When you’re pregnant, a good night’s sleep can be hard to come by.
Most soon-to-be new mothers have mentally prepared themselves for sleep deprivation when their babies arrive, but what many don’t realize is that it can also be difficult to sleep during pregnancy. Unfortunately, a 2016 study in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences found that 78 percent of women experience sleep difficulties at one point or another during pregnancy. When you consider the fact that sleep is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and that a lack of sleep could actually put you at a higher risk for birth complications, it becomes essential to find a way to get the sleep you need. That’s why our certified midwife in Sarasota has come up with this list of what keeps you up at night during pregnancy, and how to overcome it:
#1. The constant need to run to the bathroom
The increased levels of hCG in your system lead to the need for more frequent urination. Combine that with the fact that your kidneys have to filter out as much as 50 percent more blood, and you can easily see how the constant need to run to the bathroom can ruin a good night’s sleep. This one can be difficult to solve, but avoiding drinking too much close to your bedtime can make a huge difference. It’s also smart to install night lights in your home so that you don’t have to turn on the overhead light when you’re half asleep. This can shock your system and make it harder to fall back asleep.
While heartburn can affect you at any time of the day, it seems to be especially troublesome any time you’re lying down, which means that it hits most women at night. Heartburn occurs during pregnancy because the esophagus relaxes due to the pregnancy hormones, which allows stomach acid to creep back up. Conquering heartburn will mean making some changes to your diet by avoiding foods that are too acidic, spicy or greasy, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and giving yourself a couple of hours to fully digest before you go to sleep. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, it’s also a good idea to have Rolaids or Tums handy.
In addition to all of the effects of pregnancy hormones that can keep you up at night, the sheer anxiety of becoming a new parent can be enough to keep many women up at night, and can contribute to insomnia. One of the best ways to cope with insomnia is to have a solid nightly routine. Go to bed at the same time every night; eliminate screen time before you go to sleep; do something relaxing, like reading a book, before you go to sleep.
There are many things that can keep you up at night during pregnancy, and these are just a few of them. To learn more tips for overcoming the things keeping you up at night, please stay tuned for our next blog.