Getting enough hours of sleep is equally important as having a right diet during pregnancy. Expecting mothers should ensure that they sleep for minimum 7-8 hours daily throughout pregnancy along with proper nutrition and exercises. Researches show that women getting less than 6-7 hours of sleep on an average during pregnancy are quite likely to go through longer labor hours than women who enjoyed more than 8 hours of sleep on an average. Sleep deprivation during pregnancy can also raise the chances of caesarian delivery. Doctors strongly opine that sufficient sleeping hours can create favorable conditions for the healthy development of the fetus.
Normally, women feel sleepy during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy as blood circulation increases and the body works more to nurture the growing fetus. Hormonal levels fluctuate, and the heart beat increases leaving the pregnant women fatigued. Women can enjoy sound sleep in the initial months of pregnancy provided they avoid stress and their medical parameters remain normal. Difficulty in sleeping crops up in the advanced stages of pregnancy due to the increasing weight and movement of the fetus.
Tips to get a good night’s sleep during pregnancy
Prevent stress build up
Pregnancy is an exciting phase of every woman’s life and you should enjoy every moment of it. Too much worrying will stress your mind upsetting the mental balance. Women experiencing difficulties and complications in pregnancy must take up meditation to calm their minds. One cannot sleep peacefully with an anxious mind. Seek professional help to get enough sleep during this period.
Drink plenty of fluids
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and prevent muscular cramps. Reduce your fluid intake before going to bed at night. Frequent urination at night is enough to disrupt your sleep.
Maintain fixed timings for sleeping
Plan a sleeping routine and stick to it. Go to bed daily at a fixed time of the day and never disrupt this routine. You can also sleep for few hours in the afternoon. Avoid late night TV watching or other activities after dinner. You can read light magazines or listen to music before sleeping to calm your mind.
Avoid spicy foods
Heartburn is a common event during pregnancy and this can seriously affect your sleep. The burning sensation in your chest at midnight will not allow you to sleep peacefully. Take light but nutritious food at night and strictly avoid spicy foods.
Select a comfortable position
Sleeping disturbance is mostly felt in the advanced stages of pregnancy due to the enlarged belly and fetal movements. You cannot lie on your back and sleep but have to maintain a sidewise position. Try sleeping on your left side and place a cushion or pillow beneath your belly for extra support.
Check your diet
Your daily food intake also plays an important role in providing sound sleep during pregnancy. Avoid drinking too much tea, coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Eat foods rich in whole grains before going to bed. This will keep you full for hours and prevent midnight hunger pangs.
Mild exercises promotes sleep
Sufficient rest is very important during pregnancy, but that does not imply one should laze throughout the day. Carry out some light household chores. Take up mild physical workouts and go for walks. Moderate activities throughout the day will help you to enjoy a sound sleep in pregnancy.
Always remember that good sleep during pregnancy favors healthy child birth. Those suffering from insomnia during pregnancy should seek professional consultation without delay. Doctors often prescribe mild dose sleeping pills for hypertensive pregnant women, but the dosage should be followed strictly. Over dosage of sleeping pills may be dangerous both for the mother and the fetus. Above all, right diet and moderate physical activities are the key factors to get sufficient sleep during pregnancy.