What prevents a pregnant woman from sleeping?

What prevents a pregnant woman from sleeping? 0

All about pregnancy

What prevents a pregnant woman from sleeping?

Many women face problems with sleeping during pregnancy. But a full night's rest is very important for a future mother. Why is it harder to fall asleep and what can you do to get rid of insomnia?

Elena Kurbatova Physician-therapist, Voronezh

It's no secret that with the onset of pregnancy, a lot in a woman's life changes, this also applies to such a natural physiological process as sleep. Sleep during pregnancy is an important part of the normal functioning of the body. Often, expectant mothers need more sleep, and often they sleep 10 hours a day or more. This is the natural protective ability of the body. With a larger load, more hours are required for rest. And during pregnancy, the load is increased and the energy is spent not only on ordinary everyday activities, but also on the bearing of the baby. At the same time fatigue develops faster, there is a need for a longer sleep, useful for mom and fetus. If a woman overcomes drowsiness and does not allow herself to sleep as long as she wants, then there are often signs of a disorder of the nervous system, mental and physical work capacity decreases, adaptation of the body, immunity, coordination of movements, emotional status suffers. A pregnant woman should be protected from night work, but the future mothers themselves sometimes inattentively to their health and violate the regime of the day, for example, preparing at night for exams or doing overtime work. 

It is important to understand that lack of sleep during pregnancy affects not only the health and well-being of a pregnant woman, but also the growing fetus. So, for example, even routine daytime fatigue is enough to cause more frequent movements of the fetus and a change in the frequency of his heartbeat. This means that the conditions of breathing and nutrition of the baby worsen. Therefore, when the future mother is overworked, conditions that violate the life of the fetus can be created, and with frequent repetition, harm to the development of the fetus.

For a pregnant woman, the fact that during sleep increases the secretion of prolactin - a hormone that stimulates lactation - also matters. This is an important process, because by the end of pregnancy begins the formation of colostrum - the primary milk.

What prevents sleep of a pregnant woman?

Sleep is a complex neurochemical process, influenced by many factors, both internal and external. The change in sleep during expectation of the baby is affected by the restructuring of the hormonal status of the woman's body. Thus, progesterone, the level of which increases during pregnancy, significantly increases the ventilation of the lungs, which increases respiration and prevents the development of hypoxia (oxygen starvation) in a future baby. However, this can disrupt the night sleep of the future mother, causing a sense of lack of air and a desire to take a deep breath. It also causes drowsiness and a constant sense of fatigue throughout the day. More often this condition occurs in the first half of pregnancy, when the action of this hormone predominates. 

In the second half of pregnancy, the level of estrogen gradually increases and their correlation with progesterone levels up, so sleep becomes somewhat calmer. There is no such constant drowsiness, but there is a new hindrance: a growing abdomen can cause discomfort, and if a woman, for example, used to prefer to sleep on her stomach, you will have to look for new positions for rest. To interfere with normal sleep during pregnancy, nasal congestion and runny nose can occur, which are often observed during this period, as the increasing amount of estrogen causes swelling of the mucosa of the respiratory tract and increases the secretion of mucus. 

In the third trimester, the future mother is most difficult to find a comfortable position because of a significantly enlarged abdomen. In addition, the uterus supports the diaphragm, which often makes it difficult to breathe, there is a feeling of lack of air or incomplete inspiration. This problem is especially aggravated in the summer, when the weather is hot and sometimes even night does not bring relief. The uterus also presses on the bladder and stomach, causing frequent urge to urinate and heartburn. Cramps in gastrocnemius muscles, back pain, itching in the abdominal area due to stretching of the skin may also be disturbing. And baby's movements become more active and tangible and often cause considerable discomfort, disturbing sleep. And in summer, in addition to the heat, the expectant mother can be disturbed by annoying insects - mosquitoes, midges and flies. 

Many psychological factors also may not have the best effect on the sleep of a pregnant woman. These are, first of all, fears and anxieties, which often arise in expectant mothers who are waiting for their first-born, especially in the last weeks of pregnancy, before giving birth. It's good, if there is an understanding close person next to whom you can share your anxiety and who will understand and support you. 

Rules of good sleep in pregnancy

Daily regime

The duration and quality of sleep in a pregnant woman is largely determined by the correct regime and behavior throughout the day. Therefore, it is necessary to start fighting for a full night's rest in the morning. If the expectant mother has become accustomed to sleeping for a while during the day, you can try for a few days to give up the day's sleep or at least reduce its time - perhaps this measure will be enough, and the night sleep will recover. 

How to cope with insomnia during pregnancy: eliminate stress and fatigue

The next point: you need to try to avoid overexertion. Accumulated for a day, fatigue does not always lead to a sound sleep, often after a hard day a woman just can not relax. Do not think about insomnia in pregnancy as an inevitable state, fear of nightly torment can aggravate the situation and prevent falling asleep. It is not recommended in the evening to do things that require physical and intellectual effort. And, of course, you should not look at night insurgents, horror films, thrillers or negative TV shows.

Physical exercise to normalize sleep of a pregnant woman

During the day, it is advisable that the future mother perform a set of simple physical exercises that your obstetrician-gynecologist can recommend. Very useful walking tours, especially at night, and swimming in the pool, if there are no contraindications from the side of health.


For a better night's sleep of a pregnant woman and ease of falling asleep, you can try relaxing procedures, for example, to take a warm bath with the addition of a few drops of lavender essential oil, roses, lemon balm, jasmine, chamomile. They are used both independently and in a mixture. To aromatize the air, you can use a special aroma lamp, or drop it on the corners of the pillow, or put a napkin soaked in essential oil at the head of the bed. 

