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Why Does Pregnancy Cause Insomnia

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How To Get Enough Rest While Pregnant

Sleeping Problems During Pregnancy Reasons & Solutions

Youll probably endure plenty of sleepless nights once the baby arrives, soits important to get enough sleep while you can. For occasional help,over-the-counter remedies containing diphenhydramine are fairly safe, Piensays.

For more chronic sleep problems, lifestyle changes like abandoningtelevision and electronics before bed are helpful. Pregnant women shouldnot underestimate the effect of stress on their sleep. Stress reductiontechniques are essential.

It’s clearly a time when there are a lot of biological changes going on,but, in addition, expectant parents may be moving homes or just trying tofigure out what theyre going to do after the baby is born, Pien says.There can be a lot of other stressors, and sometimes the first chance thatpeople get to think about it is when the lights go out.

She suggests making to-do lists for the next day before bedtime to avoidtaking stress to bed with you.

Once the baby comes, make sure to prioritize sleep, even though yourlifestyle will change.

People are going to want to come over, but dont worry so much aboutmaking sure that the house is clean and all of that, she says. Setpriorities around getting enough sleep, and know that its going to take afew months.

What Are The Causes Of Insomnia In Teens

Insomnia has been estimated to affect up to 23.8% of teens. Biological changes push teens toward a later, night owl sleep schedule, but they usually cant sleep as long as they would like in the morning because of school start times.

Teens may be especially susceptible to overscheduling and stress from school, work, and social obligations. Teens also have high rates of using electronic devices in their bedroom. Each of these factors contributes to a high rate of insomnia during adolescence.

Complications Of Pregnancy Insomnia

It’s important to address pregnancy insomnia. Your body needs rest right now to care for your growing baby. Pregnancy insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea in pregnant women may be exacerbated by smoking, obesity, age, or a family history of it and this could make you more likely to have a premature delivery, a longer labor, or a C-section delivery, all of which could put your baby at risk.

Untreated sleep apnea may also lead to pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure, and difficulty sleeping after birth.

It may also make you more vulnerable to depression after you deliver.

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How Do You Know If You Have Insomnia

The simplest way to self-diagnose insomnia if you cant see a doctor is to assess yourself on The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index .

Its a short and simple test that measures the quality of your sleep, and has shown to be reliable for pregnant women .

Heres a free online Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index calculator that you can fill out.

At the end, youll get your final PSQI global score.

If your score is greater than 5, youre a poor sleeper.

If your score is higher than 5, you might have insomnia . The higher your score, the more likely it is that you suffer from it and should seek help .

What Can I Do To Help Myself Fall Asleep

Insomnia During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms and Home Remedies

Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry cure for insomnia, but there are things you can try,

Getting into a calm, measured bedtime routine can sometimes help, like trying to eat earlier in the evening to allow your body to digest.

A little activity might not hurt your chances of a decent kip, so give some gentle exercise like going for a walk or doing some stretching a go.

Make it a rule to banish the technology from the bedroom or at least avoid looking at your phone, iPad, laptop or even TV in the hours before bedtime as studies show the lights emitted by them suppress sleep hormones.

There might also be little home remedies and tricks that work just for you. One of our MFM team has a slow breathing trick she uses when she cant nod off because the rhythm of it instantly makes her sleepy.

One thing I found that was good is a cream called Little Me Mum To Be from Boots, says MFMer Naomi. Its lavender scented and when I was suffering from insomnia I rubbed it on my tummy and the smell helped me doze off.

Warm baths, scents or sounds that relax you, wearing headphones, anything you think might suit you give it a go.

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When Does Insomnia During Pregnancy Start

It’s normal to have trouble sleeping at any point during pregnancy, but many expectant women experience insomnia starting in the second to third trimesters, as other pregnancy symptoms increase, and a burgeoning baby belly makes it harder than ever to get comfortable in bed.

Still, first trimester woes can force you from your cozy bed and disturb precious sleep too, including morning sickness, which can happen any time of the day or night, and a constant need to pee. But if youre worried that a case of insomnia may harm your baby, rest assured it wont. So do your best not to fret and sometimes, just letting go of these feelings is all it takes to help you sleep.

What Are The Causes Of Insomnia During Pregnancy

Multiple factors can cause insomnia during pregnancy:

  • Discomfort: Increased weight and changed body composition can affect positioning and comfort in bed.
  • Disrupted Breathing: Growth of the uterus places pressure on the lungs, creating potential for breathing problems during sleep. Hormonal changes can increase snoring and the risk of central sleep apnea, which involves brief lapses in breath.
  • Reflux: Slower digestion can prompt disruptive gastroesophageal reflux in the evening.
  • Nocturia: Greater urinary frequency can create the need to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome: The exact cause is unknown, but pregnant women have a greater risk of RLS even if they have never had symptoms before becoming pregnant.

