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How to Treat Insomnia During Pregnancy

by Eric Martin
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How to Treat Insomnia During Pregnancy

What is Insomnia?

Some people might wonder why I can’t fall asleep like others. There is a constant struggle to achieve a good night’s sleep. If you can relate to this frustrating situation of not being able to fall asleep properly and struggling to stay in the sleep phase for a long time then chances are that you have Insomnia. Insomnia is a pretty common illness and it can bring drastic changes in your work and personal life mostly in a negative way. Getting into sleep can be easier said than done for some people. 

They may stay up most nights and feel drowsy and sleep deprived in next day. Sleepy days and wakeful nights persistently can also lead to a person having both insomnia and hypersomnia. Furthermore, hypersomnia is a condition that is opposite to insomnia where a person sleeps excessively during the day. Colin Espie from Oxford University says that Insomnia is a solvable problem. No matter how chronic the situation of Insomnia is to patients, there are various treatment methods available that a person can follow at home or under a doctor’s prescription. 

Medicines to Treat Insomnia During Pregnancy Definition

Insomnia During Pregnancy Definition

Insomnia affects a large portion of the population that also includes pregnant women. Women who are going through pregnancy face a drastic change in their body and it can cause sleep disturbances usually. If they are unable to sleep due to any type of discomfort or rest during sleep peacefully for a long time then it can lead to Insomnia. 

The mother and child’s sleeping patterns are different so in most cases, Insomnia in pregnant women does not affect the child in the fetus. In rare cases, the child gets affected when Insomnia becomes so severe that it starts to affect pregnant women’s ability to function in certain things in the body. 

Although genetics, sleeping habits, and quality of sleep determine the length of sleep a pregnant should sleep but in general amount doctors suggest they sleep for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. The solution to insomnia during pregnancy is proper management of hormones, the physical state of activity, and mental health properly. 

What are the General Signs of Insomnia?

You can detect if you have Insomnia with general signs and symptoms of it as follows:

  • You wake up very early in the morning unusually
  • Staying in the sleep phase is challenging
  • Difficulty falling asleep miserably
  • Always try to sort out sleeping position for a long time during sleep
  • Staying awake at night for a long time
  • Unable to return to sleep if something interrupts you in the middle of sleep
  • You become too alert before sleep time rather than feeling sleepy
  • There is little urge or interest in sleeping at bedtime
  • Waking up with sleep deprivation
  • Hard to concentrate on things the next day
  • Unable to remember or grasp a piece of information in mind
  • A constant state of irritation and anxiety
  • Feel sleeping during days
  • Depression or sadness
  • Lack of energy
  • Aggressive or impulsive behaviors

What are the Symptoms of Insomnia Some Pregnant Women Face?

Pregnant women can expect signs of Insomnia in starting of the second to third trimesters because the expanding baby in the belly makes it harder to get a comfortable bed during sleep. However, here are some signs that you can look for Insomnia and consult your doctor if you have any for preventing health complications for baby and mother given below:

  • Unable to comfortably position the belly during sleep at night
  • Unusual alertness before bedtime
  • Being moody throughout the day
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Having a bad mood with irritation
  • Unable to sleep at night for more than a week
  • Cannot wake up early
  • Also, little to no interest in sleeping at the time
  • Constant complaints of headaches and tiredness

What are the General Causes of Insomnia?

Insomnia is a symptom that occurs due to a particular type of medical condition or a result of the drug’s side effects. However, here are some general Insomnia causes one might have as follows:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Neurological issues
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Heart problems
  • Hormonal changes
  • Injury pain
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)
  • Genetical issue
  • Using a mobile phone or laptop screen before sleep
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Back pain
  • Menstruation period in women
  • Asthma
  • Changes in sex hormones
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea
  • Mental ill health
  • Substance abuse
  • Hypersomnia
  • Sleep apnea

Drugs that can further lead you to Insomnia include:

  • Sedatives
  • Opioids
  • Intoxicants
  • Anxiolytics
  • Wakefulness promoting drug

Why do Some Pregnant Women Go Through Insomnia?

There are several causes of pregnant females getting Insomnia as follows:

  • Discomfort due to baby enlargement in the belly
  • Frequent urination
  • Eating too much spicy before sleep
  • Sudden food cravings
  • Vomiting 
  • Feeling mentally overwhelmed before sleep
  • Back pain
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Also, tenderness in breast
  • Leg cramps
  • Discomfort in the abdomen during sleep
  • Short of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor sleep hygiene

What are the Treatment Methods for Insomnia?

You can treat Insomnia in acute and transient phases or intensity with home remedies and also with basic doctor suggestions. Whereas, in cases of chronic Insomnia condition, one must seek medical help especially if you are a pregnant lady because physical symptoms of chronic Insomnia might affect the baby. So, here are some possible home remedies and medicinal treatments that doctors give as follows:

Home Remedies for Insomnia

  • Rest well
  • Moreover, you should schedule sleep
  • Exercise
  • You can also do Yoga
  • Go for a spa or massage
  • Avoid caffeine, intoxicant substance, or nicotine before sleep
  • Eat light meals and avoid high fat-meals
  • Get under the hot shower before sleep
  • Before sleeping avoid using tech screens like mobile phone
  • Prefer to sleep in a cool and dark place
  • Additionally, practice mindfulness

Home remedies for pregnant women to treat Insomnia

  • Only sleep on soft pillows and mattresses
  • You can also go to a spa or massage
  • Sleep in a cool and dark place
  • Maintain a strict sleep schedule during bedtime
  • Avoid or quit using the tech screen for some time
  • Drink fewer fluids before bedtime
  • Avoid or quit consuming caffeine
  • Also, do not consume intoxicants
  • You can also take some herbal and dietary supplements
  • Consume melatonin-rich supplements or food
  • Also, keep your iron and folic acid levels in check
  • Practice relaxations exercises
  • Get into more physical activities such as exercise or walks

Medicines to treat Insomnia

  • Ramelteon
  • Doxepin
  • Estazolam
  • Eszopiclone
  • Zaleplon
  • Temazepam
  • Triazolam
  • Suvorexant
  • Amitriptyline
  • Mirtazapine
  • Zolpidem
  • Zolpidem extended release
  • Trazodone

Medicines for pregnant women to treat Insomnia

  • Diphenhydramine
  • Zolpidem 
  • Doxylamine
  • Zaleplon
  • Eszopiclone
  • Benadryl
  • Melatonin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Tranquilizers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Amitriptyline
  • Nortriptyline
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Talk therapy

Conclusion

In Insomnia there is a constant struggle to achieve a good night’s sleep. Insomnia is a pretty common illness and it can also bring drastic changes in your work and personal life mostly in a negative way. Insomnia affects a large portion of the population that also includes pregnant women. Women who are going through pregnancy face a drastic change in their body and it can also cause sleep disturbances usually. Pregnant women can expect signs of Insomnia in starting of the second to third trimesters because the expanding baby in the belly makes it harder to get a comfortable bed during sleep. 

The solution to insomnia during pregnancy is proper management of hormones, the physical state of activity, and mental health properly. You can also treat Insomnia in acute and transient phases or intensity with home remedies and basic doctor suggestions. Whereas, in cases of chronic Insomnia condition, one must seek medical help especially if you are a pregnant lady because physical symptoms of chronic Insomnia might affect the baby.

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