Insomnia during pregnancy: what are the causes and what to do?

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Insom­nia dur­ing preg­nan­cy is a very com­mon prob­lem. There are many rea­sons for insom­nia in expec­tant moth­ers, from changes in the body and activ­i­ty of the baby to a vio­la­tion of the reg­i­men. These are the most fre­quent. When it is uncom­fort­able to sleep, you often have to get up to go to the toi­let, the child kicks, and dur­ing the day you man­age to grab an hour and take a nap, sac­ri­fic­ing a walk — the rea­sons for sleep dis­tur­bance are obvi­ous. But there are also anx­i­ety, ner­vous­ness, not allow­ing sleep. What to do about insom­nia dur­ing preg­nan­cy?

Is it dan­ger­ous for expec­tant moth­ers to sleep bad­ly at all?

Is it dangerous for expectant mothers to sleep badly at all?

Lack of sleep dur­ing preg­nan­cy is even more dan­ger­ous than with­out preg­nan­cy. In addi­tion to fatigue and poor health, insom­nia dur­ing preg­nan­cy can cause depres­sive dis­or­ders, includ­ing depres­sion after child­birth.

But that’s not all. Stud­ies in 2018 and 2019 showed that there is a clear link between sleep dis­or­ders and the devel­op­ment of ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes in preg­nant women.

So, if you sleep less than five hours or more than ten, then the risks increase. And if lack of sleep can serve as a provo­ca­teur of dia­betes, involv­ing the body in a series of endocrine dis­or­ders, then exces­sive sleep is con­sid­ered a pre­dic­tor of the dis­ease: drowsi­ness indi­cates its onset.

But almost every­one does not sleep well. Espe­cial­ly preg­nant women in the third trimester suf­fer from sleep dis­or­ders, and the rea­sons are both in phys­i­ol­o­gy and in the emo­tion­al sphere. And most often affects sleep all togeth­er. What to do?

Basic ways to improve sleep

Here is a check­list: what can inter­fere with sleep?

    Uncomfortable posture: the stomach is big, the back hurts, the legs swell … Check how you sleep. The best option is on the right and left sides with a pillow between the knees. If you often toss and turn, it is appropriate to take two pillows or use a special long version for expectant mothers — it is convenient to place the tummy on it. If you put it under the arm that is on top, part of the load is removed from the spine.
    Not enough fresh air and high temperature in the bedroom are the enemies of healthy sleep. Especially for pregnant women: due to hormonal changes and an enlarged uterus, it is difficult to breathe, sweating is increased. Check how you breathe at night, open a window, change your blanket.
    How much do you sleep in total? This is an important question. It may be that a woman rests during the day, dozing off for 15–20 minutes a couple of times, or even arranges a daytime sleep. If this is your option, then most likely it is not about insomnia, but about a shifted mode. In this case, you should not wait for a long and sound night’s sleep, but if the rest suits you, fill it up during the day. Just try to get up no later than 4 pm.
    Try not to read disturbing news before bed and generally stay away from gadgets. Better a warm shower or foot bath, self-massage and other relaxation methods than various forums or studying possible complications. If anxiety continues to rise and keep you awake, see a specialist. This is a common pregnancy problem for which there are solutions.

Insom­nia med­ica­tions

Insomnia medications

In gen­er­al, preg­nant women are not allowed to use most sleep­ing pills. An excep­tion is some herbal teas, which you should not get car­ried away with either (mint, which is often includ­ed in such teas, is espe­cial­ly dan­ger­ous). Look at those sets of herbs that can be used in young chil­dren, if nec­es­sary, you can resort to them one-time.

Sleep med­ica­tions are pre­scribed only by a doc­tor. Do not take risks and go to the phar­ma­cy.

Anoth­er pop­u­lar ques­tion is whether mela­tonin can be used for insom­nia dur­ing preg­nan­cy? Although there are many stud­ies on the ben­e­fits of mela­tonin dur­ing ges­ta­tion, they were con­duct­ed on ani­mals and were not asso­ci­at­ed with sleep. But the opin­ion of doc­tors is this: if it is pos­si­ble to do with­out it, then it is bet­ter to do so. If there is a clear need, then you can use a dosage of 0.2 grams per hour before bed­time.

By Yraa

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