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Insomnia and Pregnancy

Insomnia during pregnancy, or sleep disturbance, is a problem that is familiar to almost everyone. Insomnia is characterized not only by lack of sleep, but also by the inability to sleep well, and can also include difficulties with falling asleep, insufficient sleep duration or early awakening, followed by the inability to fall asleep again.

More than half of women during pregnancy suffer from insomnia. And from the sixth month the number of suffering reaches 97%. There can be many reasons for this: both physical and psychological. Experts believe that drowsiness or, on the contrary, insomnia during pregnancy is a consequence of hormonal changes. In the third trimester, shortness of breath, heartburn, a big belly is added, because of the stretch marks, the skin is very itchy, the frequent urge to go to the toilet, and also the active movements of a large fetus are not uncommon. The situation is aggravated by chronic fatigue, stress, fear of forthcoming births and other situational factors.

The condition of insomnia can be conditionally divided into three types:

  1. Situational insomnia - manifested before bedtime. It is difficult for a person to fall asleep against the background of emotional upheavals, experiences or overstrain experienced over a day. With this state, we for hours tossing from side to side, scrolling through some dialogues, phrases or situations. This happens several times during the month, after which it passes by itself.
  2. Short-term insomnia is a second type of sleep disorder, which can be caused by some illness, stress or the use of strong substances. In such periods, sleep is superficial, we often wake up, because of what we can not get enough sleep, and for the morning we feel broken.
  3. Chronic insomnia - is expressed in the fact that waking up in the middle of the night or closer to the morning, it is impossible to fall asleep.

Insomnia during pregnancy, most often, has signs of situational. But let's not forget the individual aspect. Much depends on the overall psychological state and temperament of women: susceptibility to external influences, age, level of stress-resistance, suspiciousness, relationships with relatives and husband. Some pregnant women have panic attacks, anxiety increases, which in the future can lead to more severe forms of insomnia. In this case, it is better to see a doctor.

The most important thing to remember is that before using any medications and herbs, you should consult a specialist or your gynecologist. The period of pregnancy is very important and, at the same time, vulnerable. Even a small dose of prohibited substance can be fatal for a future child.

Insomnia during pregnancy is most often not a symptom of an anomaly. It occurs through various causes, the main one of which is an increase in the size of the fetus and hormonal restructuring in the woman's body. Pregnant women say that insomnia during pregnancy is such a kind of training before the birth of a child who, as is known, will not give sleep to either mom or dad.

Nevertheless, a healthy and calm sleep for a pregnant woman is extremely important, as it restores the body, improves well-being and promotes the proper development of the child. Therefore, the causes and consequences of insomnia during pregnancy should be known and if a woman can not cope with this problem, you need to seek medical advice from a doctor. Especially it should be done if insomnia torments for longer than 2-3 weeks.

It should be aware that the duration of sleep of a pregnant woman depends on her individual characteristics and needs. In one case, only 5 hours of sleep will be enough, and in another case even a 12-hour sleep will be too short. Therefore, the future mother should listen attentively to the needs of her body and go to bed as soon as such a desire appears. It happens that many pregnant women are not averse to sleeping during the day and if their body requires it, then why not. The main thing that daytime sleep did not disturb the night.

As a rule, problems with sleeping do not arise at the very beginning of pregnancy. In the first trimester, future mothers can sleep even more than before. During this period, the level of hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for good conditions for the growth and development of the baby, also rise, and these hormones can cause drowsiness during the day.

The second trimester of pregnancy, as a rule, is characterized by quite effective sleep. In the third trimester insomnia torments 70-90% of pregnant women, the reason is that the child is already much larger in size and sleeping, it is mildly said inconveniently. The problem deepens and then when the woman before pregnancy slept only on a stomach or belly. When there is insomnia, many women ask questions: How to sleep during pregnancy? Which posture is the best? What are the consequences for the child if there are problems with sleeping? These are really important questions that need to be answered.

To insomnia during pregnancy lead such reasons: it is difficult to find a comfortable pose, frequent trips to the toilet, leg cramps, tired legs syndrome, back pain, stress and fears associated with pregnancy and forthcoming birth. The cause of insomnia may be nightmares, digestive problems (nausea or heartburn), snoring, both a life partner and the most pregnant. 30% of pregnant women snore, this is due to weight gain and swelling of the nasal mucosa.

Consequences can be negative because sleep disorders in pregnant women can provoke various diseases such as hypertension, depression, fatigue this in turn increases stress and reduces concentration. In addition, chronic stress adversely affects the development of the fetus and the general health of the woman. Therefore, the consequences of insomnia can not be underestimated. Well one thing is that the problems with sleep at mom do not affect the baby's sleep, the baby can safely sleep and develop.

