The Importance Of Good Sleeping Habits During Pregnancy

Having a hard time getting sleep during pregnancy? Understand why you're feeling fatigued and strategies for minimizing discomfort and sleep disturbances.

During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone increase and your metabolism is running high. This can cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue. If you have another child or children to care for, you might be even more tired. 

How does pregnancy affect sleep?

A number of normal symptoms during pregnancy might affect or disturb your sleep, including:

-Nausea and vomiting (morning sickness)

-Frequent urination

-Physical discomforts, such as tender breasts and back pain

-Fetal movement

-Leg cramps

-Heartburn

-Snoring

-Irregular uterine contractions

-Shortness of breath

-Restless legs syndrome

-Anxiety about labor and delivery

What you can do to get your best sleep at night

Here are five steps you can take to manage sleep disturbances during pregnancy.

#1: Set the mood

A dark, quiet and relaxing environment and a comfortable temperature can help encourage sleep. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day might improve your sleep health. Remove electronic devices from your bedroom.

#2: Keep active

Regular physical activity during pregnancy might help you fall asleep more easily. Be sure to maintain your level of physical activity throughout the course of your pregnancy. 

#3: Prevent heartburn

Eat small, frequent meals and avoid eating three hours before bedtime. Sleeping on your left side with your head elevated can also ease heartburn symptoms.

#4: Practice relaxation techniques

Doing them before bedtime might be helpful. It can be as easy as lighting some candles and picking up a book in the afternoon.

#5: Favor your side

Avoid sleeping on your back, which can put the weight of your uterus on your spine and back muscles. But don't worry if you wake up on your back.

#6: Use pillows

Carefully placed pillows can help you get comfortable. Try placing a pillow between your bent knees or under your belly.

If you continue to have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, talk to your health care provider. One option might be a talk therapy program called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. This program helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. For severe and persistent sleep problems, low-dose prescription medication might help.

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