Also, a future mother can ask her husband or someone close to her before going to bed to do a relaxing massage. Such a procedure will relieve pain in the back and lower back, foot and ankle massage will help avoid cramps.

To more quickly fall asleep to a future mother, it is recommended to concentrate on your breathing and make slow and deep breaths and exhalations. Many people are helped also by relaxing music or sounds of nature - the noise of forest, surf, sea or rain. 

Before going to bed, you can smear your belly skin with lotion, this will prevent the appearance of itching. 


Particular attention should be given to nutrition. Do not eat heavy calorie foods just before sleep (no later than 2 hours before bedtime) or overeat, it will make it difficult to fall asleep and can trigger heartburn. It is also not recommended to drink a lot at night, which will help less often to get up at night to the toilet. Strong black and green teas should not be used, as they have a tonic effect. 

We arrange comfortable

For the fight against insomnia, the correct organization of the sleeping place plays an important role. It is desirable to turn off the phone, including mobile, it is not recommended to put it next to you, because electromagnetic waves can affect the quality of sleep and in general on the body as a whole. Let it be cool in the bedroom (however, it is necessary to avoid hypothermia of the legs - you can sleep in socks), it will make it easier to fall asleep. In the cold season, be sure to ventilate the room before going to bed, and in the hot season - leave the window open, taking care of applying insect repellents or installing mosquito nets on windows in order to avoid the painful night associated with bites. If there is no possibility for a pregnant woman to sleep with an open window or window, turn on the air conditioner for night mode, without setting too low a temperature, so as not to overcool. 

Choose clothes for sleep from natural materials, it should not impede movement and breathing. 

The mattress and bed should also be comfortable. It is good to sleep a pregnant woman with an orthopedic mattress, which helps to correct the position of the spine and relax the muscles. You can purchase a special pillow for pregnant women, which has the shape of a crescent moon. It is recommended to lay between the legs, under the belly and under the head. You can also use several small pillows. 

If the baby starts to push hard or shows increased activity, try to change the position of the body. This may be due to the fact that the blood supply to the crumbs has worsened due to the uncomfortable posture, but it also happens that he is just awake, then he will have to wait until he calms down. 

From many habitual postures for a dream at pregnancy it is necessary to refuse. For example, sleeping on the stomach is allowed up to 12 weeks, that is until the second trimester, when the abdomen has not yet grown too much, the uterus is still small and securely protected by the bones of the pubis, so this position is not capable of causing any harm to the developing baby. In the first and second trimesters it is also possible to sleep on the back: due to its size, the uterus is not yet able to squeeze the surrounding organs, vessels and nerves of the future mother. However, starting at 12 weeks, it is still advisable to fit on its side, especially if the woman, lying on her back, feels dizzy, short of breath, nausea and any discomfort in the abdomen. This means that the pregnant uterus disrupts the blood flow in the inferior vena cava. It is undesirable after 20 weeks to sleep on the right side: in this position the uterine-placental blood supply can worsen and the baby will suffer from a lack of oxygen. He begins to "worry", actively pushing, and this is a signal for mom that she needs to change the pose. It is best to sleep on your left side during pregnancy. In this situation, the flow of blood to the baby improves and edema decreases. 

Only according to the testimony!

With regard to the use of drugs to combat insomnia in pregnancy, they are mostly contraindicated, since they can have a negative effect on the fetus, accumulate in the body and cause disruption of the liver and kidneys. Only a doctor can prescribe any medicines, and only on strict indications.

By the hour?

There is such a thing as biorhythms, they are also able to influence the quality of night sleep. Biorhythms are periodically recurring changes in the nature and intensity of biological processes and phenomena in a living organism. The mechanism of the biological clock is in the hypothalamus (department of the intermediate brain) and has a complex structure, where the leading role is played by hormonal factors. Note that the child before birth, in the womb of the mother, already has its biorhythms. During the day, the movement of the "clock" is uneven: it can slow down or accelerate, which affects the metabolism of both mother and child. It is noticed that within 24 hours there are 5 rises in activity and 5 of its recessions. Rises are most often from 5 to 6 am, from 11 to 12 hours, from 16 to 17 hours, from 20 to 21 hours, from 24 to 1 am. Recessions: from 2 to 3 hours, from 9 to 10 hours, from 14 to 15 hours, from 18 to 19 hours and from 22 to 23 hours. If a pregnant woman suddenly very much wants to get some sleep, do not try to overcome yourself, nature itself tells you how to do the right thing. The future mother can observe her feelings, the movements of the fetus and draw conclusions about the periods of activity peculiar to her and her baby and its recessions. Thus, it will be easier for her to properly organize her daily routine, get rid of bad health, including from insomnia.

Natural sleeping pills

Before you go to bed, it is advisable to drink a glass of warm milk (you can add cinnamon, a little honey or sugar) or tea from herbs (chamomile, lemon balm, thyme, mint), which have a relaxing effect.

Milk contains tryptophan, which can be called a mild natural sleeping pills. This substance has a calming, sedative effect, and honey contributes to its rapid penetration into the blood. You can eat a small sandwich with a boiled turkey before bed (the meat of this bird is also rich in tryptophan), in addition, it is useful to introduce into your daily diet more foods rich in this amino acid. It's all sorts of red meat, cheeses, nuts, fish, eggs, dairy products, bananas.