Difficulty in sleeping or Insomnia is more common in the Third Trimester affecting approximately 75% of pregnant women. One may develop discomfort due to several hormonal changes during this period. According to some researchers in Spain, 64% of women suffer from Insomnia in the Third trimester.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition when one lacks proper sleep or has difficulty in sleeping that directly affects the quality of life. It may result from specific factors including Heartburn, Indigestion, etc. causing discomfort while trying to sleep.
When does it start?
One may experience sleepless nights throughout the period, but it is more frequent in the First and Third trimesters due to the expanding uterus.
Is it harmful?
It is harmless to both the mother and the child. Try remedies to prevent Insomnia during the night.
- Discomfort due to the increased Abdomen
- Back pain
- Changes in the hormones
- Frequent urination at night
- Vivid dreams
- Excitement for the delivery
- Leg cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Tender breasts
- Nausea or vomiting
- High BP
- Premature Labor
- Gestational Diabetes
- An unplanned C-section
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulties in a relationship with the partner or the family
- Fetal growth restriction
- Gestational Diabetes
- Postnatal Depression
- Antenatal Depression
- Increased Labor pain
- Cesarean Birth
- Preterm delivery
Normal hours of sleep
Usually, a person needs at least 7-9 hours of sleep to stay fit, but a pregnant woman may sleep for long hours to have ample rest. Due to hormones, the body undergoes a lot many changes that exhaust the mother. She should take proper rest to prevent conditions like Insomnia.
Common Sleep Disturbances
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Sleep Apnoea (Shallow breathing while sleeping)
Reduced Quality of Sleep
- Waking up for long hours
- Short sleep duration
- Increased awakening
Medications including Unisom, Tylenol, PM, Ambien, Lunesta, and Nytol are safe for occasional use to prevent sleepless nights. However, one should consult a doctor before taking any of these OTC Medications. Magnesium Supplements can help in relieving Leg cramps or Constipation and may even make one sleepy. Promethazine is helpful when one is suffering from chronic sleep problems. Benzodiazepines and other Antiperspirants are likely to prevent Insomnia, but one should always contact a doctor before taking them.
Is Psychological Treatment helpful?
Psychological treatment like the Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) is more effective in treating Insomnia related to Depression and Anxiety. Researchers are looking out for other favorable therapies if available.
A Proper Bedtime Routine
Set up good sleeping habits like stay away from the phone before an hour of the bedtime, take a warm bath before sleeping, etc. to avoid.
Exercise & Diet
Following a proper diet with exercises maintains the health. Eat Proteins and high-fiber foods. Additionally, drink plenty of water in a day to prevent Dry mouth or any such situation.
Practice meditation or yoga before going to bed so that one may sleep peacefully. Try relaxation techniques without waking up for long hours at night.
Avoid wearing bra or change sleeping positions for comfort. Keep the room dark and cold with a nightlight in the bathroom for late night visits.
Avoid Blue Lights at Night
Use a Dim light (Orange shade) in the room to feel the sleepiness.
Tart Cherry Juice
Contains Melatonin content which increases the sleep time by 90 minutes a night. Drink one tablespoon of this juice twice a day (one dosage around 3 P.M and one around 8 P.M).
Supplements of Magnesium
200-400 of Magnesium supplement is necessary for every woman for relaxation.
The use of essential oils like Lavender, Chamomile, etc. can help relax before going to bed. Take a warm bath with few drops of these or massage. Use three drops of essential oil in 10ml of Grapeseed oil to massage the foot.
Bryophyllum Pinnatum, a Herbal medicine is safe to take but not without the consultation of a doctor. One can also try a hop pillow to help with sleeping.
Bach Flower Remedies
Rescue remedy can help one relieve stress. However, if having a vivid dream, single flower remedy for fear or rock rose for terror are a great help. There are specific other remedies including the Olive treatment and Hornbeam which could prevent Insomnia.
Alexander Technique, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong can help with it. Osteopathy or Chiropractic may ease back pain while Reflexology, Aromatherapy is all part of Homeopathic Treatments curing Insomnia.
- Take a warm bath before going to bed
- Keep changing positions while sleeping and take the support of pillows for back or belly.
- Exercise daily during the day
- Try several relaxation techniques
- Drink a glass of warm milk or start reading a book while facing problems in sleeping.
- Take long naps during the day
- Avoid Caffeine and Chocolate
- Do not get emotional about everything
- A Prenatal Massage or Sex can also prevent Insomnia.
- A Lavender-scented sachet in the pillow can help get sleep.
- Eat dinner on time
- Avoid Strenuous exercises in the late afternoon or evening.
- Avoid eating Spicy foods in the evening
- Hot or cold compress in the pain
- Walk for about 30 minutes a day.
- Acupuncture is great for Insomnia