Insomnia is a condition when you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or a bit of both. Women can experience insomnia at any point of time during their pregnancy, but the possibility increases in the first and third trimesters. You should not worry much as this type of insomnia is not harmful to the baby, but it can make you miserable. Frequent washroom breaks, heartburn, and congestion faced during this time make you more prone to insomnia.
• Stress-related reasons such as anxiety about labour and delivery cause sleeplessness.
• Back pain due to pressure on the lower abdomen causes discomfort which can, in turn, keep you awake at night.
• Pregnancy weakens your bladder and frequent trips to the loo cause loss of sleep.
• Nausea or vomiting during this period is also a major contributor to pregnancy insomnia.
Here are some ways to treat pregnancy insomnia which have been known to be effective:
Practice meditation and yoga exercises such as deep breathing which will help you relax and settle down. You can also go for meditative chants to calm you and soothe your mind. It will help you keep your anxiety under control. Relaxation can be achieved through any activity which is easy on your nerves like reading or taking a walk.
Setting up good sleeping habits is one of the most effective ways to alleviate pregnancy insomnia. Start by trying to go to bed at the same time every night. Begin your routine with something relaxing (as mentioned above). Taking a soothing bath also helps. Just be careful that the temperature isn’t too hot as it can be harmful to the baby.
Blue light from the TV, your mobile phone, or tablet can have an impact on your body’s circadian rhythm. So it is better to avoid electronic items before going to bed. Use soothing music and books as a substitute for mobile phone. It will help you declutter your mind and prevent sleeplessness. Stay active during the day so that you can rest at night.
Avoid having caffeinated drinks, especially after the evening. Drink plenty of water during the day. Eat a healthy dinner, but enjoy it slowly to reduce your chances of heartburn. Eating an early dinner can also help, but make sure you don’t go to bed hungry. Eat a healthy and light snack if you need to have something late in the evening. A warm glass of milk can help you feel sleepy too.
It is normal to worry during this time but it is essential that you address your anxieties in a healthy way. Try making a list of your concerns and think about the possible solutions. If it is a worry about something you cannot avoid, calm yourself by accepting it. It may take time but it will help you gain control over your sleeping pattern.