Sleep problems are very common during pregnancy, as your body will go through several changes. Other than morning sicknesses, pregnant mothers may face anxiety, heartburn and unusual, disturbing dreams at night, which can stop them from getting a good night’s sleep.
Despite feeling exhausted and weak throughout the day, soon-to-be mothers fail to get enough sleep during pregnancy. Sadly, some moms even develop insomnia during this crucial time.
Rest assured, it is okay to be deprived of sleep during this time. It happens to everybody and it is a sign of normal pregnancy.
However, for your understanding, we have prepared a list of common pregnancy sleep problems that all moms go through. We even provided solutions to common pregnancy sleep problems to make your life a little easier during this period.
1. Feeling Nauseous
During the first trimester of your pregnancy, your estrogen levels will rise, making you feel nauseous. Your body will produce the pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), so vomiting and feeling sick is common.
Nausea typically starts from Week four or six, but by the 14th week, you will be feeling much better. Despite how horrible you may be feeling about it, nausea is a healthy sign of pregnancy, and it does not harm the baby at all.
Furthermore, having a child can create mixed feelings in you and sometimes, overwhelm you. The anxiety, anticipation, and confusion may also be the reasons behind your queasiness.
The worst part about feeling nauseous is that it keeps happening throughout the day, even when you are asleep. Fortunately, self-care and home remedies can help you find relief.
- Avoid foods that can trigger your nausea.
- Don’t eat large amounts of food during meal times. Eat smaller portions and keep a little space, so that you won’t feel stuffed.
- Avoid drinking fluids during mealtimes. Instead, drink them between meals.
- Make sure your house is well ventilated and cool. Avoid places that feel stuffy and make you sweat.
- Keep your hair tied up, so that air can cool down your neck.
- Wash your face, arms, feet, and neck with cool water from time to time.
- Always keep ginger and lemon in the refrigerator. Make lemonade with ginger for quick relief.
- The high iron content in your prenatal vitamins can cause nausea. Always choose prenatal supplements with a moderate amount of iron and Vitamin B6.
2. Increased Need to Go to the Bathroom
Once you fall pregnant, you will naturally feel the urge to pee all the time, and even at night since you are also releasing toxin waste for your little baby. It can be annoying to get used to the constant urge at the beginning.
However, after the third trimester, you will have developed better ways to deal with it.
You also need to urinate a lot as your kidneys now have to filtrate 50 percent more blood than it would have before you were pregnant. Additionally, the increase in the size of your belly presses down on your bladder, making you feel as though you need to pee more often.
It is highly recommended that you keep yourself hydrated all throughout the day, but you don’t have to drink too much before bedtime. Prepare a daily routine, where you discipline yourself not to drink any fluids after 7 pm.
Avoid having fruits after that time as well. Ideally, you should be done with your dinner at that time too.
Most importantly, you must clear your bladder before you go to bed. You can also do a light exercise or yoga session before going to bed, which will help you sweat off some of the fluid in your body.
It will also relax your muscles, and help you to sleep better through the night.
3. Persistent Back Pain
Back pain is usually caused by the hormonal changes happening in the body. A hormone known as ‘relaxin’ is produced during pregnancy that weakens the ligaments in your pelvis. This hormone also slackens the joints in the area and in the spine, preparing it for giving birth.
You will be feeling backache from the first trimester of your pregnancy. The outpour of progesterone in your body will keep loosening up your ligaments and tissues during this time.
Having back pain may hurt, but it also means that your baby is growing. Most likely, you will gain about 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. The weight of the baby, as it grows, will put pressure on your lower back and pelvis, and increase the pain in your back even more.
But there are ways to deal with your back pain and find relief at night. The solutions are as follows:
Cold Compresses and Heat Pads
You can either apply cold compresses or heat pads to your back. A bag of ice or a hot water bottle cloaked in a towel can soothe your pain within 20 minutes. Just don’t place the cold or hot bag on your tummy!
It is perfectly safe to try acupuncture during pregnancy to relieve back pain.
But first, you must consult with your gynecologist before you try it. Once you have his or her approval, you can kiss your back pain goodbye, and sleep through the night like a baby!
In the past, people believed that working out would cause harm to the baby in the womb. But today, every doctor would encourage expectant mothers to work out every day, even for a short time.
