Pregnancy and Sleep

A guide to sleep disorders while pregnant

Pregnancy and sleep problems often go hand-in-hand, with many women experiencing difficulty sleeping while pregnant. Sleep can be affected by anxiety, physical discomfort and hormonal fluctuations. By the third trimester, sleeping while pregnant can be challenging because of an active baby.Pregnant women experience many biological and emotional changes that can alter their sleep patterns. Nausea, heartburn, backaches and finding that all important sleep position can interfere with your night sleep. Backache is one of the most widely recognised painful side-effects of pregnancy. The hormone progesterone causes your ligaments and joints to slacken to facilitate the passage of the baby through the pelvis. This can make the joints weaker and can, in an already unstable spine, aggravate spinal problems. Having the right support system while you sleep is very important, therefore a good quality mattress can be of great benefit during that time

Sleep disorders are prevalent in pregnant women. Worrying about the impending arrival and unorthodox eating habits can lead to insomnia. Iron and folic acid deficiencies common in pregnancy may contribute to Restless Leg Syndrome. Up to 26 percent of pregnant women report RLS symptoms, according to the US National Sleep Foundation (2009). This condition usually resolves itself after pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy can cause nasal obstruction due to swollen nasal passages and result in Sleep Apnea.

Sleep disorders and difficulty sleeping while pregnant can lead to an increased risk of caesarean sections, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, infection and prolonged labour. Consulting with your antenatal care team on problems you may be experiencing is important to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

In Short: A huge number of factors during pregnancy, including anxiety and an active baby, can contribute to a less than restful nights sleep

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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