Sleeping pregnant, what a problem!

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
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Sleep problems in pregnancy

Sleeping when you are in sweet waiting it can become a problem. The belly grows and becomes an obstacle, you cannot find the most comfortable position to rest, anxiety assails you and other small disturbances can compromise a good night's sleep.



Many pregnant women say that it is difficult to sleep because they do not feel comfortable, they have a myriad of problems at night (going to the toilet, a heavy belly, leg cramps etc ...) and with so many changes physical and emotional events that are happening, it is not surprising that 8 out of 10 women suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders during pregnancy.



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promote sleep you can follow a relaxing ritual that includes a hot bath, a cup of chamomile tea, listening to quiet music, a cuddle with your partner.



When you are lying in bed you can try to relax doing a little meditation: imagine a slow and progressive relaxation of every single muscle. Make sure that the room has the right temperature, that it is dark enough and that there are not too many noises. If you haven't fallen asleep within twenty minutes, get up and go to another room. Read a magazine and then try to go to bed again at the first hint of sleepiness.

However, there are some problems that can ruin and make it difficult for pregnant women to sleep. Let's see what they are and how to solve them

Read also: How to sleep well in pregnancy

You don't find a comfortable position

No matter how tired you are, you still can't find a comfortable position to fall asleep.

How to fix

  • put a pillow between your legs to support your baby bump and a pillow behind your back and stand on your side.
  • wears the bra because the breasts become heavy and can cause discomfort by hindering sleep.
  • There are some pillows on the market made especially for pregnant women.
  • If the problem is not solved, do not hesitate to look for the most comfortable place to sleep. It could be the sofa, a deck chair, the bed in the guest bedroom.
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Frequent need to urinate

This is completely normal urinary often when pregnant. The amount of blood increases a lot during pregnancy and this, coupled with the increasing weight of the uterus pressing on the bladder, causes the need to urinate very often. This need can occur several times even during the night, especially if you suffer from swollen legs and feet.

How to fix: Drink just before going to sleep, avoid coffee and tea at the end of the day and when you pee lean forward to completely empty your bladder.

Indigestion and heartburn

Over two thirds of pregnant women suffer from heartburn in the second half of pregnancy. The burning sensation comes from the breastbone to the throat. This disorder can be caused by the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

Read also: The thoughts that don't make a mom sleep

The placenta produces a large amount of progesterone which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus but also relaxes the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach, which allows stomach acids to penetrate and cause heartburn. In addition, progesterone slows digestion and the baby grows and weighs in the abdominal cavity by pushing stomach acids towards the throat. There is no way to avoid heartburn at night but there are some precautions you can take to limit the problem.

How to fix

  • avoid foods and drinks that promote heartburn such as alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, acidic foods such as citrus and fruit juices, tomatoes, vinegar and mustard, processed and spiced meats, highly seasoned, fatty and straight foods.
  • Have small, frequent meals that are light and easy to digest.
  • Eat at least two hours before going to bed. Chew your food carefully and slowly.
  • Sleep with pillows under the chest and head. Keeping the torso a little higher than the rest of the body hinders the rise of acids.
  • Wear comfortable pajamas that do not tighten at the abdomen.
  • Ask your doctor who might prescribe an antacid.
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Leg cramps

Nobody really knows why women suffer more from leg cramps when they are pregnant. It is possible that they are due to your leg muscles getting tired of carrying all your extra weight around. Or they can be caused by the pressure the expanding uterus exerts on the veins. Cramps may begin to present during the second trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy

How to fix

  • avoid keeping your legs crossed for too long;
  • stretch the calf muscles regularly throughout the day;
  • wear comfortable shoes with support;
  • rotate your ankles and move your toes when sitting;
  • take a walk every day, unless your doctor advised against it;
  • avoid getting too tired;
  • lie down on the left side to improve circulation to and from the legs;
  • staying hydrated throughout the day by drinking water regularly;
  • try a warm bath before bed to relax the muscles;
  • supplement magnesium and potassium because some studies have shown that these two substances can help prevent cramps even if not everyone agrees.
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In case of leg cramps immediately stretch the calf muscles; straighten the leg, heel, and gently flex the toes back towards the shins. It may hurt at first, but it will ease the spasm and the pain will gradually go away.
Getting out of bed and walking for a few minutes may also help.

If the muscle pain is constant and not just an occasional cramp, or if you notice swelling in your leg, call your doctor.

Nausea disturbs sleep

For at least three quarters of future mothers land the first few weeks of pregnancy are like a long, sickening roller coaster ride. About half of women with nausea feel better after about 14 weeks. For the others it takes an extra month to get better.
Night sickness is particularly unpleasant because it can prevent you from falling asleep.

How to fix

  • if the nausea is severe and the vomiting is incessant, the doctor may prescribe some medications
  • keep simple snacks, such as crackers, near the bed. To ward off nausea when you wake up in the morning, munch on some crackers and then rest for another 20 minutes before getting up.
  • Avoid fatty foods that are difficult to digest at dinner. Avoid spicy, acidic, fried foods. The ideal is to consume complex carbohydrates and proteins.
  • The tea allo ginger before bedtime can be useful. Some studies have shown that ginger reduces nausea and vomiting in pregnancy without side effects.     
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Restless Legs Syndrome

The need is felt uncontrollable to move the legs to relieve tingling, burning or discomfort. It's the restless legs syndrome. One study showed it affects 16% of pregnant women. Symptoms usually appear when you are at rest, especially before falling asleep or when sitting for long periods, such as at the cinema or during a long drive.
Moving your legs brings immediate relief, but when you stop, the discomfort returns.

How to fix

  • most of the drugs used for the treatment of the syndrome is not recommended during pregnancy.
  • You can try eliminating caffeine because some studies have shown that it increases the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
  • Do not lie down before going to sleep, as the position worsens the symptoms. Lie straight in bed when the time comes.
  • Some women find relief from stretching their legs, getting a massage, hot or cold packs, taking a hot bath, or practicing relaxation techniques.
Read also: How to get a good night's sleep in pregnancy

You can't share the bed

Find one position comfortable isn't always easy and having to share a bed with someone makes things even more difficult.
 

How to fix: you could buy a bigger bed or talk to your partner and maybe decide to sleep in separate beds together

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

Snoring is common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, and is associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where the airways become blocked and breathing is briefly interrupted during sleep.   
 

How to fix: it can be helpful to sleep on your side and keep your head raised above your torso. Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills and tobacco. Don't put on too many pounds.

Insomnia caused by worries about the baby

THEanxiety it is normal for your and your baby's health and future, but if it becomes pathological to the point of preventing good sleep, action must be taken.
 

How to fix: share your fears with your partner, it is likely that he too has the same concerns as you and talking about them openly could help; ask for help from parents and family; he talks to your doctor.

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