Insomnia: Sleep Problems During Pregnancy
Struck by insomnia during your pregnancy? Don't worry you're not alone! Insomnia, the condition characterized by the difficulty of falling asleep and staying asleep, is quite common during pregnancy. In fact, 78 percent of women have insomnia or another kind sleep disorder during their pregnancy.
Insomnia during pregnancy can be caused by a number reasons such as feeling uncomfortable lying down with an expanding waistline, leg cramps, the constant urge of having to pee during the nights, and not to mention the whole array of mixed emotions during your pregnancy that keep your mind awake, preventing you from getting a good night's rest.
Insomnia can affect you in a couple of ways. For example, it may lower your energy level, mental alertness, and concentration. As well as, insomnia can affect your mood and weaken your immune system.
You can treat insomnia by making a few simple changes in your daily routine to help fight off the restlessness and overworked nerves. You can start off by doing the following:
Stick to a sleep-wake schedule. Follow a regular schedule on when to wake up and to sleep. This will help your body and mind fall into a habit of feeling sleepily at a certain time.
Hide the bedroom clocks. Looking at the numbers on your radio clock change during the night, as your precious time to sleep creeps away, is not going to help you get to sleep. It'll make you more anxious and less sleepily. Best thing to do is set your alarm and then place your bedroom clock out of sight.
Find ways to wind down. Look for ways to relax before going to sleep. Perhaps a warm bath or a massage from your partner can soothe those aching muscles. Or try a pre-bed relaxation technique like guided imagery or a breathing exercise.
Adjust your bedroom. Make sure your room is dark and quiet enough to fall asleep in. Use heavy or dark-colored curtains to prevent unwanted light and turn on a fan or close your door to mask the noises and distractions. Check that the room temperature is comfortable before climbing into bed.
Avoid spending time on your bed. Limit the time spent on your bed before going to sleep. If you can't fall asleep within half an hour, then go to another room to read or watch TV until you feel drowsy.
But, don't worry about not being able to sleep. Insomnia is perfectly normal during pregnancy, so there's no reason to get worked up about it. But, if making simple changes to your daily routine fail to provide you with relief from your insomnia then talk to your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you with a sleep medication or a behavioral therapy, if he deems it appropriate to use during pregnancy. Most importantly, avoid using any over-the-counter sleep medications during pregnancy without consulting with your doctor or healthcare provider.