Sleep problems such as insomnia are common complaints during pregnancy. So, what can be done for insomnia during pregnancy? Is it possible to take sleeping pills or sleep aid for pregnancy? Which of these types of medicines is safe during pregnancy? Or which types of sleeping aids can cause danger to the fetus? What is the effect of sleeping pills on the fetus? In this article, we will answer these questions.
Pregnancy and Sleep Problems
In pregnancy, sleeping problems generally appear after the first trimester. Most of these problems include a decrease in sleep duration and sleep quality. So, more than half of pregnant women are not satisfied with the way and amount of their sleep. Beside the changes in hormones that occurs during pregnancy, other things such as changes in the mother's organs (for example, weight gain in the belly area, swelling of the legs), muscle pains such as back pain, and frequent urination can also contribute to the mother's insomnia. It has also been seen that there is a possibility of a connection between sleep problems and unfavorable pregnancy outcomes.
Sleep problems such as insomnia are the most common reasons adults consult a doctor. Sleep is an entirely physical state, and your brain and body are still working when you are asleep. Lack of quality sleep harms the body's activities. Many hormonal and psychological changes and diseases can affect and disturb people's sleep patterns. Pregnancy is one of those conditions that causes a series of changes in the mother's body, both hormonally and psychologically. So, pregnancy can be an essential factor in the occurrence of sleep problems.
Acceptance of sleep disorder during pregnancy
Sleep problems are among the common symptoms during pregnancy that many women struggle with, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. In medical science, this disorder is called insomnia or the inability to sleep.
The important thing about sleep disorders during pregnancy is that if you do not treat and control them in time, chronic insomnia during this period may lead to pregnancy depression.
We must warn that the mother's struggle with such an annoying problem makes her go to any over-the-counter sleeping medicine without knowing whether this medicine is safe for her and the fetus or not!
Note! Using any sleep medication during pregnancy should be prohibited in an optimal and safe situation. Otherwise, it must be taken under a doctor's or midwife's supervision. But several medicines help you sleep better. There is no doubt that sleeping pills during pregnancy should be under the supervision of a midwife or a specialist doctor.
Why do I have to Take Sleeping Aid during Pregnancy?
Knowing what affects the quality of a pregnant woman's sleep during this period will help you understand your condition and act better to treat it. Many reasons change the patterns of your sleep during pregnancy.
When you identify the reasons very early, you can quickly eliminate them. Some of the common reasons for pregnancy insomnia are:
- You have anxiety.
- You feel confused and restless.
- You consume alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
- Your sleep position is not suitable.
- You have nightmares.
What is Pregnancy Safe Sleep Aid?
It must be said that taking sleeping pills for a long time is not recommended, even for ordinary people. But if you have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, medicines such as antihistamines, diphenhydramine and doxylamine are prescribed for you in terms of safety.
A list of pregnancy safe sleep aid medicines
You might be interested in taking a quick look at some of the sleeping pills available to expectant mothers in the following (not to mention that some of them have addictive effects):
- Doxepin (Silenor) - keeps you drowsy and has narcotic (addictive) properties.
- Estazolam- is a hypnotic, keeps you sleepy, and has narcotic (addictive) properties.
- Zopiclone (Lunesta) - is hypnotic, keeps you sleepy, and has narcotic (addictive) properties.
- Ramelteon (Rozerem) - is a sleep aid with a narcotic (addictive) effect.
- Temazepam (Restoril) - is hypnotic, keeps you sleepy, and has narcotic (addictive) properties.
- Triazolam (Halcion) - is a sleeping pill with a narcotic (addictive) effect.
What are the Side Effects of Taking Sleeping Pills during Pregnancy?
Taking sleeping pills during pregnancy is not a very pleasant event. It's enough to make it not pleasant that the midwife rarely prescribes the right sleeping pill for the pregnant mother, except in situations where her health condition is not favorable. Needless to say, sleeping pills such as barbiturates are not recommended as permitted sleeping pills during pregnancy.
We do not recommend taking these types of sedatives because of their effect on the baby's health. Therefore, barbiturates and benzodiazepines should be removed from the list of sleep aid for pregnancy. Even their long-term use with a doctor's prescription is not recommended.
What can you Take to Help you Sleep while Pregnant
Instead of waiting for the effect of sleeping pills during pregnancy, you can avoid the need to take such medicines during your pregnancy by observing the following strategies:
Sleep in the right place
Choose a room to sleep in that is both quiet and well-ventilated. Do not keep the ventilation on for a long time. Instead, use a fan to make the air circulate in the room. This is because the fetus grows faster in the fresh air.
Wear suitable sleepwear
It is recommended to consider suitable cotton and loose clothing for your sleeping time. This fabric absorbs sweat well, and the air flows better through it. The tighter clothes you choose, the more limited your movement will be; as a result, insomnia will come to you.
Take a shower before sleeping
Before going to sleep, taking a warm bath or shower or massaging your feet with warm water is generally recommended. With this, less stress will come to you, the muscles will be more relaxed, and it will also have a good psychological effect on you. In other words, it works just like pregnancy sleep aids.
Avoid alcoholic drinks
Drinking alcohol stimulates the neural system, and it is impossible to sleep well by being in an emotional state. On the other hand, excessive drinking of alcohol or any other liquids causes the bladder to fill up. This lifestyle can ruin your sleep in the middle of the night. To maintain the fetus's health, it is better to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks altogether.
Avoid heavy exercise before going to sleep
Note that exercise does not only mean exercise with a short duration; in general, exercise during pregnancy should be less intense. Besides doing light sports, don't forget that heavy physical activity before sleep takes away the opportunity for proper and sufficient rest.
Drink a glass of milk 30 minutes before going to bed. Nutrients in milk are beneficial for both the health of the mother and the fetus.
Have a pregnancy massage
A massage during this period is another type of sleep aid for pregnancy with no side effects. You can ask your husband to give you a short massage. By doing this, the daily stress level will be reduced significantly, and you will experience comfortable sleep.
Choose the best sleeping position
The best sleeping position during pregnancy is sleeping on the left side, which does not put pressure on the lower vein. As a result, the blood quickly reaches the kidneys and placenta of the fetus.
Sleeping on your stomach or back may sometimes happen to you, which is usually safe in the first months of pregnancy. But after the 30th week of pregnancy, choosing these positions for sleeping is not recommended because there may be risks to the fetus's health.
The lack of sleep or insomnia during pregnancy is a regular occurrence, and you should not be worried about it. However, pregnancy symptoms aggravate the experience of insomnia, and this situation worsens in the last months of pregnancy. This is when you are overweight, and you have a growing belly. But this period is temporary. Talking to your doctor can help a lot. If your sleep pattern is seriously disturbed, discuss the issue with the midwife, and she will prescribe a pregnancy safe sleep aid, if necessary, according to your condition. But generally, it is recommended not to go for sedatives during pregnancy and instead use home remedies to prevent such a situation.