June 21, 2021 2 min read
"Exhausted, she tossed and turned in bed. Kicking her restless legs in the air like a small child, she rolled from one side to another, facing her partner, who was asleep soundly. She sat up, propelling her head on two pillows, unknowingly stroking her belly as she did so. Wasn't she supposed to be sleep-deprived after the baby's birth? Why couldn't she sleep despite her exhaustion?"
"Dear sleep, I'm sorry we broke up this morning. I want you back!"
Pregnancy brings with it not just a new baby to cuddle but also many other (primarily unwanted) effects. Alterations in your sleep cycle and loss of sleep (or insomnia) are some of them. The first trimester (with elevated progesterone levels required for forming the placenta) is generally met with your body needing more and/or longer sleep. In contrast, trouble sleeping is more pronounced in the third trimester (as the baby grows closer to the due date). The growing baby cramps up the organs, including the lungs, which are eventually left with little space to expand. Hence, you experience snoring and sleep apnea. Cramping of the organs also leads to frequent urination, which is often a cause for sleep disruption. While sleep troubles are a part of pregnancy, it is essential to ensure that you are well-rested.
Not getting sufficient sleep during pregnancy may cause complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, prolonged labor, or an increased chance of a C-section. These complications are more likely seen in women who sleep fewer than 6 hours out of the 24 hours a day. A good night's sleep is a key factor in sustaining good health and the overall well-being of the mother and the growing fetus.
We list some pointers here on how best to catch up on sleep when pregnant:
An Irish proverb rightly captures the importance of having a good night's sleep with,"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."
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