Sleep Disturbance in Pregnant Women and Methods of Dealing with It

You are exhausted, exhausted, but still, you cannot sleep. Nightfall becomes torture: a cozy bed, a soft pillow. Previously, you only had to get to the bedroom, put your head on the cushion – and it seems that in a second, a bold alarm clock pulled you out of the arms of Morpheus, announcing the onset of a new day.

But normal sleep is now doubly necessary for you.

Yes, good sleep is essential because you are responsible for that tiny person, whose existence so far depends entirely on you – on how you feel, what you eat, and, of course, how you sleep; your insomnia probably won’t do.

Growing anxiety and fear of insomnia increases nervous tension. It becomes even more challenging to fall asleep – a vicious circle is obtained, and you are in despair: what can be done to break it?

Loneliness (those nearby are now with their dreams, and not with you) and fear of an endless sleepless night – is this situation familiar to you? Let’s talk about how to overcome it.

First of all, about loneliness:

I must say that you ended up in a rather crowded company – millions of women are with you: according to statistics, 78% of pregnant women experience sleep problems.

How to get rid of fear?

Do not worry, calm down – all these standard recommendations of doctors are not so easy to implement.

It seems that knowledge of the causes of insomnia and an understanding of the processes that are currently taking place in your body will help you here. And from considering the causes of insomnia, our conversation will naturally move on to the most diverse ways to overcome it – there are a whole lot of them in the arsenal of mankind. It cannot be that nothing suits you.

Causes of sleep disorders in pregnant women

For many women, insomnia begins already in the first trimester of pregnancy. Some doctors even tend to consider sleep disturbances as one of the signs of pregnancy.

In the second trimester, sleep usually returns to normal.

In the last three months before childbirth, insomnia is one of the most frequent and severe pregnancy complications.

Doctors, when discussing the nature of sleep, usually say:

“Insomnia is not a disease, but a symptom, an external manifestation of some processes occurring in our body. To defeat insomnia, you need to find out what these processes are and how you can neutralize their inevitable side effects.

Hormonal changes in a woman’s body can lead to insomnia in the very early stages :

for example, during pregnancy, progesterone and several other hormones rise. Mobilizing forces for carrying a pregnancy also bring the body into a state of “combat readiness” and sometimes simply do not relax.

As the pregnancy progresses, there are more and more reasons for insomnia.

Causes of sleep disorders in pregnant women can be physiological:

1. difficulty in finding a comfortable position (increased weight and a grown belly make this process very difficult);

2. pain in the back and lower back;

3. fetal movement;

4. frequent nighttime urge to urinate (the enlarged uterus puts pressure on the bladder, now it needs to be emptied much more often);

5. heartburn (disorders of the gastrointestinal tract are generally characteristic of pregnancy);

6. cramps (particularly often pregnant women complain of leg cramps);

7. itching in the abdomen due to stretching of the skin;

8. shortness of breath (increased body weight makes breathing difficult, in addition, the uterus presses on the lungs);

and psychological:

1. chronic fatigue;

2. nervous tension, stress (fear of upcoming changes, anxiety for the child, fear of childbirth);

3. Nightmares.

Any of these reasons are pretty enough to deprive a woman of sleep, and most often, they are also combined!

Select from this list what is relevant for you, and move on to the next section of the article – tips on dealing with insomnia.

I want to warn you right away: you should not even try to follow the entire rather extensive list of tips given in it!

Try to choose only what suits your case, what you like. If one recommendation does not help, try another. Each situation is individual, and each woman needs to choose her method, her combination of techniques.

Think of these recommendations not as medical advice (“Do it this way, and nothing else!”), but as friendly advice (“Why don’t you try this one too? If that doesn’t help, we’ll think of something else!”). You need to start the fight for a good night’s sleep In the morning!

After all, the duration and quality of our sleep are primarily determined by the correct mode and our behavior during the day.

Try to adhere to the following recommendations:

1. Avoid overvoltage. The fatigue accumulated during the day does not always lead to sound sleep. Sometimes, it turns out that you are simply unable to relax after a hard day.

Try not to go into the bedroom too often during the day. The sight of a bed that reminds you of a night of torment can increase your fear of insomnia, making it even more difficult for you to fall asleep at night.

2. If you are accustomed to sleeping for some time during the day, try to give up this habit for a few days or reduce the daytime sleep time – maybe nighttime sleep will be restored.

3. If you are tormented by nightmares, which you then cannot forget, in the morning or afternoon, talk about them with a loved one (husband, mother, girlfriend).

Psychoanalysts consider the discussion of night dreams to be a very effective means of overcoming fear of them: firstly, loved ones will try to calm you down, and most likely they will succeed, and secondly, by putting into words the vague visions that tormented you, you will find that there are special reasons for no fear.

4. During the day, find time and opportunity to do simple exercises within your power. Swimming, hiking, and even dancing are considered very usefully (in the latter case, of course, it all depends on the duration of pregnancy and your well-being).

