Sleep problems during pregnancy are exceedingly common, especially in the first and third trimesters. Insomnia in early pregnancy can be attributed to see-sawing hormone levels. Meanwhile, late pregnancy sleeping troubles are due to various discomforts brought about by your large belly – such as heartburn, a compressed bladder, leg cramps, and back pain.
Apart from the uncomfortable physical toll sleep deprivation takes on pregnant women, lack of sleep can also harm the developing fetus. Overcoming the hurdles to sleep during pregnancy is of utmost importance.
Here are a number of reasons why, and also a few tips – from changing your mattress to sleeping with a heated mattress pad – on how to score that much needed shuteye during pregnancy.
Why Is A Good Night’s Sleep Important?
Your body needs to sleep so it can rest and heal itself. Without sleep, the brain and body can become overwhelmed and fail to work as they should.
Pregnant women need to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, but it’s recommended that you get more than that. After all, growing a tiny human takes a strain on the body and mind! Here are just a few of the reasons pregnant women need to get a good night’s sleep. Check out our mattress warming pad.
Improves Mental Health
When you are about to become a mom, you have a lot on your mind. You are planning for changes in the household’s routine, preparing the nursery, and driving yourself crazy with questions about various birthing scenarios.
Your mind works hard and it deserves a rest. Sleep allows your brain to reset and process all the knowledge you gathered during the day. This helps you retain information and problem-solve better during your waking hours.
Being rested and clear-headed also puts you in a better position to respond to challenges during the day, decreasing stress levels and risk for mental health issues such as depression.
Strengthens the Immune System
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your immune system can suffer. Studies show that sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in a kind of white blood cell called natural killer cells, weakening your immune response.
When you are pregnant, you have to stay healthy for yourself and the baby. You want your immune system to be as strong as possible so you can fight off illnesses and help keep your unborn child safe and protected from viruses and infections.
Prevents Gestational Diabetes
Annually, 2-10% of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy, in women who otherwise do not have diabetes.
Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and higher blood glucose levels, which can result in gestational diabetes. A Chicago study found that an average sleep duration of less than six hours was associated with an increase in the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
How Does Good Sleep Affect The Growing Fetus?
Sleeping doesn’t just help you feel better, it can actually benefit your unborn baby as well. When you don’t sleep or are feeling tired and stressed, it can have an effect on your baby too. Sleeping can help your baby grow better in your womb. Here’s how getting good sleep can affect your growing fetus.
Boosts Growth Hormone
During pregnancy, the placenta secretes a variant of human growth hormone that is necessary in the growth of the fetus. Getting plenty of sleep ensures that normal levels of growth hormone are produced to support the development of your baby.
Prevents High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be very dangerous for pregnant women as it can cause a condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia poses a number of risks, such as impaired liver and kidney function, fluid in the lungs, and even maternal and infant death. Sleeping can help lower blood pressure and keep it at safe levels.
Pregnant women who do not sleep well at night are more likely to have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing while sleeping. This can be dangerous for pregnant women and their babies because it can reduce the blood flow to the placenta, thereby also decreasing oxygen supply to the developing fetus.
Tips To Get A Better Night’s Sleep While Pregnant
Pregnant women who are having trouble sleeping can find things that improve their sleep. Understanding the reason or cause of your insomnia can help you find the right way to treat it. Here are a few tips that can help improve your sleep during pregnancy.
Sometimes your mattress can be uncomfortable. This can cause you to toss and turn and wake up from body pain during the night. Changing your mattress can make you more comfortable and help you sleep better.
Heated Mattress Pad
Feeling cold at night can cause your muscles to stiffen in sleep, resulting in an uncomfortable night’s sleep. In this case, you may want to consider buying a bed warmer pad. A bed warmer can be placed on top of your mattress to add the perfect amount of heat that helps soothe and heal sore muscles.
Change Your Diet
The foods you eat can have a big impact on the way you sleep. Certain foods can cause you to stay up longer, have nightmares, or just toss and turn all night.
If you aren’t sleeping well at night, you should try cutting out caffeine, refined sugars, spicy foods, and other foods that can cause digestive problems. Once your diet improves, you will find that your sleep improves as well.
If you are pregnant and having trouble sleeping, consider adding a bed warmer pad to your bedtime routine. The ultimate goal is to make you more comfortable so you can get the sleep you and your unborn baby need.
Visit the NavienMate website to view our selection of heated mattress pads and other sleep products we have to offer!