Sleep during pregnancy – Its Importance, Problems and Solutions

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Pregnancy is a time when many changes occur in the body. During these nine months, there is the rapid development of the unborn baby, due to which the pregnant has to face many physical problems like fatigue, nausea, restlessness, and body pain. A pregnant woman also has trouble sleep during pregnancy

Many of the women who are becoming mothers for the first time are unaware of how to sleep during pregnancy and what to take care of. Sleeping incorrectly in this state can impede the child’s development. In this article of Homechildcare, we will discuss all these things.

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Can less sleep harm the baby in the womb?

An infant growing in the womb needs adequate nutrients and oxygen. If the pregnant woman does not sleep fully, there is no proper blood supply to the placenta. This has a direct effect on fetal development. The fetus’s heart rate may decrease and it may also be anemic. The thing to note here is that when the pregnant woman is sleeping, blood and oxygen flow to the fetus during that time. Also, less sleep does not produce hormones in the body, which can cause harm to the fetus.


Problems of less sleep during pregnancy and its solutions

There may be many reasons for poor sleep during pregnancy. We will tell them all according to the first, second, and third quarters. They will also share their solutions with you.

1. First-quarter


Frequent urination: In this stage the blood flow increases, which the kidneys have to work more to filter. This causes more urine. This is also due to increased levels of progesterone hormone. Also, increasing the size of the uterus puts pressure on the bladder, causing frequent urination problems and poor sleep.

Body pain: Your body is getting ready to handle the baby growing in the womb. For this reason, muscles and bones are under pressure. This causes pain in the body. Swelling in the breasts and pelvic spasms are common, due to which poor sleep occurs repeatedly at night.

Vomiting: It is common to have nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. Usually, this happens in the morning or during the day, but sometimes it can be faced at night.

Solution :

Make a bedtime rule: You can reduce the problem of sleeping properly at night to some extent by sleeping during the day. For this, you should prepare the schedule at your convenience. You can either sleep for two hours a day or you can also get half-an-hour sleep. If you work somewhere, then you can choose a comfortable place in the office where you can take a nap.

Take fewer beverages in the evening: Drink as much of the beverage as possible throughout the day, but after six o’clock in the evening, reduce it somewhat. However, keep drinking water, but in small amounts. This will reduce the chance of going to the toilet again and again while sleeping at night.

Exercise: Exercise can be a good option if you want to stay healthy during pregnancy and deal with insomnia. Do this only in the morning. Keep in mind that before doing any kind of exercise, please ask your doctor and do it according to his instructions.

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2. second quarter

Issues :

Chest irritation:

In the second trimester, problems like morning sickness are reduced to a great extent, but due to the size of the uterus, there is pressure on the stomach, due to which there is a problem like a chest irritation. When you lie down, the problem is exacerbated.

Cramps: In this period the problem of cramps increases. Most women feel cramps in the calf, due to which they are unable to sleep overnight.

Odd to Dreams: Some pregnant women experience strange dreams. Experts say that some women have nightmares due to fatigue and other kinds of stress due to pregnancy. Due to this reason they also have poor sleep.

Solution :

Eat on time: During pregnancy, the process of the digestive system slows down. Therefore, do not sleep immediately after having dinner. Keep a gap of few hours between meals and sleeping, so that the food is digested properly and there is no problem like chest irritation.

Light food: If possible, eat light food at night. At the same time, breakfast can be heavy, but it should be full of nutrition.

Avoiding chili-spices: Fried and excess chili-spicy substances are not good for the digestive system during pregnancy. Also, the consumption of carbonated beverages can cause heartburn, so avoid those things. Eat calcium-rich substances and green leafy vegetables instead.

Feet Relaxation: You can avoid cramps in the calf by turning the feet right-left and up-down.

Stress relief: Fatigue and stress are common in pregnancy. You can reduce it through yoga and meditation and by listening to favorite books and music.
Counseling: If you are afraid of bad or strange dreams, do meditation. If you still do not get rest, you can take the help of a counselor.

