Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy
Photo by Dexter Chatuluka on Unsplash
Sleep is one of the basic needs of human life & can have adverse effect when don’t get enough sleep. Our daily life can be hampered in a big way if there is a change in the routine or sleep pattern. Lack of sleep can make us feel tired, less efficient, irritable and more lethargic.
When sleep is so important for all of us, it is certainly more important for pregnant women carrying another life in their body. Importantly, the sleep patterns and lack of good sleep can affect the development of her baby. Lack of sleep is also associated with low weight and pre-term babies, depression, low immunity, body inflammation and complication during delivery.
During pregnancy, a woman goes through a lot of bodily and hormonal changes and with each trimester it’s different. Studies have shown that most of the women develop sleep disorders during pregnancy and have insomnia. However with right measures taken right from the beginning can ensure smooth pregnancy and no complications during pregnancy.
A pregnant woman needs to sleep for at least six to seven hours a day. It is recommended that women need more sleep during the first trimester as the baby starts growing and these are the crucial developmental stage. During the first trimester of pregnancy the hormone progesterone is secreted which may generally cause a lot of fatigue, respiratory issues, pain and discomfort thus the need for sleep is very important during these months. Similarly during third trimester it again becomes difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. During this time the high levels of estrogen can cause some women to develop swelling of nasal tissue, which can lead to lack of sleep.
Some common sleep issues that may occur during pregnancy:
- Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early or feeling tired. During pregnancy one can develop insomnia, which could be related to stress about labor, delivery or balancing work and motherhood and eventually result in significant sleep loss.
- Restless Leg Syndrome is an unpleasant feeling in the leg; sometimes it can be prickly or painful. These feelings worsen at night and could hamper sleep.
- Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing is disturbed during sleep. This could be accompanied by snoring, pauses during breathing and gasping for breath.
- GERD is similar to heartburn/acidity and is common amongst pregnant women however if it’s continuous can cause uneasiness while sleeping.
- Frequent urination is very common during pregnancy and can disrupt sleep.
Good sleep pattern and good nutrition can really work wonder, more than what we can think of to decrease the impact of the above issues.
Some common tips that can help ensure good sleep is
- Lifestyle changes
- Eating healthy
- Less stress
- Less screen time
- Stay hydrated
- Have a daily routine
- Stay in an environment, which is comfortable
- Be positive
- Avoid any conflicting situations
- Be calmer and peaceful
Establishing good sleep patterns during pregnancy is highly effective, not only physically but also psychologically. A good sleep pattern plays an important role in the preparation for birth, and protects the baby from the psychological stresses and strains of pregnancy.
Parita Shah is a counseling psychologist and founder and CEO of Psync360 in mumbai and has 10 years of work experience. She is a mother of 1 year old handsome boy. Her passion is to work with children with special needs and difficulties. She does marital counseling, teenage counseling and career counseling. She loves dancing and takes it as a stress buster.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.