How to get rid of insomnia, when sleeping pills and even herbs are contraindicated? Indeed, even herbs can harm a child, so insomnia needs to be eliminated by other methods. Try not to load your gastrointestinal tract, eat less in volume and digestible food. Drink 2 liters of water, but closer to the evening, reduce the amount of liquid to drink, so as not to run at night to the toilet. An easy supper will help to avoid heartburn.


Sources of tryptophan (fish, poultry, cheese, ice cream, milk, rice, oatmeal, apples). This amino acid is responsible for a quality sleep. Magnesium also helps to eliminate insomnia so you need to eat foods that contain a lot of magnesium. It is in: pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, soy, white beans, bitter chocolate, oat flakes, chickpeas, peas, spinach, bananas, mackerel and cod.

Also, calcium plays an important role in the normalization of sleep. This trace element is abundant in: dairy products, sesame, spinach, almonds, flaxseed, parsley, cabbage, figs, kiwi, apricots.

It is necessary to avoid drinks and foods that stimulate the nervous system. These include: strong coffee, tea. From drinks you can drink cocoa with milk or warm milk with honey, infusion of lemon balm, chamomile or lavender. However, before using even these drinks, you need to consult a doctor.

What is the best posture in pregnancy? The most favorable position is a dream on the left side with bent knees. Lying on the right side makes blood circulation difficult. You need 3-4 pillows, under your stomach, back and knees (optional, the fourth pillow under your feet). It is good to buy a special pillow for pregnant women, which reduces the tension of the skin tissues on the stomach and, therefore, can reduce stretch marks.

If you have heartburn you need to sleep on the pillow, and someone else will need an extra one. Doctors recommend sleeping on the left side as soon as possible, even when the stomach does not interfere, it will be easier to get used to this position. The temperature in the bedroom should not exceed 20 degrees. Before going to bed it is useful to ventilate the bedroom and use a humidifier. The bed should not be too soft, as it causes additional deformation of the spine. The cushion should also not be too large to not deform the cervical spine. Bed linen should be only natural. It is necessary to block the access of light by closing the window. Dry air, artificial lighting and noise prevent sleep and cause restless sleep.

Influence of insomnia on the health of a pregnant woman and a child

A pregnant woman, in fact, represents two organisms: a future mother and her fetus. They are closely interrelated through the third circle of circulation through the placenta. In the early stages of pregnancy, communication with a future child is supported by a hormonal background. The child releases certain substances that affect the mother's body. And vice versa. Pregnant, not having received a full night's rest, feels broken and tired even without any physical exertion. After several sleepless nights in a row, the expectation of the night turns into torture. The central nervous system loosens. Without this, every stimulus during pregnancy works several times stronger, so in case of insomnia, the pregnant woman feels herself generally a skinless person. A weak whiff of the breeze already irritates the nerve endings, and harmless words are perceived as a threat, which should be immediately defended.

Changing baby biorhythm

The fetus sleeps and is awake at the same time as her mother. In a dream, the parasympathetic nervous system works, which is aimed at assimilating nutrients. If the pregnant woman does not sleep, her body is dominated by sympathetic influences: adrenaline is released, which does not contribute to calm development. On the contrary, the release of adrenaline causes concern in the fetus. Many women decide that there is nothing special about their insomnia. So it was with my grandmother, so it was with my mother. At the same time, the children were born healthy. In most cases, this is the case. Just do not forget that all the physiological processes proceed according to the correct rhythm, which is called biological. A child may not suffer because of his mother's insomnia, but be born with an initially damaged biorhythm. This is clearly seen in newborns, who often do not distinguish between the time of day. Night wakefulness of infants is the result of sleepless nights of pregnant women.

The state of insomnia can be from the first weeks of gestation. And many experts recognize it as one of the signs of pregnancy. During this period, it is very important for a woman to fully rest, a sound healthy sleep is capable of restoring the energy spent for the whole day. Especially because now the woman's body works for two.

Be that as it may, the changes that occur with the body affect the activity of the brain, because of this it is sometimes very difficult to fall asleep or this process can be complicated by returning to bed after waking up (going to the toilet, drinking a glass of water, etc...).

Insomnia during pregnancy is the following types.

Problems with falling asleep. The woman lies down, looks for a comfortable position for a long time, turns around, can not fall asleep for a long time. A pregnant woman can spend hours thinking about a problem, upcoming births, etc.

Intrasomnia disorder. In this case, falling asleep occurs easily. But over night a woman can often wake up, falling asleep after this becomes very difficult. The next morning the feeling of shattering and lack of energy is the usual state that persists throughout the day.

Postmodern disorder. No problems with falling asleep, a strong sleep. But closer to the morning sleep quickly passes. It seems to still have time to sleep, but all attempts to fall asleep do not bring results. It is noticed that at the first stages of pregnancy the state of insomnia is often of the second or third kind. To this may be added and other symptoms that accompany pregnancy.

Of course, the most basic reason for the disorder of sleep during pregnancy is, perhaps, changes in the hormonal background of the female body. For him in this period it is very important to maintain the strength, energy, which he spends on the preservation of the embryo, for his correct development. Due to the violation of many natural processes, the daily routine, including the ability to sleep, is often disrupted.

