Topic: Gathering the Facts: Can Insomnia be a Symptom of Pregnancy?
While many individuals may suffer from insomnia, there is growing evidence to suggest that pregnant women may be one of them. Some studies seem to indicate that insomnia may even be an additional symptom of pregnancy. Though unpleasant for everyone who has it, insomnia may become exaggerated during pregnancy.
A Study on Insomnia and Pregnancy
Many individuals suffer from insomnia, and pregnant women seem to have exaggerated cases of insomnia as well. Regarding the general population, the American Sleep Association has noted that approximately 30% of adults suffer from short-term insomnia, while 10% of the population are affected by chronic insomnia.
Now, studies are emerging that point to how insomnia and pregnancy may go hand-in-hand. For example, a study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology examined the sleep patterns of almost 500 women at various times in their pregnancies. Before pregnancy, the rate of insomnia was 6%, but during pregnancy, it skyrocketed to 64%.
While James Wilson, who is a sleep behavior expert that many refer to as “The Sleep Geek” and who is the co-founder of a wellness company, does not think insomnia in and of itself is a symptom of pregnancy, he has noted that every pregnancy he has encountered is accompanied by poor sleep quality at one point or another.
In addition, Leah Hazard, who is a renowned NHS midwife and author of Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story, attributes the correlation between pregnancy and insomnia to several reasons. For example, the increased need to urinate, leg cramps, nausea, heartburn, and other uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy can keep women up at night. Furthermore, any worry and anxiety can keep expectant mothers up at night as well.
However, it is important that mothers-to-be first consult their physicians before taking any sleep aids. Also, there are certain things pregnant women can do to help ease any discomfort that may be preventing them from resting well. For example, a body pillow or a maternity pillow can increase comfort levels, and situating a pillow between the legs may help the pelvis remain in alignment.
Since symptoms such as heartburn and reflux can keep expectant mothers up at night, it may be best to space out your eating from when you go to bed. In addition, if leg cramps cause you problems in the middle of the night, instead of tensing up, it is important to relax as much as possible and try flexing your feet. Overall, avoiding electronics and bright screens at least an hour before going to bed can help the body wind down and prepare for sleep.
Studies have shown that insomnia rates tend to increase during pregnancy. While some health experts do not consider insomnia a symptom of pregnancy in and of itself, many have noted that pregnant women tend to experience difficulty sleeping at some point in their pregnancy. However, there are certain things that can be done, such as purchasing a body or maternity pillow, spacing out meals, and avoiding electronics before bed.
Discussed Topic: Gathering the Facts: Can Insomnia be a Symptom of Pregnancy?