Sat 13 Mar 2010
Pregnancy may be one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life. Some pregnant women however may also come to experience physical pains and discomforts as their tummies expand. One such common complaint is pregnancy insomnia.
It is believed that at least 78% of women experience insomnia during pregnancy. Although some may not experience this sleeping problem throughout pregnancy, at least 97% of pregnant women experience temporary pregnancy insomnia near the end of pregnancy or at the last trimester. Aside from common pregnancy insomnia, 30% of pregnant women also develop snoring habits that could be a sign of sleep apnea.
Pregnant women may experience pregnancy insomnia because of pregnancy induced pains and discomforts. A woman may have trouble sleeping simply because a big tummy makes nearly all sleeping positions uncomfortable. Pregnancy insomnia is more commonly experienced during the last trimester because the swollen uterus presses against body parts and organs and creates pressure in some parts. This results in common pregnancy complaints like nausea, cramps, heartburn, body aches and the need to frequently urinate. Fetal movement and psychological anxieties may also contribute to the incidence of pregnancy insomnia.
Other Sleep Problems
Aside from pregnancy insomnia, sleep apnea may also be a harmful condition that may develop during pregnancy. Nasal passages may increasingly swell in pregnant women which may block airways. Snoring which may accompany this kind of apnea may result in high blood pressure. The lack of oxygen could also potentially harm the fetus. In some women, this sleep apnea may also be the cause of pregnancy insomnia since a pregnant woman may wake up suddenly because of gasping which may follow snoring.
There are numerous ways to help reduce pregnancy insomnia. The following may be helpful tips:
· Experiment with sleeping positions like sleeping on your side. Avoid sleeping on your back to avoid pressure on your diaphragm and bladder.
· Drink a lot of water in the morning but reduce fluid intake before bed time to curb frequent urination.
· Perform pregnancy exercises to reduce painful night leg cramps.
· Add comfortable pillows on your bed. You can hug a long body pillow or use special pregnancy pillows for your head and back.
· Take a warm bath and have a soft massage before sleeping.
· Drink warm milk or water with honey before sleeping.
· Make sure that you are comfortable with your room’s temperature and that the room is well ventilated
· Play relaxing music or turn on the TV to a boring show.
· Read a boring book.
· Avoid spicy or acidic foods to avoid heartburn.
· Eat bland crackers to reduce nausea.
· Practice deep relaxation breathing techniques like the method taught in pregnancy classes.
Find What Works
Pregnancy aches and pains are usually unique to an individual. You may therefore need to find your own personal solution to pregnancy insomnia by experimenting on which of the above mentioned tips will work for you. One thing is certain though; you should consult your doctor if you plan to take anything for your insomnia. What you put in your body could be harmful to your baby. It is generally a bad idea to take alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives and other sleep medication while you are pregnant. Ask you doctor for a safe sleep supplement.