Another reason that does not allow you to sleep peacefully and begins insomnia, can be toxicosis, a frequent sign during pregnancy, as well as the need to repeatedly visit the toilet. The uterus during pregnancy begins to grow, gradually the pressure on the bladder increases and it becomes necessary several times a night (or even more) to get up.

Other reasons.

Violation with the digestive system, heartburn, the appearance of gravity in the lower abdomen, indigestion.

Pain sensations in the joints, drawing pains in the spine, lower back (this is usually associated with an increase in the growth of the baby). Many can not find a comfortable pose for sleep, because of this there is a feeling of discomfort.

Emotional overload. Problems at work or experiences do not allow to fully relax, rest at night. Dreams can change, which often make you wake up. This is also caused by fears and feelings.

The movements of the child, unexpected tremors.

Sometimes a woman may have seizures - this happens because of a reboot of the vascular system of the lower limbs.

In late pregnancy, a woman may have difficulty breathing due to the fact that gradually the pressure of the uterus on the diaphragm increases and this also provokes insomnia.

Insomnia with early pregnancy often appears from 12 to 14 weeks. It is usually associated with the nervous system of the female body. She becomes more receptive when a woman carries a child.

The future mother can experience strong fears, unrest, since the first trimester is the most dangerous for the baby. During this period, the greatest number of cases of fetal loss occurs.

In general, insomnia in early pregnancy is associated with emotional and physical changes that occur with a woman.

Many do not experience sleep problems in the second trimester of pregnancy. The period from 14 to 28 weeks is the most calm and pleasant in all respects. But there are exceptions. Sleep disorders can occur due to a disease that is chronic. Hidden and often non-disturbing problems are activated during pregnancy and can deliver a lot of unpleasant moments in the waiting period of the child.

Sometimes a simple platypodia, which in normal condition a woman may not notice, during pregnancy becomes a cause of severe fatigue. Painful sensations in the legs appear after a whole day's work and even on vacation. This can also cause sleep disturbances.

If, before the third trimester, the percentage of women suffering from insomnia was low, then towards the end of the pregnancy, the number of expectant mothers who experience a problem with sleep increases many times. There are a lot of reasons:

  • the increase in the abdomen interferes with proper rest and not only during night rest;
  • pains in the back, legs, in the zone of the coccyx, internal organs let know about themselves more often;
  • when a woman changes her posture, sharp, sharp pains can appear in the buttocks, making it more difficult to find a comfortable position during sleep;
  • appear cramping conditions;
  • weight is added;
  • sharp changes in body temperature;
  • the baby can not fall asleep, spinning;
  • the peak of emotional stress occurs at the end of the third trimester.

Starting from the 38th week of pregnancy, childbirth can occur at any time, a woman is particularly difficult to move about, insomnia begins. Characteristic of the constant expectation of labor, emotional excitability, fears associated with childbirth. The baby is lowered head down, so itching can begin, burning in the lower abdomen.

All this is a woman experiencing, and even if you can not fall asleep, you need to at least often rest, sitting in a comfortable position.

Consequences of a sleepless condition

Lack of sleep is not only unpleasant for a woman, but can be dangerous for the health of the baby. Because, being in the womb, the baby experiences the same emotions and feelings that the expectant mother experiences.

Sleep affects the immune system, mental health and many biological processes. Without proper rest, the body accumulates pathological changes. The inflammatory processes, diseases are provoked, and still the absence of sleep can cause excessive synthesis of cytokines (a protein that ensures the interaction of cells with each other). Cytokines are important components of the biochemical process, but their excess can lead to negative consequences.

  • can develop a child's pathology;
  • provoke premature birth;
  • risk of pre-eclampsia;
  • death of the fetus;
  • Insomnia in the 3rd trimester can cause a depressed state of a woman, which is also negatively reflected during pregnancy;

Basic methods of prevention

Fighting with insomnia is difficult, but it is necessary to do it. Each woman has her own reasons, but still it is worth following some recommendations:

  • it is necessary to ventilate the bedroom before going to bed, it is easier to fall asleep in a cool room;
  • pajamas or underwear should be spacious, made of natural fabrics;
  • the mattress should be orthopedic - this will allow most comfortable sleeping and avoiding back pain;
  • pillow is recommended to use a wedge shape;
  • breathing should be slow and deep, try breathing exercises for the night.

Still experts recommend to observe hygiene of a dream is helps to avoid a sleeplessness especially on late terms of pregnancy:

  • at night refuse heavy food;
  • avoid physical, mental stress;
  • try to avoid stressful situations; you can take a warm shower for the night;
  • milk with honey or light herbal tea will help to relax before going to bed;
  • if you want, there is, you can make a sandwich with boiled dietary meat and greens;
  • if there are no medical contraindications, proximity with the spouse helps many.

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