A good quality night’s sleep is essential for a healthy pregnancy. It helps the brain relax, helps the woman’s body recover from the stress of pregnancy, and helps to keep the immune system in its optimal state. But, there are some common sleep problem in pregnant women that prevents them from enjoying their sleep. Research has shown that more than half of pregnant women suffer from some kind of sleep difficulty.
In this article, the common sleep problems in pregnant women would be examined and their solutions would be provided. Fermenting implementing the steps could make a whole difference and ensure that you can get good quality sleep.
1. Frequent Need To Urinate
A common sleep problem in pregnant women is the frequent need to urinate, especially at night. This issue predominantly occurs in the first half of the third trimester of pregnancy. The frequent urge to urinate can cause significant disruptions to sleep, leading to fatigue and other health problems.
Why Does This Happen?
The need to urinate frequently during pregnancy is caused by the elevated pregnancy hormones, which make the kidneys work harder than usual. The kidneys have to purify the mother’s blood and that of the unborn child, which can result in increased urine production. Additionally, the expanding uterus in the third trimester applies pressure on the bladder, causing the need to urinate more frequently.
Reducing fluid intake before bedtime is an effective solution to this problem. It reduces the volume of urine produced at night, which, in turn, minimizes the need to urinate frequently. It’s also advisable for pregnant women to empty their bladder before going to bed and avoid diuretic drinks like coffee and tea before bedtime.
In conclusion, frequent urination is a common sleep problem in pregnant women, and it can significantly impact their quality of sleep. However, with a few lifestyle changes and effective solutions, pregnant women can minimize the frequency of urination and get better quality sleep, leading to a healthier pregnancy.
2. Obstructed Airways During Sleep
Obstructed airways during sleep is a common sleep problem experienced by pregnant women. It can lead to snoring, shortness of breath, and even heart problems if not addressed promptly.
Why Does This Happen?
The growing baby pressing on the diaphragm is the most common cause of airway obstruction during pregnancy, making it difficult for the lungs to take in air.
To address this common sleep problem in pregnant women, several steps can be taken to improve sleep quality.
One effective solution is to use pillows or other props to elevate the head and shoulders while sleeping. This position reduces the pressure on the diaphragm, allowing for easier breathing and better sleep.
Sleeping on the left side with a pillow under the right shoulder and between the knees is another effective solution to alleviate the pressure on the diaphragm and improve breathing, thereby enhancing the quality of sleep.
Avoiding certain foods such as alcohol, coffee, tea, and chocolate before bedtime is also essential. These foods can worsen snoring and other sleep problems, making it harder for pregnant women to get a good night’s sleep.
In conclusion, obstructed airways during sleep are a common sleep problem in pregnant women that can have significant impacts on their health and wellbeing. By using pillows, changing sleep positions, and avoiding certain foods, pregnant women can improve their sleep quality, leading to a healthier pregnancy and better outcomes for both mother and baby.
3. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a common sleep problem in pregnant women. It affects about 10 – 34% of pregnant women in their third trimester. The condition causes the legs to move involuntarily, especially at night, leading to discomfort and a lack of energy during the day.
Why Does It Occur?
Although the exact cause of RLS is still unknown, some studies have linked it to deficiencies in folic acid and iron. Deficiencies in magnesium or vitamin D can also contribute to RLS. In some cases, problems with dopamine in the brain can cause the jerking of the leg.
If you are experiencing RLS during pregnancy, we recommend supplements such as EVERGREEN NATAL CARE PLUS or EVERGREEN FOLIC ACID. It is important to consult your doctor first to determine if you are deficient in any of these nutrients before taking supplements.
In addition to supplements, daily exercise and relaxation techniques may be helpful in managing RLS. It is also recommended to reduce caffeine intake to alleviate symptoms.
In conclusion, restless leg syndrome is a common sleep problem in pregnant women that can be managed with the right treatment and lifestyle changes. Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing RLS during pregnancy to find the best solution for you.
4. Leg Cramps
Another reason for the difficulty experienced by many women during pregnancy is the presence of leg cramps. Leg cramps can be quite difficult to handle and bring a lot of displeasure. It is even more challenging when it occurs during pregnancy.
Predominant leg cramps are experienced by women during their second trimester. It could also be experienced during the first and third trimesters as well.
Why leg cramps?
One of the causes of leg cramps is the compression of blood vessels in the legs. Another reason is fatigue that a pregnant woman experience due to the additional weight she carries. It could also be a result of a deficiency in calcium and magnesium.
Not only do the cramps occur at night, but it also occurs during the day but it is more evident at night.
So how is this fixed?
Since this is a result of a deficiency in calcium or magnesium levels, increasing this would be of help. This is done by taking foods that are rich in calcium and magnesium.
Another way to tackle this is by consulting your doctor about supplements that you could take to increase the level of calcium and magnesium in your body.
Regular exercise that involves stretching your legs would also help fix this.
5. General Body Discomfort
Pregnancy can bring about general discomfort in women while sleeping, which is a common sleep problem in pregnant women. This is usually experienced during the second and third trimesters. The discomfort may arise from the difficulty in finding a good sleeping position, which about 80% of pregnant women face.