5. Your body must get used to the fact that the bed is a place only for sleeping: wean yourself from the habit of lying in bed – you should not read, watch TV, etc. while lying down.

In the evening, about two hours before bedtime, start preparing for the upcoming night to be calm and peaceful.

Experts talk about sleep hygiene, which includes several activities:

1. Do not eat heavy meals shortly before bedtime: on a full stomach, you will toss and turn until the morning.

2. Do not assign evening cases that require physical and intellectual effort.

3. Avoid emotional tension and stressful situations during this period of the day (do not appoint unpleasant conversations and stormy explanations for the evening, ask relatives and friends not to call you in the evening, and, of course, do not watch action movies and thrillers at night).

4. Take a warm bath or shower before bed. You can add a decoction of chamomile or a few drops of some aromatic oil (for example, lavender) to the bath – this will help you relax.

5. Try to drink less in the evening (making sure that the daily fluid intake is 6-8 glasses). This will help you cope with such a cause of insomnia as the need to empty the bladder frequently.

6. Before going to bed, drink a cup of warm milk (if you don’t like the taste of milk, you can add cinnamon, a little honey, or sugar) or herbal tea (in this case, chamomile is often recommended, which has a relaxing effect).

But the usual tonic tea (not to mention coffee!) It should be abandoned.

By the way, milk contains tryptophan, which can be called a mild natural sleeping pill – this substance has a calming, soothing effect.

7. You can eat a small sandwich with boiled turkey before going to bed (the meat of this bird is also rich in tryptophan).

8. If you feel weak dizzy in the evening, your heart rate quickens; perhaps the cause of your insomnia is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

In this case, sweet tea, juice, or just a piece of sugar can help you (and be sure to tell your doctor about these symptoms so that he confirms or refutes this diagnosis and takes appropriate measures).

9. Before going to bed, spread lotion on the skin of the abdomen. This can prevent itching.

10. Ask your husband or someone close to giving you a massage before going to bed: it will allow you to relax and relieve back and lower back pain, foot, and ankle massage will help avoid cramps.

Shiatsu acupressure can also be effective. If someone in your family owns his technique, why not try it.

11. homeopathic remedies adequately selected by a specialist may help in the fight against insomnia.

12. Someone will help to fall asleep sex. If you have no medical contraindications to having sex, you feel the desire, and you know that usually after sex, you are sleepy – why not?

But now, the nightly ritual of preparation for sleep is completed, and you are already in bed. What to do at night so that a long dream flies to you?

First of all – try not to be nervous, not to think that you will not fall asleep, this will only worsen the situation.

The bedroom should be relaxed (however, it is necessary to avoid hypothermia of the legs – you can sleep in socks). If it is not possible to sleep with an open window, you need to ventilate the room well before bed.

Nightwear (shirt, pajamas) should be comfortable, natural materials, and not restrict movement and breathing.

It is best to sleep on a comfortable mattress.

Find out what is suitable for you – a duvet cover, maybe an embossed mattress with a surface that resembles egg cartons, or perhaps, on the contrary, it will be easier for you to sleep on a hard surface, and you just need to put boards under the mattress.

A pregnant woman will need a lot of pillows (at least 3) of various shapes and sizes to sleep.

If you manage to get a unique pillow for pregnant women – it has a wedge shape and is specially designed to put it under the stomach. After giving birth, you can use it while breastfeeding. Pillows can be placed under the side, under the neck, clamped between the legs; you can cover the entire mattress with pillows – such an improved bed will better conform to the shape of your body.

Look for a comfortable position in which you can fall asleep.

You will not be able to sleep on your stomach and on your back – which means you will have to lie on your side (some doctors believe that it is better on the left – this increases blood flow to the uterus).

Put one pillow under your stomach squeeze the other between your knees. If your back and lower back hurt, you can tuck another pillow under your side.

Sometimes women are advised to sleep in the fetal position (it is unnecessary to remind how physiological it is. I will only say that stimulating blood circulation contributes to the maximum relaxation of all muscles).

You can put an extra pillow under your head – in some cases, this not only makes breathing easier but also proves to be an effective remedy for heartburn.

When you feel sleep approaching, try to breathe slowly and deeply.

Aromatherapy may help you. A drop of lavender oil can be helpful in the bath and bed.

If you haven’t been able to fall asleep within half an hour, get up, go to another room, leaf through a magazine or read a book that can induce sleep, start knitting, listen to soothing music, and go to bed only when you feel that rest is coming.

And, of course, one cannot ignore the issue of sleeping pills, which is quite painful for pregnant women.

Like many other drugs, sleeping pills are better, of course, not to use in your situation. Doctors firmly insist that you should not resort to sleeping pills in the first trimester of pregnancy when there is an active formation of embryonic tissues. In the future, they are unlikely to recommend that you take such drugs without sufficiently serious reasons.

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