Light squats, Arch and Round, Forward Rolls, Relaxed Belly and Pigeon Stretch are some of the exercises you can try out at home to lessen your back pain. You should also focus on using your core muscles to maintain perfect posture throughout the day.
A wonderful solution to pregnancy sleep problems at night is using several pillows to support your body in bed. You can place them between your knees, under your tummy, and behind your spine. Investing in pregnancy pillows is highly recommended!
Though quite harmless, acidity or heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is very uncomfortable to endure during pregnancy. Heartburn most commonly occurs 50% of the time during the second and third trimesters, usually after meals and, sadly, before bedtime.
When you are bearing a child, the valve between the stomach and the esophagus becomes weak. This happens because of the hormone known as progesterone.
Although anybody can suffer from acidity, pregnant women are more prone to its vicious cycle. This is because, during pregnancy, food digests slower than normal, and ends up producing more acid in the stomach.
Also, your little baby applies more pressure on your stomach, causing the acid to flow into the esophagus.
Whenever there is a problem, there is always a solution. Follow the few steps discussed below to minimize the agonizing effect of acidity-related sleep problems during pregnancy.
Choose Fluids over Solids
Fluids are less likely to cause acidity than solids. Soups, smoothies, milkshakes, and yogurts are healthy options for pregnant moms. They are rich in calcium, protein, and minerals.
But be careful not to overdo it and consume a lot of fluids at the same time. If you do so, air can get into your system and cause acidity all over again.
Avoid these Foods
Citrus fruits such as tomatoes, grapefruits, and oranges must be avoided. No matter how big of a coffee fanatic you are, for the sake of your child and yourself, steer clear of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda until you give birth.
It goes without saying that you must abstain from alcohol and cigarettes. They can cause more harm than just heartburn if consumed during pregnancy.
Chocolates, fried and spicy foods are bad for your health, as well as your child’s. These foods take a long time to digest and lets stomach acids flow back into the esophagus. If you cannot avoid them completely, at least try and cut down.
Try these Home Remedies
To neutralize the stomach acid, you can try these home remedies. Bubblegum, ginger, yogurt and essential oils like lavender, grapeseed, rosemary and neroli oils can control your heartburn, and at the same time, calm your body.
5. Leg Cramps
Leg cramps are also one of the most common pregnancy problems that haunt you at night. It can be due to a deficiency of essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Dehydration may also be the reason.
The enlarged uterus pressing on some nerves in your stomach and on your legs can also hamper the blood flow in your body, resulting in your legs hurting a lot in bed.
Leg cramps are painful and annoying. But remedies are available, so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep even during the course of your pregnancy.
Hot Water Baths
Taking a hot water bath before going to bed is a useful solution to leg cramps. The warm water will soothe your muscles and help you relax. But be careful not to submerge your tummy in the hot water.
Instead, use the shower hose to sprinkle hot water on your arms and legs. Don’t take too time in the bath, since the heat can make you lose consciousness.
What to Eat and Not to Eat
Your diet can make a lot of difference to your health. As such, calcium and magnesium-rich food, like yogurt, milk and leafy vegetables, should always be included in your diet.
Choose the perfect prenatal supplements after consulting with your nutritionist and gynecologist. The phosphorus present in carbonated drinks reduces the ability of calcium to metabolize.
Therefore, instead of having soda water and soft drinks, switch to pure water and organic juices.
Take a Walk
Don’t lock yourself up in your house just because you’re pregnant. Go out, take a walk, enjoy the sunlight and breathe fresh air. The natural supply of Vitamin D from the sunlight is beneficial for your bone health.
Wear flat, comfortable shoes when you’re going out for a walk. Avoid jogging for now. When your legs get enough exercise, the cramps will leave you alone at night.
In a Nutshell
Having a baby is a wonderful experience. In spite of all the drawbacks that it brings, no woman ever backed down from making the most of this beautiful experience. In spite of all the pregnancy sleep problems, mothers commit full-on to taking care of their little ones.
Apart from nausea, back pain, acid reflux, leg cramps, and trouble sleeping, expectant mothers may also undergo anxiety, doubts, and confusion in their lives. Yet, they can overcome these physical and emotional issues with support and self-care.
Expectant mothers can nurture themselves and prepare for a better night’s sleep by eating a balanced diet, exercising and enjoying mindfulness. By surrounding themselves with people who love and care for them, they can ensure their child grows up in a positive environment.