Why does it happen?
The change in body shape and size during pregnancy can cause discomfort while sleeping. Women who are used to sleeping on their belly or back may find it uncomfortable to do so during pregnancy. Sleeping on the back could also cause circulatory issues, leading to swelling in the feet.
How to relieve the pain
To alleviate the discomfort, pregnant women are advised to sleep on their sides, preferably the left side. This posture helps to reduce swelling in the feet. However, for women who are not used to sleeping sideways, pregnancy pillows can provide the needed comfort.
In conclusion, sleeping discomfort during pregnancy is a common sleep problem in pregnant women. Pregnant women can improve their sleep quality by adopting the recommended sleeping posture and using pregnancy pillows to alleviate discomfort.
The common causes of pregnancy sleep problems are not limited to the five listed above. Sleep apnea, nasal congestion, and heartburn are also causes of sleep problems experienced by pregnant women. So, in addition to these 5 common sleep problems for pregnant women, we intend to add some more.
6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is another common sleep problem in pregnant women. This condition causes a person to stop breathing for a short period of time during sleep. Pregnant women are more prone to developing sleep apnea due to the weight gain that occurs during pregnancy, which can lead to the narrowing of the airways. In addition, the increased levels of hormones during pregnancy can also contribute to the development of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can cause disruptions in sleep, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and other related symptoms. This can be particularly concerning for pregnant women, as it may affect their ability to function throughout the day. In addition, untreated sleep apnea during pregnancy has been linked to a higher risk of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
There are several treatments available for sleep apnea, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which involves wearing a mask over the nose and mouth during sleep to help keep the airways open. Weight management and positional therapy, such as sleeping on the side, can also be effective in reducing the severity of sleep apnea.
If you are pregnant and experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
7. Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion is another common sleep problem in pregnant women that can be very uncomfortable. This is often caused by an increase in the production of hormones that lead to swelling of the nasal passages. Additionally, the increase in blood flow in the body during pregnancy can cause the nasal passages to become congested.
The congestion can lead to snoring and difficulty breathing during sleep, which can result in poor sleep quality. This can make it challenging for pregnant women to get enough rest, leading to fatigue and other health issues.
So, what can be done to alleviate nasal congestion during pregnancy?
One solution is to use a saline nasal spray or a neti pot to help clear the nasal passages. Another option is to use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and reduce dryness in the nasal passages. Sleeping with an elevated head using a pillow can also help reduce nasal congestion.
It’s essential to consult a doctor before taking any medication or using any remedies to avoid any potential side effects or complications during pregnancy.
Heartburn is another common sleep problem experienced by many pregnant women. It is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest and throat area, which can be very uncomfortable and can affect the quality of sleep.
Why does it happen?
During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone is released in high levels. This hormone causes the muscles in the body to relax, including the muscles that keep stomach acid from moving up into the esophagus. As a result, pregnant women are more likely to experience acid reflux and heartburn. Additionally, as the fetus grows, the uterus puts pressure on the stomach, causing stomach acid to leak into the esophagus. This can cause discomfort and pain, especially when lying down.
What’s the solution?
There are several ways to manage heartburn during pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid eating spicy or fatty foods, as these can trigger heartburn. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can also help to reduce symptoms. It is also recommended to avoid eating close to bedtime or lying down immediately after a meal.
Sleeping with the upper body elevated can also help to reduce the discomfort of heartburn. Using extra pillows or a wedge pillow can elevate the upper body and help prevent stomach acid from moving up into the esophagus.
Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums or Maalox, can also help to relieve heartburn symptoms. However, pregnant women should always consult with their doctor before taking any medication, even over-the-counter ones.
In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medication to help manage heartburn symptoms. It is important to remember that heartburn during pregnancy is common and manageable, and should not cause undue worry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do pregnant women have trouble sleeping?
A: Pregnant women may experience sleep problems due to various reasons such as physical discomfort, hormonal changes, anxiety, and stress related to pregnancy.
Q: What are the common sleep problems that pregnant women face?
A: The most common sleep problems that pregnant women experience include insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and frequent awakenings due to the need to urinate.
Q: What can I do to improve my sleep during pregnancy?
A: Some tips that can help improve sleep during pregnancy include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and large meals before bedtime, practicing relaxation techniques, exercising regularly, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.
Q: Can I take sleep aids or other medications to help me sleep better during pregnancy?
A: It’s essential to consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication or sleep aid during pregnancy. Some over-the-counter sleep aids may not be safe during pregnancy, and your healthcare provider can advise you on the best course of action.
Q: Is snoring during pregnancy normal?
A: Snoring during pregnancy is common due to the increased weight and pressure on the airways. However, if you experience excessive snoring or other symptoms such as gasping for air during sleep, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider as it may indicate sleep apnea, which can be harmful to both you and your baby.
In conclusion, we have been able to describe some of the common sleep problems of pregnant women. We have also been able to describe a way to relieve the troubles. We recommend that pregnant women take Evergreen natal care plus and Evergreen folic acid since they contain the necessary nutrients to have a healthy child.