Things to Know about Sleep During Pregnancy

SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is a crucial phase for any woman. You will have to pay extra care and attention. Getting good and adequate sleep during this period will help in the overall growth and health of your unborn baby.

Women who experience sleeping problems are 20% more likely to go through caesarean or undergo longer labour duration.

On the other hand, good and plentiful sleep is proven to bring down the chances of birth complications.


What is the best position to sleep during this crucial period?

SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY

Your left hand side:

While you are pregnant the best option for you – is to lie on your left and not the right hand side.

It is highly recommended by health experts – because this position is more comfortable and equally safe for you and your growing baby.

When you sleep in this position it improves the circulation in your entire body. It ensures that all the essential nutrients and adequate supply of blood reaches to your baby without any difficulty. In addition, sleeping on your left hand side will not apply any pressure on your liver.


What sleeping positions should you avoid?

  • When you are pregnant, do not sleep on your back or stomach.
  • Now is the time to break the habit if you have always been a back / stomach sleeper.
  • It will get harder for you to breathe if you continue sleeping on your back. 
  • You can face complications when you lie on your back – because your intestines are being pushed back by your growing stomach.
  • Even sleeping on your stomach is not recommended at all.
  • Lying on your belly will add more pressure on your growing uterus as well as your breasts. You will face discomfort and pain.


Will lack of sleep cause you any form of complications during your pregnancy?

SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY

A good night’s sleep is always important, in order to function the next day. However, during your pregnancy period you need to sleep even more than before.

So, are you still wondering as to why you need a good shut-eye? Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to situations like:

Longer hours in labour:

Certain studies have concluded that during the first-trimester – pregnant women who tend to sleep less than six hours at night – undergo more prolonged labour.

Women who sleep for fewer hours experience 10 or more extra hours of labour, when compared to pregnant women who sleep seven hours or more.

Complications during birth and low birth weight:

Due to insufficient amount of sleep, there are chances of complications during childbirth and low birth weight in babies.

Higher risk of caesarean:

Have you been managing with only 4-5 hours of sleep every single night? You’ve got to do better than that. According to research, it is found that sleep-deprived women will more likely end up requiring a caesarean delivery.

Experience more fatigue:

Quite often you will hear pregnant women complaining about exhaustion. Especially in the third trimester, pregnancy and fatigue go hand in hand.

Pregnant women feel extremely tired because of these factors like: nausea, a growing girth, hormonal changes, and heartburn. Furthermore, without adequate sleep it leads to a lethargic feeling and irritable mood.

Irritation and lack of concentration:

Pregnant women tend to become irritable and develop poor concentration levels due to lack of sleep.

Weaker immune system:

During the time of pregnancy and lack of sleep – women are more susceptible to common ailments like cold and flu. Their immune system becomes weaker. This is not good news as your body is trying its best to nurture your growing baby. When you are healthy it helps your baby too.

Ageing of skin:

When you have a good night’s sleep it results in better skin. But with less hours of sleep your skin will begin to age at a faster rate. This will make you look older when compared to your real age.

Not enough production of growth hormone:

With adequate amount of sleep, your body experiences a boost in the production of growth hormone. With growth hormone your body weight and shape will stay in order. Moreover, growth hormone is also crucial for the growing uterus and placenta.

During your pregnancy, the hormone also functions to keep your baby healthy. Your body is unable to produce sufficient growth hormone when you suffer from lack of sleep. This leads to pregnancy complications and excess weight gain.

Depression:

Stressful situations are a part of life. The level of stress and anxiety can take a leap when you are pregnant. Subsequently, if you are not getting the adequate hours of good sleep – paired with stress can lead to depression.


Pregnancy and sleep - 8 most common problems and solutions

SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY

We all are aware that pregnancy is meant to be joyful but it can also be a stressful journey for a woman. However, there are many expectant mothers that are not well prepared for the negative effect pregnancy will have on their daily sleep.

Here are the 8 most common problems that have kept a lot of the pregnant women up at night:

1. Rise in urination frequency:

Many pregnant women simply need to pee more often – during the first or third trimester. This is due to a combination of many factors that include: the uterus compressing the bladder and increased production of progesterone.

Solution: Try to empty your bladder completely before going to bed. In addition, avoid fluids two hours before your bedtime.

2. Nausea:

This is a very common first-trimester occurrence known as nausea or morning sickness. People refer to it as morning sickness – however, there is a possibility that it can occur at any hour, including bedtime.

Solution: Just to make sure that your stomach is never empty keep crackers at your bedside. You may be more prone to digestive upset due to an empty stomach. Additionally, in order to help soothe nausea you can drink ginger tea.

3. Back Pain:

At the end of the second trimester and throughout the third trimester – an aching back is quite common. Your ligaments begin to weaken because of the growing baby and a hormone released during pregnancy known as relaxin.

Solution: Sleep on your left hand side and put a pregnancy pillow between your legs to support your abdomen. In the left side position, there is an increase of blood flow and oxygen and they reach the uterus and your growing baby.

