Finding it difficult to sleep in pregnancy? You may have Pregnancy Related Insomnia..

June 6, 2016

 

 

Insomnia in Pregnancy - What is It?

 

Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay sleep and is quiet common during pregnancy. It’s estimated to affect more than 75% of the pregnant population in the third trimester.

 

What causes it?

The combination of all the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, along with frequent trips to the bathroom, and the fact that you can't get comfortable due to various pregnancy related ailments, all play a part in pregnancy related insomnia. Feeling anxious, fearful, worried, or just excited about your new baby can make switching off at bedtime hard and it’s not unusual to have trouble getting to, and staying asleep, even though you're really tired. Your baby might be particularly active at night or you may experience vivid dreams which may compound the situation.

 

Top Tips To Help..

  • Try not to worry about not being able to sleep—if you worry about sleep, you'll probably have an even harder time falling asleep

  • Get into a sleep routine by going to bed and rising at set times. Take a relaxing warm bath, time to read and wind down each night

  • Keep active during the day and include a certain amount of physical activity every day such as a short walk, pregnancy yoga class or swimming

  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine (including chocolate, cola, tea and green tea). Maybe try a mug of warm milk or camomile tea instead

  • Avoid eating large meals late at night as your body needs time to digest them and always take your time at dinner so that heartburn doesn't keep you tossing and turning when you do hit the hay

  • Try to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of B vitamin-rich foods as too little B12 may contribute to insomnia. Examples include grains, yeast extract, fish, and green vegetables 

  • Turn off all electronic devices including your computer and television at least 30 minutes before bed and dim the lights as you get ready to sleep

  • Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, gentle yoga stretches and meditation each night

  • Set the thermostat to a pleasant, not-too-warm, nor too cold, temperature

  • Use supportive pillows and blankets where needed to get comfy

  • Regular pregnancy massage therapy can help also

  • Drink earlier - fill your daily requirement of fluids during the early evening to cut down on visits to the loo during the night

  • Save your bed for sex and sleep - if you're doing daytime activities in bed, you might be unwittingly associating that part of your home with being awake — and with stress. Also, if you're in the mood, sex is a good way of getting to sleep because the feel-good chemicals (endorphins) that are released which relax you

  • If you're not sleeping, get up. If after 20 to 30 minutes of trying, conquer a small task that needs to be done and then try to go to sleep again

  • Have a nap if you're able to in the daytime. This will help you to top up on the sleep you lost at night

  • Wear earplugs and an eye mask if noise and light wake you up

  • Consider sleeping in another room if your partner's snoring is keeping you awake 

  • An uncomfortable mattress can add to the problem, so turn over your mattress, or replace it if you've had it for seven years or more

  • Try visualisation exercises to relax you. Lie down and imagine that you are in beautiful countryside, or by the sea, while breathing deeply and focusing on exhaling. Try to make the breath you exhale last for a couple of counts longer than your inhale breath

  • Try Aromatherapy - lavender, camomile or ylang ylang may help, but use only two drops to three drops at a time by placing on a tissue on your pillow. A warm bath with these essential oils before bedtime may also help. If you use a vaporiser, don't leave it on for more than about 20 minutes, as it may make you feel sick or give you a headache. Never leave the vaporiser on all night. You could also ask your partner to give you a neck and shoulder or foot massage and include a maximum of three drops of the above essential oils in two teaspoons (10ml) of base oil, such as grapeseed oil. Bach Flower Remedies, such as Rescue Remedy, may ease general stress. Seek the advice of an Aromatherapist for all the above and other remedies 

  • Other therapies such as reflexology, homeopathy, acupuncture and shiatsu may also help. Therapies that realign your body can have an effect on your sense of wellbeing, making you more relaxed and better able to sleep. You could try the Alexander technique, tai chi, or qi gong. If backache or other physical problems keep you awake, osteopathy, cranio sacral therapy or chiropractic may ease them.  If you are stressed it's worth considering hypnotherapy. Or if you're experiencing major emotional upheaval, such as relationship difficulties, counselling could help you to resolve them.

  • Talk to your midwife, too. She's there to support you emotionally as well as physically throughout your pregnancy

     

    Book into My Prenatal Yoga Class to learn to relax your mind and body in pregnancy. Simply call Aileen on 0868560049 for more information or to book in..

     

     

     

     

     

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