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Here are 6 reasons why pregnant women find it hard to sleep

Published on:28 May 2021, 10:38am IST
Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep during your pregnancy? Fret not, we are listing down all the possible reasons that can be the reason for insomnia.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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pregnancy and UTI
Sleepless nights during pregnancy can make the situation a little tricky. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for all the pregnant women out there. The hard truth is sometimes, they even struggle to enjoy a nap. Did you know most pregnant women get sleep only for five hours or so? Trust us, this isn’t a good sign at all. That’s because it is an open invitation for health issues, which can have long-term implications. 

So ladies, it’s time to identify the reasons that are causing insomnia in pregnant women.  Once you know why it’s happening, you can very well seek help to get your sleep cycle back on track.

Here’s a list of issues that you face during pregnancy that can trigger insomnia

According to Dr Veena Aurangabadwala, a gynaecologist from Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Mumbai, pregnant women encounter sleep problems, mostly in the second or third trimester. There are various reasons behind this:

1. Increased frequency of urination

Those frequent trips to the bathroom will make it difficult for you to sleep. Due to the high levels of a pregnancy hormone hCG, many women have to run to the bathroom every now and then. Moreover, in the third trimester, the uterus tends to put extra pressure on the bladder, which leads to frequent urination.

pregnant women and insomnia
You could be suffering from stress urinary incontinence. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Inability to sleep comfortably in desired position

It’s quite possible that you find it hard to sleep in a desired position during pregnancy. This may end up making you feel uncomfortable; no wonder, insomnia strikes.

3. Heartburn

“You may encounter heartburn, mainly during the third trimester. It can worsen at night, especially when you sleep. This is due to the horizontal position and increased gastric reflux. This can be a big reason why pregnant women may find it difficult to hit the sack,” says Dr Aurangabadwala.

4. Leg cramps

Compression of blood vessels in your legs and fatigue, as you tend to carry that additional pregnancy weight, can invite painful leg cramps at night, causing insomnia.

5. Nasal congestion

Higher estrogen and progesterone levels increase the volume of blood, even in your nose. Thus, there could be nasal blockage, and that could make you sleepless at night.

pregnant women and insomnia
Beat congestion with some home-made cough and congestion remedy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
6. Nightmares

You may get nightmares during pregnancy or may even feel anxious or stressed at night. Everything put together causes insomnia!

“Aches, pain, headaches, and tender breasts will also make it difficult for you to sleep peacefully. These things will interfere with your daily routine, and your sleep patterns too. Maybe these things make you worried, and send your mind on an overdrive, even while sleeping,” explains Dr Aurangabadwala.

Here are some ways to deal with insomnia during pregnancy
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar-laden foods, especially at night. Sugar from various foods can lead to unstable blood sugar levels, and lack of sleep.
  •  Do not use electronic gadgets before sleeping.
  • Set a proper sleep schedule and follow the same sleeping and waking up timings.
  • Try to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water and eat mindfully, to avoid leg cramps. 
pregnant women and insomnia
Eat mindfully for you and your little one! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods, to reduce heartburn.
  • Elevate your head while sleeping, to avoid reflux.
  • Have an early dinner and workout every single day. Exercising will help you stay fit and energized.
  • De-stress by doing yoga or meditation.

So ladies, share these tips with all the pregnant women around you and help them sleep tight.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.