Pregnancy And Common Sleep Disorders Symptoms
The fluctuating hormones in a woman's body during pregnancy can cause a variety of sleep problems. The types of sleep disorders that a pregnant woman may experience change as the pregnancy progresses - but the one that pregnant women seem to report most often is insomnia, or a general inability to sleep . Sleep disorder symptoms during pregnancy often include: increased bathroom trips during the night to urinate and snoring and leg cramps. Often, it's not really necessary to put a label on a pregnancy-related sleep disorder, you'd be better off just looking for ways to relieve your symptoms so that you can get as much sleep as possible.
Pregnancy Sleep Problems
Specific sleep disorders associated with pregnancy include sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, as well as insomnia.
Sleep apnea is a condition which causes the sleeper to stop breathing for short periods while asleep. It usually isn't dangerous. Sleep apnea is linked to weight gain during pregnancy and also to swelling of the nasal passages - which can also happen during pregnancy.
Restless leg syndrome is an annoying condition whereby the legs twitch or ache while you lie down in bed. This can make it hard for a woman to get to sleep. In pregnancy, this syndrome usually occurs in the third trimester and disappears after the baby is born.
Sleep paralysis is another sleep condition that affects pregnant women (however, if affects diverse members of the population too - so it's probably the case that women who suffered from sleep paralysis before they were pregnant notice that the condition worsens during pregnancy).The sufferer may wake up to find themselves incapable of moving or speaking for a few seconds or even several minutes. This can be very disconcerting and even scary.
Causes Of Pregnancy Sleep Disorders
As mentioned above, lots of pregnancy sleep problems can be attributed to fluctuating hormone levels, but there are a number of other causes too. For example, emotional stress or anxiety about giving birth, the baby sitting on your bladder, the baby kicking and moving around, as well as heartburn, cramps and sinus congestion. Many of these causes can't be treated as much, only managed.
Treatment For Pregnancy Sleep Disorders
If sleep problems during pregnancy are making a significant impact on your quality of life, you shouldn't hesitate to discuss them with your doctor to find out if treatment options are available. If you've started sleep walking, or if you already suffer from a serious sleep disorder such as narcolepsy, then you must inform your health care provider. On the whole, however, if you're suffering from "run-of-the-mill" pregnancy insomnia, you'll probably be advised to implement some of the following measures at home to help you sleep for longer and more fitfully.
Tips For Sleeping During Pregnancy
You can use extra pillows to support your tummy and your back while sleeping. You may want to buy some specially designed pregnancy pillows for this purpose.
If you get regular gentle exercise while pregnant then you are more likely to sleep better at night. A walk in the afternoon should be fine, but try not to exercise too close to bed time, or you'll end up waking your body up when you really want to help it relax.
You can try relaxation techniques such as yoga, massage and deep breathing to help you relax. You should always check with your doctor first before beginning any such techniques. Some women find that scented candles and aromatherapy oils are helpful too.
Eating a balanced diet will help you to cope with every aspect of your pregnancy. By adding a little more carbohydrates to your eating regime, you can help to promote good sleep patterns too.