When you’re pregnant, your sleep duration decreases due to a number of reasons, it could be because of your backache or the frequent urge to urinate. You try to take naps whenever possible and it is highly suggested that you rest as much as you can before the arrival of the baby as you won’t get much sleep later. You would miss your pre-pregnancy days when you’d turn off the lights and drift into deep sleep but you can’t help it now.
There are many reasons why you’re suffering from pregnancy insomnia since it’s pretty common. We would discuss the causes and some natural remedies to improve your sleep quality while you’re pregnant.
What are the causes of Pregnancy Insomnia?
There are many, many reasons why you have sleep insomnia and some of them are as follows:
- Backaches: a surge in hormones during pregnancy like progesterone which loosens your ligaments resulting in back pain. Other than the hormonal factor, your baby that is growing adds pressure on your lower back or the tailbone which can cause frequent lower back pain.
- Gas: GI problems are common during pregnancy as the pregnancy hormones slow down digestion resulting in you feeling bloated or gassy and can also result in constipation.
- Breast tenderness: you can feel that while you’re pregnant, your breasts get larger in size, become tender and sensitive and can feel sore. Especially for women who sleep on their stomach, this could be a prominent reason as to why they aren’t getting enough sleep.
- Heartburns: have you ever heard of acid reflux? As your baby grows, it causes relaxation of the muscles which move the stomach acids up to the esophagus causing heartburn.
- Frequent urination: the pressure on your bladder because of the growing baby can cause frequent urination, this means lots of trips to the bathroom throughout the day and night.
- Leg cramps: your legs can cramp up due to the change in pressure and circulation from your baby. The cramping can be uncomfortable and cause sleep disturbance.
- Hot flashes: the sudden feeling of warmth in the face, chest and neck are referred to as hot flashes and can occur among some pregnant women.
- Vivid dreams: it is common to have vivid dreams during pregnancy.
- Nausea and vomiting: nausea and vomiting is very common among pregnant women especially during the first trimester. It is also called as morning sickness though it can occur at any time of the day and night. Pregnant women can have disturbed sleep due to uncomfortable nauseated feelings and vomiting.
- Anxiety: during pregnancy, you might think about lots of things regarding yourself and your baby and tend to overthink. This overthinking can cause anxiety and the constant thoughts can keep you from sleep.
- Shortness of breath: as the baby grows, the uterus grows as well and ultimately it puts pressure on the diaphragm. This pressure under the lungs can make it difficult for you to catch your breath.
- Snoring: the growing girth can cause extra pressure which may worsen your snoring. During pregnancy snoring can also be caused due to the swelling of the nasal passages.
What are the Complications of Insomnia during Pregnancy?
Since your baby is growing in your body, it is important for you and your body to rest and pregnancy insomnia should be addressed on time for better care. The condition can be aggravated age, obesity or smoking habits which can ultimately result in premature labor, extended labor or a caesarian delivery which are all risky for the baby.
Unaddressed or untreated pregnancy insomnia can also result in pregnancy complications such as hypertension and you may have difficulty in sleeping post-delivery. All of these make you more vulnerable to post-partum depression.
What are the Natural Remedies for insomnia during pregnancy?
Lets discuss some natural remedies which can help you improve your sleep quality while you’re pregnant.
Having a massage during pregnancy sounds like a luxury and you can definitely enjoy it for improved sleep quality. You can ask your partner for some light massage at the aching areas such as your shoulders, legs, hands or other areas that ache.
You can use some oils or lotions for smooth gliding over your skin and lie in a comfortable position that wouldn’t put too much pressure on any part of your body. You can also go for some pre-natal massage by a pre-natal massage therapist. Most therapists avoid giving any massage during the first trimester due to the possible risks so keep that in mind.
The use of essential oils or their inhalation for wellness and restorative purposes is referred as aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has been in practice for a very long time and is known to be therapeutic. Upon inhalation, the scent travels directly to the part of the brain called as amygdala, which is responsible for controlling emotions.
Before you go for aromatherapy, consult your doctor as to what would be good for you and what should be avoided since you’re a mom-to-be. Usually it is considered safe but there are controversies, although there have been no medical evidence or any research conducted. It is still better to consult and seek professional advice to be on the safe side.
Herbal teas are a good choice but be careful not to consume too much as you already have enough pressure on your bladder and you might not want more bathroom trips throughout the night. It is good to have a cup of nice herbal tea before you go to bed.
There are various choices among herbal teas like lavender or lemon which can prove to be helpful during pregnancy however, some of these herbal teas are suggested to be avoided while you’re pregnant so make sure you consult your doctor before you take any. Go for healthier and safer choices. Along with your tea, you can also have some light snack in order to avoid waking up due to hunger and to keep your sugar levels optimal.
A warm bath already sounds relaxing, right? A study shows that taking a nice warm bath an hour or two before sleeping improves sleep and regulates your body temperature. Make sure your bath is not too hot and you can add some bath salts and oils. Even candles are recommended for a relaxing experience. Warm baths relax you physically and mentally hence better sleep quality so enjoy!
Acupuncture might sound intimidating. The process consists of the insertion of thin needles into the body. The idea has been derived from traditional Chinese medicine but has numerous benefits. It is generally safe during pregnancy hence the recommendation.
During pregnancy, it can help treat lower back pain, fatigue, nausea, and heartburn. You can have the procedure done by a pre-natal specialist since some acupressure points should be avoided as they could trigger negative effects such as premature birth due to triggered contractions. If your pregnancy is high risk, you should consult your OB/GYN before taking any step.
Just like other nutrients, magnesium is just as important during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body becomes deficient in essential nutrients and you should have a healthy diet to make up for it for the well-being of both, you and your baby.
Magnesium plays a vital role in protein synthesis and the development of your baby’s nervous system. It also helps in muscle pain and pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and pre-term labor, however, consult your doctor regarding this as too much can cause diarrhea.
When you’re pregnant, sleep has to be your first priority as you won’t get much after your little bundle of joy arrives. Sleep deprivation can also make you weak and cause you to feel extremely tired during your pregnancy. If you’re thinking about sleep medications, it is better not to go for it as it could be harmful for you and your baby.
Go for natural remedies, and relax physically and mentally for better sleep quality. An adequate amount of sleep and rest is the key to a safe and smooth pregnancy.
If your sleep problems do not show any improvement, consult your doctor and seek professional help, as enough rest is very important during this time period. Even when going towards natural remedies, it is better to let your doctor know once for the best suggestions.