8 Things You Can Do To Cure Sleeplessness During Pregnancy


By Dr. Smita Vaid Last Updated:

8 Things You Can Do To Cure Sleeplessness During Pregnancy

As one traverses the glowing path of pregnancy with excitement and joy, one encounters myriads of emotional and hormonal changes and physical discomforts. It is no surprise that these affect an expectant mother’s quality of sleep.

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There are various sleep challenges that most women have to face during the three trimesters of their pregnancy. Here are the most common sleep changes that may occur.

First trimester

#1. Frequent waking due to increased urge to pass urine.

#2. Disturbed sleep as a result of physical and emotional stress.

#3. Increased daytime sleepiness.

Second trimester

Although known as the honeymoon phase of pregnancy, the quality of sleep may remain poor in this trimester as a result of your growing belly and emotional stress associated with pregnancy.

Third trimester

#1. Discomfort due to growing belly.

#2. Heartburn, leg cramps, sinus congestion, awareness of palpitations and shortness of breath.

#3. Frequent night-time urination because of baby’s pressure on the bladder.

#4. Difficulty turning over in bed.

They say ‘misery loves company’, but sleeplessness accompanied with constant gazing at the clock does not provide much comfort. So, here are a few things you can do about it.

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Tips to help you sleep well during pregnancy

#1. Room temperature

Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature for sleeping; dark and quiet enough.

#2. Nutrition

A glass of warm milk and carbohydrate rich food like sandwiches promote sleep. A snack rich in protein example peanut butter, eggs etc. keeps blood sugar levels up for longer and prevents bad dreams and headache. Avoid drinking too much in the evenings. Avoid caffeinated sleep snatchers like tea, coffee and fizzy drinks, which also enhance urination in the night.

#3. Sleeping position

The best resting position is to lie on your side with your knees bent. It eases work of the heart and is also good for the back. Pillows can be used to support the tummy and back. Pillow between the legs can help support the lower back and make sleeping on side easier.

#4. Easing out pains with simple exercises

The discomfort of a cramped leg can be eased by pressing the feet hard against the wall or standing up on the cramped leg. Calcium and vitamin E supplements also help.

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#5. Easing a pounding heart

Pounding heartbeat or shortness of breath, if it is being caused by anaemia, can be helped with iron supplements.

#6. Soothing rituals

Winding down with soothing rituals like a warm bath, stretching, yoga, massage, deep breathing and listening to quiet music helps you to relax. Vigorous exercise within 4 hours of bedtime should be avoided.

#7. Positive thoughts

Once you are in bed, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery to direct your imaginations towards a relaxed and focused state can help you sink into sleep.

#8. Avoiding some medications

Some over-the-counter medications should completely be avoided during pregnancy. Even some of your prescribed medicines might play havoc with your sleep schedules during pregnancy. So, it is always best to discuss with your doctor, if something of this nature happens.

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If you are not asleep 20-30 minutes after getting into bed, get up and get engaged in some light, pleasurable activity until you feel drowsy again. Rest as much as possible and grab a quick nap whenever you can. Avoid anxious thoughts and remind yourself that the inability to sleep soundly may be frustrating, but during pregnancy, it is perfectly normal.