Pregnancy and Sleep

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Pregnancy and Sleep Issues


Being a new mom-to-be isn’t easy from the very start. Our body goes into a state of exhaustion. We start going to bed earlier each night in the first trimester. One thing that does happen is the quality of our sleep. The need to urinate frequently, making us wake more frequently plus the dreaded morning sickness (aka all-day sickness.)


Pregnancy from the very beginning can cause many different sleep issues. Getting comfortable is one area that is constant throughout the 9 months. What other areas could be causing sleep issues? Here are some reasons for the discomfort www.americanpregnancy.org


Reasons for discomfort:


  • Back pain
  • Increased size of the abdomen
  • Heartburn
  • Breathing Issues
  • Insomnia
  • Leg cramps
  • Vivid dreams


While researching this subject the national sleep foundation mentions women who have extreme fatigue could be due to change in hormone levels. This then causes extreme daytime sleepiness. They also mention that several sleep disorders can be made worse during pregnancy such as restless leg syndrome (RLS). Over 26% of women suffered symptoms. Treatment for (RLS) can be tricky due to drug interaction. They do mention that Folate and Iron supplements could help with the symptoms and should be started before pregnancy to help alleviate the symptoms.

What are some ways you can get some comfort?


One of the most comfortable positions during both my pregnancies and continues to be my favorite is (sleep on side) this is called S.O.S position. You want to place a pillow between your leg and knee for hip support.


The dreaded heartburn! If you are experiencing heartburn, I would suggest propping yourself up in the bed with pillows or buy an adjustable mattress to lift you up. This was the route my husband and I took. Some new moms-to-be suffer shortness of breath during the end of their pregnancy. Make sure to check with your doctor to rule out any issues.


One thing you can do is sit up or lay on your side to help with your breathing. I wish there was a magic button to make you more comfortable but as soon as the baby is born, we forget all the discomfort.


Vivid dreams are listed as a reason to not sleep. I found this to be true in my own pregnancies. As soon as we are pregnant, we start to worry. If you are having frequent dreams please reach out to your doctor.


Tips for sleep:

  • Prioritize sleep.
  • Try to exercise 30 minutes a day (doctor approved).
  • Sleep on your left side for blood flow to the fetus.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Avoid spicy food if you have heartburn.
  • Don’t force yourself to sleep suggestion is to read a book, write in a journal, knit or crochet.
  • Use a night light in the bathroom it’s less disruptive to your circadian rhythm.
  • Nap earlier in the day versus later to make sure you can fall asleep at bedtime.



What sleep positions should you avoid?


  • Sleeping on your back
  • Sleeping on your stomach


You want to make sure you avoid these positions as much as possible. Why is this important? Low blood pressure, digestive system issues, backaches, and breathing issues.

For more information about sleep, you can click here.


Summer Hartman






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