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Sleep Sound During Pregnancy Some Smart and Simple Tips

Sleep Sound During Pregnancy Some Smart and Simple Tips

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Sufficient sleep is extremely necessary to prevent fatigue and illness during pregnancy.

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

However, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, you may experience that sleep is eluding you.

Why does sleep elude you?

In early pregnancy you may be able to get sufficient or even excessive sleep due to rapid increase in the levels of progesterone, a hormone that  tends to induce sleep. But as your pregnancy progresses, it becomes more and more difficult to sleep comfortably. The reasons can range from change in sleeping position to stress, frequent urination, backache or other discomforts.

Change in your sleeping position. As your pregnancy advances, the increasing size of the tummy makes it difficult for you to sleep in the position you are most comfortable with, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach.  Adapting to sleeping on your side, as recommended by your doctor, may not be that easy.

Frequent calls to the washroom. Your blood volume increases by 30-50% during pregnancy. As a result, your kidneys have to work much harder to filter out the wastes from the increased volume of blood. This is the reason the kidneys produce more urine in your body. In addition, the extra pressure exerted by the growing uterus over the urinary bladder also contributes to this phenomenon.

Backaches and leg cramps. The extra weight of the uterus causes the muscles of the back and legs to pain. Trying to sleep on your back puts further pressure on the spine and back muscles and causes the pain.

Increased heart rate and shortness of breath. The increased blood volume also makes your heart to pump harder so as to provide blood to the growing uterus as well as rest of your body.

Pregnancy hormones and breathing. Your breathing may also get affected by the increased pregnancy hormones which can force you to breathe in more deeply.

Constipation, heartburn and gas. During pregnancy, your digestive system slows down and food tends to remain in the stomach and intestines for a longer duration. This may cause heartburn, constipation and flatulence. This problem may get worse during the later stages of pregnancy when the growing uterus puts pressure either on the stomach or the large intestine. Moreover, during the later stage of pregnancy the growing uterus pushes the stomach up which increases the incidence of stomach acid moving up into the esophagus leading to heartburn.

Other causes. Stress, anxiety and nervousness can also cause sleep disturbances.

What can you do?

There are several remedies which you can follow:

Sleeping Style

Avoid sleeping on your stomach. This puts extra pressure on the abdomen and may cause abdominal pains.

Sleep on your side. You can sleep in whichever position you find comfortable. However, as your doctor probably may have also advised you, sleeping on your sides, particularly on your left side, is considered more appropriate. It takes the pressure off your spine and back muscles and relieves you of back pain. Also, it benefits the baby by improving the blood flow to the placenta. Additionally, it helps your kidneys to work more efficiently to eliminate waste products and fluids from your body.

Sleeping on your side makes the work of the heart easier as the pressure exerted by the growing uterus over the large vein (inferior vena cava- taking blood from lower body to the heart) is released, which results in smoother flow of blood to the heart. Shifting from one side to another while sleeping, with more on your left side is the best strategy to sleep comfortably during pregnancy.

Use pillows. A body pillow can be used to support your back, the knees, and the abdomen to create a more comfortable sleeping position.

Take short afternoon naps. If you feel you have not slept enough in the night, even a half-an-hour afternoon nap helps you. This reduces the fatigue and makes you more energetic and comfortable.

Lifestyle changes:

Stay agile. Exercising improves blood circulation, thus relieving you of pains, cramps, and aches. In turn, this helps you to sleep sound.

Keep yourself hydrated. Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day. This alleviates problems like constipation, heartburn and flatulence, helping you to sleep better.

Avoid stress and anxiety. Best way to keep away from stress and anxiety is to talk to your partner and doctor about your worries. Share, and your anxieties are going to diminish.

Eat a healthy balanced diet. A diet that is rich in micronutrients, high in fluids and fibre may help you in keeping major digestive problems at bay and keep you comfortable at night. For instance, taking bland cereal crackers in the night when you get the hunger pangs, helps in preventing nausea, thus ensuring better sleep during first trimester of pregnancy.

Clothing: Loose fitted soft cotton is the most preferred clothing for a pregnant mother. It not only lets your skin breathe, but also prevents any sort of itching or discomfort. Lightweight cotton is the ideal fabric for your bed too.

The ambience of your room. Keeping your room airy and softly fragrant keeps you relaxed while sleeping.

Sleeping disorders can be discomforting, irritating and energy sapping. However, it is easily curable. Just bring in some simple changes in your lifestyle and you can get back the ability to sleep well. This ushers in an overall well being of you and your baby.

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