can try prenatal hatha yoga. Exercises not only help acquire good sleep but decreased the risk of gestational diabetes and improve heart health.

Sleep on the Side

Develop the habit of sleeping on the left side. This is known to improve your blood circulation, and most importantly your baby can get an ample amount of oxygen and nutrients.

Be comfortable

Sleep

Ambient place, Credits: pixabay


Create your bedroom with a very ambient place to sleep. Make your room cool, dark, and quiet.

No to Supplements

Without a doctor’s consultation, do not take any herbal supplements or pills that help you fall asleep. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe a sedative that is safe during pregnancy.

Divert

If you could not sleep, come out of the bed and do simple tasks like reading a book or hearing soothing music. Go back when you feel sleep. Do not count the hours in the bed.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

If stress and anxiety are causing insomnia, you can undergo a CBT. This can help understand insomnia and make healthful changes to reduce insomnia.

Restless Leg Syndrome

If the cause of insomnia is restless leg syndrome, your physician may evaluate for folate and iron deficiency and prescribe supplements.

Take-Home Message

Insomnia is common during pregnancy and simple lifestyle modifications can help combat the issue.

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