Studies have found that more than half of pregnant women report sleeping problems consistent with insomnia. In the first trimester, pregnant women frequently sleep more total hours, but the quality of their sleep decreases. After the first trimester, total sleep time decreases, with the most significant sleeping problems occurring during the third trimester.

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Make Small Lifestyle Changes

Making small alterations to your routine can have a big impact on pregnancy insomnia. For example, eating smaller meals throughout the day can help to prevent heartburn. Limiting your fluid intake right before bed can prevent the need to urinate during the night. You might also want to invest in a new pillow for added comfort.

Why Does Sleep Matter So Much

Tips for Insomnia During Pregnancy

Science has shown that sleep is necessary for all kinds of vital bodily functions, as well as restoring energy and allowing the brain to process new information it has taken in while awake.

Without sufficient sleep, its impossible to think clearly, react quickly, focus, and control emotions. A chronic lack of sleep can even lead to serious health problems.

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How Sleep Changes Early In Pregnancy

The first trimester of pregnancy includes many changes that affect a person’s body, some of which occur soon after conception. A handful of these adjustments can also interrupt sleep in pregnancy. Therefore, some of these early shifts can lead to insomnia.

People in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy commonly experience fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness. Some other signs of tiredness include:

  • Poor concentration
  • Impaired job performance
  • Increased likelihood of accidents

Sleepiness affects up to 37.5% of pregnant people at 6 to 7 weeks. That’s because the increased levels of the hormone progesterone cause drowsiness. In addition, progesterone often leads to increased sleep interruptions, which may affect overall sleep quality.

Moreover, some other early pregnancy symptoms can also disrupt sleep. These include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety

By week 10 of pregnancy, people spend more time sleeping. Often this means a longer sleep duration overnight, and sometimes it includes napping during the day. This increased sleep is because sleep is more disturbed by frequent awakenings, and deep sleep decreases.

Many pregnant people complain that they get poor quality sleep during this period. Fortunately, rest tends to improve in the second trimester. However, sleep tends to worsen again with the physical discomfort of late pregnancy.

When You’re Pregnant And Can’t Sleep

Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

If you have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, you’re not alone. Research shows that between 20% and 60% of pregnant women experience insomnia at some point during their pregnancy.

Insomnia comes in a few different forms. You can have trouble falling asleep when you try to go to bed or wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Between the various physical discomforts of pregnancy and the worries of bringing a child into the world, there may be plenty to keep you up at night.

Taking medication to help you sleep during pregnancy can be risky, especially in the first trimester. There are several other natural things you can do to combat insomnia in pregnancy. Here are some tools that can help you improve your sleep quality and duration.

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Getting Help For Insomnia

If you have insomnia, no matter the reason, you should seek help to sleep better. For temporary relief, you can use over-the-counter or prescription sleep medications.

However, you should not use these for longer than a few weeks. Also, if you think you may be pregnant, you should avoid them altogether.

Instead, take a home pregnancy test or see your healthcare provider to be sure. Then seek out alternate options for persistent sleep difficulties.

Cant Sleep While Pregnant

Women and Insomnia

Certain hormonal changes, along with other pregnancy-related discomforts can sink a good nights sleep. Heres how to snooze more soundly.

    This guide was originally published on May 22, 2019.

    Like the perfect maternity outfit, sleep is something many pregnant women covet. My second and third pregnancies, for instance, were plagued with such bad morning sickness that I was left vomiting throughout the night. When that eased, my sons kicking became so intense that one particularly sharp jab in the middle of the night caused me to awake to soaked sheets Id peed all over my bed.

    According to one study published in the journal Sleep Medicine in 2015, most women experience some type of sleep problem during pregnancy. Of the 2,427 women surveyed, for example, all reported frequent nighttime wakings while they were pregnant nearly 60 percent reported insomnia and about 80 percent found it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

    My patients always come to me in a panic because theyre worried about not sleeping, said Dr. Laura Riley, M.D., an ob-gyn at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. But this sleep deprivation isnt harmful in any way to you or your baby. Your body will naturally protect itself and make sure you fall asleep eventually, Dr. Riley added. Youll get the rest you need.

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    How To Prevent Pregnancy Insomnia

    You don’t have to take insomnia lying down! Instead, consider a few of the many ways you can try and beat back sleeplessness and finally summon the sandman:

    From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

    How To Cope With Pregnancy Insomnia

    When youre considering the sleep aids to help you get a good nights sleep during your pregnancy, Its important to make sure youre not putting your own health or that of your unborn child at risk, so check any medication youre considering taking with your physician first.

    “I would absolutely not recommend melatonin or any other herbal/alternative sleep remedy that has not been rigorously tested and proven to be safe in pregnancy,” advises Leah Hazard.

