In pregnant women, insomnia manifests itself more during the first and third trimesters and, in particular, during the last month of pregnancy. These insomnias, even if they are unpleasant, have no effect on the development of the fetus. A few simple rules can relieve them, at least partially.
Why is insomnia common during pregnancy?
In pregnant women, insomnia is a common problem, especially during the first and third trimesters.
During the first trimester, sleep disturbances are more related to stress and anxiety which are common after confirmation of pregnancy.
Additionally, hormonal changes can disrupt normal sleep/wake cycles. Finally, sometimes, the installation of the fetus in the uterus stimulates the bladder and forces you to get up at night to urinate.
The mother-to-be sleeps poorly, dozes off during the day, and takes naps on her way home from work, all of which disrupt the daily rhythm and affect the quality of sleep.
During the third trimester, it is rather cramps, back pain, the urge to urinate, the uncomfortable position or the difficulty in breathing related to the voluminous belly, the movements of the baby, or the worries related to childbirth that disturb sleep.
How to preserve the quality of your sleep when you are pregnant?
During the first trimester of pregnancy, it is essential to take care to maintain regular wake-up and bedtime times and to avoid naps that are too late (after 3 p.m.). If you fall sleepy after work, prefer a session of walking or swimming to fight against drowsiness. Anxiety and stress issues can be improved by talking with loved ones, doctors, or midwife.
During the third trimester, a few simple steps can help improve sleep during pregnancy.
- To sleep more comfortably, lie on your left side to help blood flow from the legs to the heart, which can prevent cramps. Place a pillow between your knees or under your stomach. It is also possible to sleep three-quarters on your stomach with one leg bent.
- Avoid drinking in the hours before bedtime and take the time to empty your bladder thoroughly before going to bed.
- Raise your bed slightly above foot level (unless you suffer from acid reflux).
- Apply the general rules for better sleep: light dinner, bedtime rituals, a moment of relaxation before going to bed, adapted physical activity during the day (never in the evening), reduction of caffeine consumption, etc. If you feel like taking a relaxing bath, make sure it’s not too hot to cause circulatory problems.
Be careful, if you are pregnant, never take any medicine for insomnia, even those available without a prescription or herbal ones. If your sleep problems become too disabling, consult your doctor.
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