Everyone must have an excellent answer to the sleep question if we want to live long and healthy. It brings about the term sleep hygiene, which is the behavior of habits around maintaining a good sleep quality and time. If sleep hygiene is essential to us all, it is doubly vital to pregnant women, hence this article.
For a start, getting good quality sleep hygiene is not only crucial for the mother but also significant for the baby. Expecting mothers and babies must deliberately seek comfort, particularly during the night sleep. And if there is any discomfort of lack of sleep, relate with the doctor immediately.
At this point, we should admit that getting a night of good sleep is often not as easy as it sounds for pregnant women. No thanks to the changes their bodies are undergoing both physically and physiologically. The high demands that the pregnancy places on the woman’s emotions, body, thoughts, and entire life affects how good her sleep will be during this period. Learn more best pro tips on how to prepare for a successful cataract surgery.
Some of these effects may also be evident in the pregnant woman’s inability to sleep well. On the other hand, if the woman has had a history of sleep disorders of any type or level, it may worsen when pregnant. Several times, you may have heard that pregnant women’s emotional, physiological, and psychological balance can become unstable.
What affects the sleep hygiene of a pregnant woman?
The essential factor in a pregnant woman’s inability to sleep well is the body’s physical discomfort. Before the pregnancy, there is a way the woman carries herself and a way she sleeps comfortably. But after getting pregnant, all of that changes, and the woman will have to learn the new normal. At times, this condition may be enhanced by anxiety.
Some expecting mothers may experience nausea and back pain, affecting their sleep hygiene. Others may experience fetal movement, depending on how old the pregnancy is. As a result, these occasional movements may keep them awake even while in bed. It is also essential to discuss with a doctor the best position to assume at all stages of pregnancy.
A pregnant woman’s body undoubtedly undergoes many hormonal changes, including a progesterone level surge. This increase becomes pronounced in the pregnancy’s early stages or first trimester (three months). Increasing progesterone secretion may cause someone to fall asleep during the day.
Other effects of these hormonal changes are reduced blood pressure and blood sugar. The result is that the person begins to feel dull, inactive, and sleep during the expected work hours of the day. Therefore, the pregnant woman must seek a very comfortable place, time, and organized schedule for quality sleep to manage all these factors during her pregnancy.
Furthermore, emotional demands on the pregnant woman may lead to a lack of good quality sleep. But these factors are also why women should be conscious of their sleep hygiene to maintain where they are in the pregnancy state. Most women would also stay awake because they worry about the unborn, finances, baby sleep, or even relationships.
5 Different Sleep disorders that women face during pregnancy
If a woman cultivates good sleep hygiene for a prolonged time, she must prepare for the following disorders during pregnancy. These issues are often shared among pregnant women and can affect their sleep quality. Moreover, the sleep quality the previous night begins to affect how the pregnant woman feels throughout the day. Let us dive in.
Insomnia refers to the difficulty in trying to fall or stay asleep. When a woman is pregnant, there is an increased chance that she will experience this condition naturally. However, the cause has always been related to stress, anxiety, or some discomforts. These conditions may be physical, physiological, or even psychological.
These factors often have to do with the condition of the mind and body. Suppose a woman can manage the two well during pregnancy. In that case, there should be few cases of insomnia during her pregnancy. However, suppose after controlling these issues, insomnia persists. In that case, it may be time to consult a doctor for more professional advice on restoring sleep hygiene.
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
As RLS sounds, it is occasionally an unpleasant feeling in the legs and feet. Many times, many people describe it as being tingly or even achy feeling at times. Moreover, this feeling may worsen when the pregnant woman is resting at night. As a result, the woman finds it very difficult to sleep at night and may struggle for long hours that may be tiring.
- Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleeping condition with long pauses between the sleeping time. It could last several minutes and keep the woman awake all through the night. One of the apparent symptoms of sleep apnea is heavy snoring with an intermittent pause in between. At other times, it may come with some gasp for air. However, a snoring aid can help to overcome any issue that involves snoring.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD, otherwise known as Acid reflux, is a condition where the stomach contents return to the esophagus. As a result, pregnant women can experience vomiting, heartburn, and breathing issues that may disrupt their sleep. When the pregnant woman feels this way, it also means that the difficulty in sleeping will cause more problems the following day.
- Frequent urinating at night
Another common issue that pregnant women face is frequent urination at night which disturbs their sleep. By waking up three to four times in the night, they may fail to catch up with the rest.
While we have discussed extensively what pregnant women face regarding their sleep hygiene, it is essential to mention the possible treatments. While medications may be one way to treat many medical issues in pregnant women, it is not the first option for them. In the case of pregnancy, not all medications are safe for the fetus. It is therefore imperative to treat these sleep-related issues with proper sleep hygiene.