Insomnia is common in many pregnant women. It's caused by a wide range of factors and can lead to stress and bad moods. Being pregnant is hard enough, but not getting enough sleep makes it that much harder. Of course, when someone has insomnia, they usually turn to pills. Things are a little more complicated for a pregnant woman because of the baby that shares the same body. Let’s find out what you can do to fall asleep easier.
Getting to Sleep While Pregnant
Falling asleep with an expanding uterus can feel strange, to say the least. The first three and the last three months of pregnancy are often beset by insomnia. When your abdomen grows to a certain size, you won't be able to sleep on it, and you won't be able to move around much in your sleep. It's no wonder that some expectant mothers struggle to fall asleep, especially for the habitual stomach sleeper.
Pregnant women need special care and anything that they put in their body mustn’t hurt the fetus. So, that rules out most sleeping aid pills, but that doesn't mean that you can't do something about it.
What Sleeping Medication is Safe During Pregnancy?
The short answer would be none. The conventional wisdom is to steer clear of any sleeping pills. These include popular OTC pills like Tylenol PM and Unisom and prescription meds like Ambien. However, as you know, conventional wisdom is always correct. Pharmaceutical companies are overly cautious about marketing their pills to pregnant women. That’s partly because it’s risky to perform clinical trials on pregnant women.
The fact is that some pregnant women do use them to fall asleep faster. Long story short, you should only take drugs, sleep aids included, if your doctor recommends it. Your doctor may prescribe smaller doses to help you rest, for example. But that's usually the last resort. You are more likely to get a magnesium supplement that works well for constipation and cramps. If you are so afflicted, taking supplemental magnesium before bed might help your muscles relax and make it easier to fall asleep.
Tips to Help You Sleep in Your Pregnancy
Here are some tips that should help you get to sleep faster.
Drink Lots of Fluids
You should drink as much water and fruit juices during the day as possible, but not right before you go to bed. You will be able to go to sleep faster and sleep longer spells without having to get up to hit the bathroom too frequently.
Get Plenty of Exercises
We all know that good exercise makes it easier to go to sleep, and the same stands for pregnant women. Of course, you won't be able to run or do jumping jacks, but you can walk around and do some light exercises. You should get your daily exercise in even when you don't feel like it. Active pregnant women fall asleep much faster than those who spend the entire day sedentary. Just don't exercise before bed because that may actually have a negative effect.
Clear Your Head before Going to Bed
Most sleep issues and insomnia are caused by too much stress and anxiety. Women, in general, are prone to get hung up over their problems. Instead of worrying, you might want to talk things over. Whether it's your spouse, a friend, or a psychiatrist, you should do what you can to unload. Talk to someone who’s a good listener and you just might feel much better after.
Sometimes keeping a notebook or diary will be enough. Get a pen and write down everything that’s on your mind that day and clear your head before you hit the sack. You will be amazed by how much better you'll feel.
Create a Bedtime Routine
Establish a bedtime routine for a sense of predictability. Make yourself comfortable and do something relaxing before you go to sleep. Try a cup of decaf tea or read a chapter of a good book. A warm bath can also do the trick.
Build a Pillow Castle
Not literally but you may want to try stacking a few pillows on your left side. Stack them up together until you feel like you are floating when you lie down. You can also get a body pillow that will provide warmth, comfort, and support for both you and your baby.
Sleep Like a Rock with a Little Effort
Sleeping pills can be habit-forming for anyone, and that alone would make it a bad idea, forget about any unknown or potential effects on the fetus.
In their place are so many other methods that can help you fall asleep faster. Try the above-mentioned tips and you might be in dreamland before you even know it. Remember that insomnia for an otherwise healthy person is often psychological in nature, which is why you’ll want to clear your head before heading to bed.