Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy
On the average, pregnant women, just like other adults are required to have between 7-9 hours of sleep daily. However, due to their condition, they may require more sleep.
Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy
✔ Quality sleep has been identified as an important factor in pregnancy which can minimize the risk of preeclampsia and preterm birth.
✔ Protects baby from psychological stress and strains as a sleep deprived mother is more likely to be exhausted, stumble or become irritable, thereby putting the baby in inconveniences.
✔ Based on researches conducted on women as regards the influence of sleep on labor and delivery, it is claimed that women who got an average of 8- 9 hours of sleep are more likely to experience shorter labor and less complications in birth. The research further observes that pregnant women who had less than 6 hours of daily sleep often had sleep disturbances (just like most pregnant women are prone to) and end up having lesser sleeping periods increasing the likelihood of caesarean section.
✔ A good sleep pattern during pregnancy ensures the optimal functioning of the brain and increases mental alertness and concentration. This is as a result of the chance which sleep grants the brain to slow down and clear itself of wastes so that one wakes in a clean and better state.
✔ Better sleep leads to better brain functioning which would ultimately lead to a better emotional state. A rejuvenated body and mind could help to alleviate mood swings and reduce stress.
✔ Just as sleep promotes growth hormones in humans, it provide an added service of promoting fetal growth hormones too. This is necessary for placenta development, uterus growth and aids the normal growth of babies.
Generally, sleep provides a good means of relaxation. Relaxation is one of the needs of pregnant women. For this reason, quality sleep could be synonymous with good health.
Why Sleep Quality Differs
Sleep during pregnancy is different issues for different women. While some pregnant women complain of being sleep deprived, others are concerned they are getting more than enough.
Experts have not fixed definite sleep hours for pregnant women. This is because the amount of sleep a pregnant women gets is dependent on many factors as:
〇 Previous sleep habit and routine
Though pregnancy tends to influence the quantity and quality of sleep one gets, the sleep pattern and regime of some pregnant women may remain just as it was pre pregnancy. Lifestyle, obligations, pre existing insomnia and certain sleep habits are sometimes responsible for the unchanging pattern of sleep.
〇 The influx of hormones
Just as expected, sleep patterns is one of the things hormones influences during pregnancy. The relaxation effect created by progesterone may lead to more sleepy times, reduce nighttime wakefulness, reduce the amount of time required for sleep. This is not to say that this same hormone cannot induce and contribute to sleeplessness through progesterone induced congestion, heartburn and so on. Other active hormones during pregnancy like prolactin, estrogen and oxytocin would not be found wanting in their contributions to sleep quality and pattern. Hence, the pattern of sleep every woman gets may be dependent on the influx and activeness of any of the hormones.
〇 Psychological state of mind
Anxiety, joy, excitement and other psychological conditions may also affect the sleep pattern of pregnant women. Because these feelings are experienced differently by pregnant women, the sleep pattern is not expected to be unison.
〇 Physical discomforts
Growing bump, increased weight, cramps, swollen legs and others are some of the discomforts which accompanies pregnancy especially in the third trimester. Getting a good sleep may be an issue for some women even as others have minimal experience and are able to enjoy their sleep.
〇 And other pregnancy related conditions frequent urination, snoring, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and others are some of the issues that determines the quantity of sleep during pregnancy.
How to ensure you are getting enough sleep
You cannot explain the quality of sleep you get in terms of the sleep patterns of other pregnant women. While some have troubles napping in the daytime but have a 7 hours of night sleep, others are used to splitting their sleeping hours between the day and night. What is important is getting the average sleeping hours and being healthy.
Experts advise pregnant women to take cues from their bodies as the body has a way of getting what it deserves.
Discussing the sleep routine with caregivers would also help to reassure mothers or point them to the right direction.
Tips to getting a better sleep
〇 Eliminate the use of distractions like mobile phones and television during sleep hours.
〇 Practice and maintain a good comfy sleep positions.
〇 Being active and exercising during the day. A worked out body is more likely to seek rest.
〇 Try relaxation and stress reducing activities like meditation, yoga, massage, sight seeing etc.〇 Practicing good sleep habit by making sleep a priority and sleeping when you should.
〇 Treating pre existing sleep problems like sleep apnea and insomnia.