I am 28 weeks pregnant and am having real difficulty sleeping. I wake up to go to the bathroom, or wake up for no reason at all! How can I improve my situation? Annick
Annick, you aren’t the only one with this problem! Many people have sleep disorders for physical reasons, such as pain or hormonal changes. Others have psychosocial issues, such as worries, stress, etc.
For pregnant women, sleep needs vary. In general, a person who sleeps 8/24 hours is getting enough sleep.
But there are no standards to define the number of hours required for each person. Usually, for pregnant women, they will have a higher need for sleep during the first trimester. This is associated with an increase in progesterone (hormone), which is felt more intensely during the first weeks of pregnancy.
During the second stage of pregnancy, with a larger tummy, the mother is discomforted by sore legs or needs to urinate more often.
In the last stage of pregnancy, it’s not always easy to find comfortable a sleep posture. Other physical symptoms can appear, such as reflux, back pain, calf cramps, etc.
Here are some things that can help a pregnant woman sleep better:
- Have a regular sleep schedule;
- Exercising during the day helps sleep at night;
- Avoid drinking or eating things that excite you, such as caffeine, chocolate, etc.;
- Avoid cold, which tends to force the body to try to heat itself;
- Do calm activities before going to bed to relax, such as reading, taking a warm-hot bath, watching a quiet TV show;
- Go to bed once you have signs of fatigue, which include yawning, sleepy eyes. Reduce stimulations such as noise and light;
- If you have difficulty sleeping at night, avoid napping for more than 30 minutes at the end of the day or the beginning of the evening.
When sleep problems continue over time despite taking measures to deal with it, behavioural therapy can help you change your thoughts and help you better go to sleep.
As a last resort, you can take medication if your daily life is severely affected by your sleep problems. You can’t just take any medication during pregnancy, such as sleeping pills. You always need to get advice from your doctor or pharmacist for the most appropriate option.
Annick, I hope this will help you sleep better!
The Baby Expert