    If physical discomfort caused by the size of your bump is stopping you from sleeping, James Wilson has some practical suggestions. “Sleeping on your left side and buying a body or maternity pillow can be priceless, or tuck a pillow between your legs to keep the pelvis in a neutral position.”

    Reflux and heartburn are common symptoms during pregnancy, so if this is the case for you try leaving a longer gap between eating and going to bed. One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, showed that the shorter the time between eating, the greater the problem with reflux. Some pregnant women find it helpful to prop themselves up with pillows to achieve a more upright position.

    As for leg cramps, theres no hard and fast cure, says midwife Leah Hazard. “Try not to panic if they wake you up flex and relax your feet, and the cramp should ease within minutes.”

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    Is Insomnia During Pregnancy Harmful

    While pregnancy-induced insomnia isn’t particularly harmful to you or your baby, listlessness and sleeplessness can cause a host of other problems. Specifically, insomnia has been tied to depression and anxiety. It can also increase your risk of gestational diabetes, premature delivery, and/or prolonged labor.

    Managing Insomnia During Pregnancy

    How To Deal With Pregnancy Insomnia

    Even if you experience many false alarms, it is better to be prepared every time. No matter what your insomnia is caused by, it is important that you try getting rid of it as early as possible. If it is caused by nausea and vomiting, try taking a medication. If it is caused by elevated pressure from the baby on the uterus, ask a doctor to shift him or her around slightly. When a mother can sleep soundly through the night, it means that her levels of stress will be greatly decreased, which will in turn allow her to care for her baby more attentively. Since insomnia can have many negative side effects even outside of birth, it is important to ease it either way.

    Read More:

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    Establish A Regular Bedtime Routine

    While this sounds obvious, it can take great effort to achieve, especially while pregnant.

    To do this, Gilchrist suggests setting time limits for getting into bed to wind down before sleeping. You should also:

    • Avoid TVs, phones or screens for a couple of hours before bed.
    • Take a relaxing bath with your favourite essential oils as part of your evening routine.
    • Use hypnobirthing tracks to relax your mind as well as help you to prepare for birth.
    • Ensure your bedroom is dark or that you have blinds with a blackout lining.
    • Adjust the temperature with either extra layers, opening windows or using a fan, to ensure you are neither too hot nor too cold.

    What You Can Do About It

    Heartburn-soothing strategies like these can help:

    • Avoiding spicy, greasy and acidic foods
    • Eating smaller meals and having dinner at least two hours before bedtime
    • Propping your head up with a couple of pillows
    • Popping antacids
    • Talking to your doctor about proton-pump inhibitors, if nothing else works

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    Strategy #: Sleep On Your Side

    As your pregnancy progresses, your burgeoning belly may make it harder and harder to find and settle on a pleasant sleeping position. While its generally O.K. to sleep any way thats comfortable during your first and the beginning of your second trimesters, experts recommend trying to sleep on your side after about 20 weeks. As your uterus gets bigger, it lies on top of your inferior vena cava, which is the large blood vessel that provides blood to your heart, explained Dr. Salena Zanotti, M.D., an ob-gyn at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. If your uterus rests on this vessel which runs behind your abdominal cavity from your legs to your heart for too long, it could cause a sharp dip in blood pressure that could theoretically impede blood flow to both you and your baby.

    A 2017 study published in the journal B.J.O.G., for example, found that of more than 1,000 women who answered questionnaires about their sleeping positions, those who reported sleeping on their backs during their third trimesters had more than double the risk of stillbirth than those who slept on their sides. Other, older studies have found similar results.

    How Long Does Pregnancy Insomnia Last

    Why Is Insomnia In Early Pregnancy A Big Threat

    Since its possible to experience insomnia and disrupted sleep at any point during pregnancy, you may be faced with a loss of shut-eye for weeks and months with no real end point in sight. But rather than letting this sleep disorder weigh on you, check in with your doctor at your next prenatal appointment for some help and guidance.

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    Can Pregnancy Cause Insomnia

    There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that pregnancy can cause insomnia.

    However, its still not perfectly clear why some women are affected more than others. For now, heres what we do know:

    • Women who are more anxious and tend to worry experience more severe sleep difficulties
    • Hormonal changes affect sleep related hormones like cortisol and melatonin . This is the same reason many women suffer from insomnia on their periods.
    • The risk of insomnia is 2.63 times higher for women with depression syndrome
    • Pregnant women often take CoQ10 supplements. Taking too much CoQ10 can cause insomnia.

    All women need to deal with the hormonal changes, but if youre typically relaxed and easy going, you have a much smaller chance of developing severe sleep troubles.

    SummaryInsomnia is very common to varying degrees during pregnancy. Its mainly caused by anxiety , depression, and hormonal changes.

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