Monday, August 27, 2012

Insomnia and Pregnancy: Sleeping Positions and Home Remedies to Treat Sleeplessness

Many women say that it is difficult to sleep during pregnancy because they can’t get comfortable enough, or have leg cramps, or need to go frequently to the bathroom or are anxious about the baby's arrival. This article provides information about the factors responsible for insomnia during pregnancy and provides important tips for ideal sleeping positions and home remedies to help you get adequate sleep during pregnancy.

Insomnia during Pregnancy: What Causes It?

With so many emotional and physical changes taking place, it is not astonishing that almost 8 out of 10 women suffer from insomnia during pregnancy. While there is no clear cause that is responsible for insomnia during pregnancy, here are some factors that may contribute to sleeplessness,

    Insomnia during Pregnancy is rather Common
  • In the first 3 months of pregnancy, anxiety, exhaustion and fatigue and morning sickness affect the quality of sleep.
  • In the second trimester, an overactive mind, restless leg syndrome and leg cramps cause insomnia.
  • In the third trimester general discomfort and the need to frequently visit the washroom keeps you awake all night. 
  • Common discomforts of pregnancy, such as, backache, general discomfort, the need to urinate frequently, indigestion and acidity, and leg cramps are the principal causes for sleeplessness during pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Sleeping: Sleeplessness during Pregnancy

Even if you’ve been a heavy sleeper, it is quite normal to toss and turn during pregnancy. At times, you just can't get comfortable, and sleep remains extremely elusive. Here are a few home remedies, dietary do’s and don’ts and sleep positions that will promise you a good night’s rest.

Insomnia in Pregnancy: How to Manage It?

Here are some simple lifestyle tips that can help manage sleeplessness during pregnancy,
  • About half an hour before bedtime, have a warm, relaxing bath, listen to soothing music, and ask your partner to rub your feet.
  • Once you get in to bed, practice progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery; these techniques help induce peaceful sleep.
  • Ensure that the room has a comfortable temperature, dark-colored curtains to keep out unwanted light, and is not too noisy.
  • If you aren't asleep in an hour after getting into bed, get up and walk around. Read a magazine or listen to music, and then get back to bed.
  • In case sleep is still as elusive as ever, don’t worry. Becoming increasingly fretful and restless worsens the condition.

A Glass of Warm Milk Induces Sleep
Home Remedies to Treat Sleeplessness in Pregnancy: Natural Cures for Insomnia during Pregnancy

Here are some simple home remedies that can help induce sleep during pregnancy,
1.      Warm milk: Have some warm milk before bedtime; it is known to induce sleep. L-tryptophan, an amino acid that is found in milk brings on sleep by increasing serotonin levels (a neuro-transmitter). Do not take tryptophan supplements; they are dangerous during pregnancy.

2.      Protein snacks: Experts recommend a high protein snack before going to bed to help maintain normal blood sugar during the night. You could opt for milk and whole cereal, an egg, a sandwich or a smoothie. Furthermore, keep a bland, dry snack, such as, toast or pretzels, or crackers, by the bedside in case you awaken feeling nauseous. In case you are prone to dyspepsia and acidity do not have a large meal late in the day; lying down after a heavy meal aggravates the condition.

3.      Nutmeg: Nutmeg has proved to be decidedly beneficial in inducing sleep. Grate the spice and add less than 1 pinch in to warm milk or warm water and consume. Nearly all spices and herbs can be used safely during pregnancy. However, huge quantities could trigger miscarriage or premature labor. You must consult your gynecologist before taking nutmeg for insomnia.

Sleeping Positions during Pregnancy

Having an appropriate sleeping position is very important to help get a refreshing sleep during pregnancy. Here are some tips related to sleeping positions during pregnancy,

  • Using pillows for support will help you have a peaceful slumber. Tuck a pillow in-between your bent knees; it helps support the lower back and makes you more comfortable when you sleep. Sleep on your side; you may also place a pillow behind your back to maintain a side-position while you sleep.
  • In case, you suffer from dyspepsia, heartburns/ retrosternal buring and acidity, place an extra pillow to raise your head while sleeping.
  • For lower back pain and hip pains, use a foam mattress pad on your mattress; it will help you sleep more comfortably.
  • Buy body-length pillows, U-shaped pillows, and C-shaped, bolsters and wedges that support your belly; these help sleep better.

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