While pregnancy is a beautiful journey, it’s not without challenges. Pregnant women experience a host of side effects and symptoms, like nausea, bloating and gas, to name but a few. One of the common complaints is sleep disturbance. Some women find it difficult to get quality sleep during their pregnancy which can have an adverse effect on both mother and baby’s health. Discover more about pregnancy and sleep as Bloom takes a closer look at how to sleep better during pregnancy. Momentum Health4Me provides a range of medical insurance plans with maternity benefits that keep you covered during your pregnancy.
Why is sleep so important? Pregnancy and sleep benefits explained
Many people underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. There are many benefits to having a quality sleep cycle, some of which include:
- Improved brain functioning. Sleep allows you to recharge your brain for the following day’s activities. There is also evidence that supports the fact that getting enough sleep enhances your focus and creativity and even helps with sound decision-making skills.
- Better emotional health. Those who compromise on quality sleep often feel irritable. Lack of sleep has been linked to mental health problems, like anxiety or depression.
- Heart health. Quality sleep is important for good heart health. A lack of sleep or rest could contribute to high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels. Evidence has confirmed that people with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, have an increased risk of developing heart arrhythmia and coronary heart disease.
- Weight maintenance. It’s a fact that sleep deprivation can make you fat. Inadequate sleep can cause an imbalance in your hormones that control your hunger senses, making you more susceptible to overeating and weight gain.
- Healthy pregnancy and delivery. The amount and quality of sleep a pregnant woman invests in not only affects the baby’s health but also has an impact on the labour and delivery. Lack of sleep has been linked to a number of birthing complications, such as preeclampsia.
Experts agree that an adult should commit to at least seven hours of sleep each night, while pregnant women are advised to get up to nine hours of sleep each night.
Why do pregnant women have problems with sleep?
It’s quite common for pregnant women to struggle when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. Changes in hormones, fatigue and symptoms like the increased and frequent need to urinate can disrupt one’s sleep pattern. Some of the well-documented causes of sleep problems during pregnancy include:
- Frequent need to urinate due to baby pressing down on one’s bladder
- Restless leg syndrome
- Anxiety or worry about the baby or delivery
- General discomfort, like backache or tender breasts
- Increased body temperature
- Baby movements, like kicking
The top 10 tips about how to sleep better during pregnancy
- Safe pregnancy sleeping positions. Experts agree that if you want to know how to sleep better during pregnancy, a woman should try sleeping on her side. Avoid sleeping on your back as this puts strain on your spine and muscles. Make yourself more comfortable by stacking pillows. Place a pillow between your knees and use one to support your back.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the day but minimise your intake in the evening so you’re not up all night running to the loo.
- Exercise. It’s highly advisable to keep moving during your pregnancy. This will help improve your circulation and reduce the risk of developing cramps at night. Aim for 30-90 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise three to four times per week.
- Learn to relax. This is one of the best pregnancy sleep tips. Take your mind off the worry and this will help with your sleeping routine. Try meditation or yoga to get into the habit of being mindful and relaxed.
- Reduce heartburn. This is a pregnancy health problem that many women suffer from and it can be reduced by eliminating hot or spicy foods from your diet.
- Take naps during the day. There is nothing wrong with taking 20-30 minute naps during the day if you’re feeling fatigued and are not getting enough sleep at night.
- Watch your diet. There’s never a better time to watch what you eat than when you’re pregnant. Ensure that you get a balanced meal every day with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Cut down on the caffeine. Try making the switch to herbal tea during your pregnancy. Otherwise, reduce your intake of caffeine, which can interfere with your sleep and pregnancy health. Remember that caffeine is also present in sodas, regular tea, chocolate and energy drinks.
- Avoid nausea. Morning sickness affects many women during their pregnancy and it’s certainly not limited to the morning, contrary to the name. Prevent that feeling of nausea by eating small quantities of food or by eating bland snacks, like rice crackers.
- Stick to a bedtime routine. If you establish a consistent routine for sleeping by sticking to a certain time and process, your body and mind will have an easier time drifting off to sleep.
Get the best health insurance plan for pregnancy
Ensure a safe pregnancy by taking care of your health, which is why you need to consider how to sleep better during pregnancy. Stick to our sleeping tips during pregnancy and discover even more pregnancy care tips from our insightful blog resources. Get a maternity medical insurance plan that offers you comprehensive maternity benefits. Contact Bloom’s office to speak to a trained consultant about our health insurance plans for pregnancy.
Medical Content Disclaimer
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.