Try exercises that will increase your back strength like: straight leg raises and pelvic tilts. They are safe and equally beneficial.

4. RLS – Restless Legs Syndrome:

Usually during the third trimester, RLS occurs in about 20 percent of pregnant women. During pregnancy, it is a major cause of sleep deprivation.

Solution: Ensure that you are taking iron and folate supplements. Secondly, walking and stretching as a form of exercise may also help you. A support hose can help you in situations where you have associated swelling.

Learn to avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. As some drugs can make RLS worse, you should consult your obstetrician about any medications that you may be taking.

5. Insomnia:

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2014 Sleep in America survey, it was reported that during their pregnancy – 79 percent of women had trouble falling or staying asleep.

Solution: Try to keep a stable sleep schedule and develop a calming bedtime routine. Progressive muscle relaxation, abdominal breathing, and guided imagery are effective relaxation techniques.

Overall, you need to practice good sleep hygiene like: no caffeine in the afternoon; and no cell phones, televisions or computer before you go to bed.

Talk to your healthcare provider if your sleep difficulties continue.

Especially during the third trimester, untreated insomnia has been associated with postpartum depression.

6. Sleep apnea:

Pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes are caused by sleep apnea. Secondly, if you have been snoring during your pregnancy – then it is a clear sign that your airway may be collapsing during sleep.

Solution: Speak to your family doctor if you are suffering from sleep apnea. A good treatment will assist you in bringing down your blood pressure and also improve your blood sugar levels.

7. Leg Cramps:

Severe leg cramps are one of the reasons pregnant women suffer from disturbed sleep. During pregnancy there may be low calcium and magnesium levels in your body. It is important to note that a growing baby requires a lot of calcium.

Solution: Speak to your healthcare provider and discuss about your magnesium and calcium levels. You will have to take calcium supplements and in certain cases vitamin D3 will be essential. Almonds, cashews, legumes, and dairy products are rich in magnesium and they will be helpful too.

8. Pregnancy rhinitis also known as nasal congestion:

A major cause of discomfort and difficulty in sleeping is caused by nasal congestion too. It is a common pregnancy problem.

A combination of increased mucous which is caused by the increased levels of estrogen – paired with a higher blood volume results in nasal congestion.

Solution: Avoid caffeine and spicy foods. It could exacerbate the problem of nasal congestion.

While sleeping you can use a pillow and elevate your head. Saline nasal sprays and steam in the form of a hot shower before you go to bed may also provide relief.


5 key tips to make yourself more comfortable while you sleep

SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY

1. Bent knees:

You can bend your knees and legs in order to find a comfortable position, while you are lying on your sides. You can also place a pillow between your legs to make it more relaxing.

2. Comfort for your belly:

While sleeping on the side position, you can accommodate a pillow under your growing abdomen. It is another smart way to find comfort.

3. Overcome the problem of heartburn:

During pregnancy, heartburn is a common complaint for a lot of women. When you experience heartburn at night, you can prop up your upper body with a pillow and have a peaceful sleep.

4. Breathe more easily:

During the later stages of pregnancy, many women experience shortness of breath. In this scenario, you should try lying down on your side and with your head propped up.

5. Learn to support your back:

Back problem begin to trouble women during the later stages of their pregnancy.

In order to tackle this situation, you can place a pillow behind your back. It will give your body a good support and help you in preventing a backache.


Pillows Australia is glad to help expectant mothers

SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY

At Pillows Australia, we pay close attention to the needs of expecting mothers. Our pillows have been designed to give you the comfort and support you will need – during this significant time of your life. They will help you sleep and rest better.

Our Pregnancy & Maternity Support Pillows are made and designed in Australia and in consultation with the Australian health care practitioners. We are proud to mention that we produce state-of-the-art products, highly suitable and recommended for pregnant women.

The pillows and body supports that have been developed undergo meticulous amount of work. They will gently conform to women of different shapes and sizes, during their pregnancy period. Our products are a brilliant combination – they will bring you a high level of comfort and durability. Moreover, they are also designed to gently conform to different kinds of body positions.

From reading and resting to meditating and sleeping – The Tummy Snuggler Maternity Support Cushion is an ideal choice for you. It will provide you the soft pleasant cushioning and give you a great form of relaxation – both mentally and physically. Our pregnancy and maternity body pillows will effortlessly support you – whether you are on the couch, sofa, bed or the lounge.

The Pregnancy & Maternity Support Pillows will help you battle your tired and aching muscles, back pain, stiff spines, and body soreness. You will notice that your quality of sleep is improving – you are getting the best rest, overall feeling healthy and eagerly looking forward to your momentous day.


Contact Pillows Australia today

If you have any queries pertaining to our pregnancy pillows – get in touch with us today. We have a customer friendly, experienced and professional team to assist you.

Do not hesitate! Feel free to call us at 03 8585 6699.

Alternatively, you could visit our physical location at: 1/232 Centre Dandenong Rd, Cheltenham, 3192. Our team will be delighted to see you.

Keep in touch with us. Visit our contact page and enter your e-mail address for exclusive offers, sleeping tips and more!


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