Pregnancy and child development are nothing short of an amazing miracle. Two simple cells multiply into trillions of cells and form all the different body parts and diverse organs. There are many millions of biochemical processes that need to be exactly right. To support this developmental work, the various female hormones are increasing and decreasing their production.
This often causes problems for the pregnant mother, and of all mother-to-be symptoms – pregnancy insomnia can be one of the worst. Astoundingly, more than three quarters of pregnant women suffer from pregnancy insomnia, which is defined as lack of sufficient sleep.
Pregnancy is usually a time when expectant mothers are supposed to relax and rest in preparation for the arrival of their new baby. Nonetheless, for many women it is a trying time of repeated episodes of insomnia. This insomnia may be intermittent or it may be chronic. Sometimes, along with pregnancy comes lot of anxiety for the woman, in addition to physical issues such as frequent urination, difficulty finding comfortable positions, stress, back pain and leg cramps.
Also, pregnancy is a time when there is so much going on like getting the new nursery ready, baby showers, choosing our new baby’s name, worries about the delivery and birth process, and just being worried about your unborn child’s general health.
In addition to fluctuating hormones, there are other specific causes of pregnancy insomnia. Some of these are the increased size of the belly, which causes problems with sleeping posture, discomfort and back pain because the back muscles have to bear so much extra weight. There is the need to urinate more often because the uterus presses down on the bladder and reduces it’s holding capacity. Heartburn, nervous tummy, anxiety leading up to child birth and even the movement of your unborn baby inside your womb at night … all of these things can contribute towards a woman suffering insomnia during pregnancy.
Often, pregnancy insomnia won’t happen until mid way through your second trimester or in your third trimester. This is when your pregnant body becomes more awkward and challenging to maneuver. At this stage, your developing baby is growing larger and is placed lower in the womb, pressing on your bladder – causing frequent urination requirements.
Most pregnant women need to get up in the middle of the night to pass urine, and sometimes by the time they get back to their bed, they have to turn round and go again! The non-pregnancy specific causes such as physical, mental and even behavioral problems which can cause insomnia need to be ruled out.
The best treatment of insomnia during pregnancy is to make changes in your lifestyle and behavior changes. Sadly, there is not a lot which is able to be given by way of medication during pregnancy. However, here are a few thing you might like to try to beat your pregnancy insomnia:
- Many women report that meditation and yoga are excellent ways to deal with pregnancy related insomnia issues. A nice warm shower before you head off to bed at night, is often relaxing and quite simply – that is what it can be all about, getting yourself to relax.
- Sometimes a woman can be so overwhelmed by all the things she needs to do leading up to the delivery, and stress can build up if you think like this and believe that you will never get everything done in time. If this is the case with you, it is a good idea to write a to-do-list, and use this to delegate your “must do” items to others. You will have a black and white list of everything that needs to be done and can cross them off one by one, this should help to ease your mind.
- If getting comfortable for sleep is a problem for you, then check out the many products that are available to make sleep during pregnancy much more comfortable and easier. There is a special full-body pillow designed specifically for pregnant females that supports the uterus and a cushions the legs. many women find these a great help for their pregnancy insomnia. Nothing like being comfortable!
- If frequent urination is the major insomnia issue for you, try limiting your fluid intake after dinnertime and see if this helps with reducing the amount of urine you need to pass at night.
- For problems with noises and sound keeping you alert and sleepless, try simple things such as wearing ear plugs. Another option is to run a fan in your bedroom creating “white noise” which will dull other sounds out.
- See if eating a small a snack or having a warm decaffeinated drink before bedtime helps for you. If you are having a nighttime snack, consider eating one high in carbohydrates as this may help you abate any hunger before morning, and you won’t wake up just because you are hungry.
Pregnancy and Insomnia go Hand in Hand
Just try your best to relax, love yourself and be kind to your body! Try not to sweat the small stuff and let worrying overtake your mind. Try to delegate out any pressing tasks along with housework and chores to others, so as to share the burden and to ease your mind on things getting done.
Considering everything that is going on both inside and outside your body, there is little wonder that most women have to deal with pregnancy insomnia at some stage of their nine months.