Going through pregnancy requires lots of planning and support to maintain overall health and wellbeing. As the months for delivery near, the expecting mother is seldom in a state of comfort. In addition to nausea, body pain, back pain, fetal movement, and general discomfort, pregnant women are prone to developing insomnia or other sleep disorders. Through this article, we will learn some common sleep disorders reported by pregnant women and tips to overcome its related consequences.
Common Sleep Problems Amongst Pregnant Women
Insomnia refers to difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up really early and unable to fall back asleep. Expecting mothers have reported suffering from either of these three difficulties, especially towards the end of the term. Despite being tired all the time and in physical discomfort, pregnant women find it very hard to sleep and often suffer even more as a result of chronic sleeplessness.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when you face difficulty in breathing while sleeping. There are many leading causes of obstructive sleep apnea, mainly being age and weight. Pregnant women who tend to put on weight during their pregnancy attract obstructive sleep apnea as fatty tissues around the neck prevents easy breathing.
Restless Leg Syndrome
This phenomenon causes leg itching, irritation in some parts, cramping and burning when the legs are stationary or in rest. As a result, to overcome the symptoms, one needs to slightly move the legs to ease the discomfort. Studies show that over 30% of women reported suffering from this syndrome during their pregnancy but disappeared after the delivery.
Tips for Sleeping Better During Pregnancy
If you are expecting, amongst all things, sleep issues should not be the main cause of concern. Simple tips and tricks can help induce sleep or stay asleep for longer. It is critical for expecting mothers to develop sleep hygiene for themselves as well as for the benefits of the baby.
- Develop a wake-sleep cycle and maintain it diligently throughout the pregnancy term. The body is already going through a lot, most of which require adequate rest from time to time. Therefore, maintaining a sleep schedule will acclimatize the body to sleep and wake up automatically at that time.
- Take short naps during the day. If you find it difficult to sleep for eight hours in a stretch, then break the eight hours into smaller hours and sleep in bits. Studies show that short naps actually help the body to regain strength and be active.
- Exercise, at least for half an hour, every day. It need not be intense training. Merely stretching your legs and back can help loosen the muscles and relieve the soreness felt on the joints. Furthermore, exercising regularly can help reduce leg cramps and keep the blood flow going.
Avoid spicy food. Although doctors recommend spicy food to induce labor, consumption of spicy food during the pregnancy term can cause acidity and heartburn. This, in turn, could elevate your sleep problems.