Insomnia During Pregnancy

All expectant moms share almost all of their anxieties associated with pregnancy. You have a dozen of things to do, a dozen more to think about and all have got only 24 hours in a day. Your mind is racing ahead constantly thinking and anticipating the different would be problems and also preparing for the new entrant in the family in the very near future. And as if all these worries and anxieties were not enough to take a toll on you, sleeplessness too creeps in your life.

Insomnia During Pregnancy time

During pregnancy insomnia is generally experienced during the third trimester (weeks 28 – 42). It is the time when you have a big baby pressing on your bladder and when your gynecologist would tell you to be more cautious in your movements. You would also be advised to sleep only in a straight position on your back, a somewhat uncomfortable sleep position. Hence, even the amount of sleep you manage to take also lacks quality. The constant load in your belly would also result in frequent backaches.

It is no surprise that almost 80 percent of pregnant women experience insomnia of varying degrees. To be more precise, in a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, more than 78 percent of the surveyed women reported more disturbed sleep during their pregnancy than at other times. The sleep related problems even became more prevalent as their pregnancies progressed week by week.

Since you would also most probably be experiencing heartburn, leg cramps and other such pregnancy related conditions, these also affect the amount of sleep you are able to take in. During pregnancy your sleep is also disturbed due to your frequent need to pee. All of this is a normal process.

How to Take Care of Insomnia during Pregnancy?

By learning the reasons for your insomnia during pregnancy, you can take specific steps to treat the cause(s) responsible for the condition. You should not just blindly tackle the symptoms. I am giving here some general guidelines to help all you expectant ladies and mothers-to-be so that you are able to achieve the shut – eye which you so desperately need.

The following simple thinking and some simple activities can definitely help you in getting a control over your sleep.

  • First and the foremost, stop worrying all by yourself. If you have some worries in your mind it is always better to speak about the same and discuss with your partner, your family members or your friends. And make sure you do this many hours before your bedtime. If you cannot find anyone of them, then you would help yourself by writing it out.
  • Insomnia During PregnancyYou should accept that your pregnancy is a totally unique experience and this feeling can only be experienced by you. Do not blame yourself or stress yourself if your pregnancy appears to be more problem filled than that of your best friends’ or your siblings. Such comparisons are bound to make you more stressed and make your insomnia worse.
  • Making a bedtime routine would immensely be helpful in overcoming the sleeplessness. And this holds true even for other reasons of insomnia. Try to sleep and wake up at or around the same time everyday.
  • Lie on your bed only when you feel sleepy. Do not lie on your bed awake anticipating sleep.
  • If you are not able to sleep within the first 30 minutes of your lying on your bed, get out of the bed and indulge in some activity which you think would make you feel sleepy.
  • While going to bed it is always better to use a full length body pillow. Such pillows are quite supportive and will cradle your aching body and also give you the much needed support no matter which strange looking sleep position you go for. As your gynecologist might have told you or would be telling you soon that you should be sleeping on your side as soon as you enter your second trimester, as this is the safest position for your baby.
  • Do not do stressful things on your bed.
  • Listening to mild touching music or reading something, which interests you, before going to bed or even while lying in bed would do wonders to make you fall asleep.
  • You should try not to take tea, coffee, soda, medications which contain caffeine and foods with lot of glucose keep you conscious and deprive you of the much needed sleep. Wholegrain meals on the other hand trigger the secretion of a hormogmne called melatonin which assists your body in resting and hence should be regularly taken as meals, especially at night time. A whole grain muffin and a glass of warm milk would be the ideal snack if you feel hungry while going to bed.
  • Although fluids are an essential intake during pregnancy, you should complete your daily requirement by early evening. This will help you cut down on your urge to pee after you fall asleep and hence would result in giving you undisturbed sleep.
  • You should also try some pregnancy exercises. Of course, you should first consult your gynecologist for the correct types. Also, these exercises should not be undertaken too close to your bedtime as exercising at that time could keep you awake past your bedtime.
  • Making your bedroom quiet, dark and comfortable would also help in providing a sound sleep to you.
  • How to Take Care of Insomnia during PregnancyYou should also not get too rigid about the number of hours of sleep you make every night. Although sleep experts suggest around 8 hours of sleep for a normal adult every night, but many people make good with even 5 – 6 hours of sleep. So instead of aiming at a particular number of hours of sleep you should check the quality of rest you are getting while you sleep (even if its less than the hours you have had promised yourself). If you are not feeling tired even after taking in around 6 hours of sleep, its okay enough for you. It means that you are getting enough rest as required by your body.
  • While taking your meals (and it could be during anytime of the day), you should make sure that you eat at a normal pace and not gulp the food in a hurry. Poorly chewed food takes more time to digest and it then results in heartburn. The outcome of all this is sleeplessness.
  • To prevent heartburn you should also take your meals at least two – three hours before your bedtime. This would make sure that the food clears the digestion phase much before you plan to go to bed.
  • This one is the most important point of all and also the most difficult to do, since it all depends on your willpower. If you are facing some problems that have been bothering you, you should face those head and conquer them. This way you will not be wasting your energy thinking about them while lying in bed and eventually be able to get your dose of precious sleep. You should always keep in mind that we are all humans and for us nothing will ever be perfect. You should allow yourself to make mistakes and then even relax. Your body, mind and your to be born child will thank you.
  • Never even think about popping an over the counter drug to control your insomnia during pregnancy. These pills or any other aids would not prove to be of any help in such cases. Moreover, no such pill exists all over this planet which can cure your insomnia without risking your and your to be born baby’s health or even life. Sleeplessness or insomnia may be frustrating but you should also keep in mind that during pregnancy it is perfectly normal. So enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can. A price it is, but, a very, very small one to pay for all the goodness and color a child will bring in your life with her / his arrival.

Insomnia might be a predicament for you but you can rest assure that it would never hurt you or your baby. Sometimes just letting go of the worry is all it takes to help you sleep.

On a lighter note; you can even console and assure yourself that this is how the baby is giving you a solid practice and preparing you for the more sleepless nights to follow after she / he arrives in your lives !

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