3. Third Quarter

Issues :

Backache: Weight gain occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy and uterus also increases in size. For this reason, backache starts. For this reason, most women do not sleep at night.

Frequent Urination: Like the first trimester, frequent urination may be felt in this quarter as well. This occurs when the baby develops and approaches the pelvis.

Difficulty in breathing: Due to the enlargement of the stomach, one may feel difficulty breathing. Many pregnant women start snoring while sleeping. However, this is not a problem, but in some cases, there may be a problem of slip apnea. It stops breathing for a few seconds. This not only worsens sleep but also affects the weight of the baby.

RLS: Sometimes it will feel like ants are moving inside the legs. This is called restless leg syndrome (RLS). This can also cause nighttime sleep.

Solution :

Backcare: If you have back pain, then you should lie on your side. Also, placing a pillow between the two knees and back massage with light hands can also provide relief. Apart from this, some exercises can also be done for back pain on the advice of the doctor.

Fewer beverages: Drink more drinks and water throughout the day, but in the evening reduce it slightly, so that there is no need to go to the toilet again and again while sleeping at night.

Check with the doctor: If you are facing a problem like slip apnea, then contact the doctor without delay and get the examination done.

Massage: At night, if you feel strange discomfort in the legs, RLS, then get a light massage of the legs before going to sleep. Also, take a short walk in the evening. Also, include balanced and nutritious foods in your diet. They must contain iron and folate so that there is no problem like RLS.

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Why is it difficult to sleep during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the size of the fetus and vulva increases. Also, the size of the breasts also increases, and heaviness is felt. Feeling like frequent urination while sleeping at night and sometimes having trouble breathing. At the same time, in this stage, doctors recommend not sleeping on the stomach, because it puts pressure on the fetus. This thing keeps going on in the mind again and again and for this reason, the pregnant does not sleep properly. Apart from these, there are many reasons, due to which it becomes difficult to sleep during pregnancy. We will elaborate further on those problems and their solutions.

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Problems due to sleeplessness during pregnancy

Not sleeping well at night during pregnancy can cause a pregnancy to face problems such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Not only this, but there can also be problems like slip apnea, overweight, uncontrolled glucose levels, and increased appetite. Also, a sufficient amount of oxygen and blood is not supplied to the unborn baby, due to which its development is stopped. In addition, the risk of premature delivery increases. According to the data, this problem has been found in 14.6 percent of women. The following types of problems can also occur due to poor sleep.

  • Your baby may lose weight during birth.
  • The risk of cesarean delivery may increase.
  • A pregnant woman may feel more tired throughout the day.
  • Concentration can be reduced in doing any work.
  • The immune system may be affected.
  • Freckles may appear on the skin.
  • A pregnant woman may have to face stress.

How to sleep in pregnancy 

Lying on the back or abdomen during pregnancy is not safe for both mother and baby. Here we are describing some latency stages, which are best suited for the first, second, and third trimesters.

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Sleeping like this is better

  • It is better to lie down on your stomach or waist than lie down. According to doctors, the best posture is to sleep on the left side. Sleeping on the right side puts the weight of the uterus on the liver.
  • By lying on the left side, the infant gets enough oxygen and nutrients through the placenta. Blood flow is also normal, which is good for both mother and baby.
  • Of course, it is difficult to sleep on one side for a long time, so you can lie back and forth on the right side, but only for a short time.
  • Try to sleep mostly on the left side. Also, bend your knees and sleep and keep a pillow under both knees.
  • If you want to lie on your back, lie in a half-sitting posture, that is, keep the pillows behind the upper back from the waist. This can help avoid heartburn. Keep in mind that the first trimester of pregnancy is such that in which the habit of lying on the left side is lying, then there is no problem later.

Avoid this posture in pregnancy

  • At the beginning of pregnancy you can lie on your back, but doing so for a long time is not right.
  • By lying on the back for too long, the pressure of the uterus may fall on the muscles of the back, bones of the spine, and blood vessels. This prevents blood circulation to the baby properly.
  • This may cause muscle pain and swelling and may lower blood pressure.
  • A problem like slip apnea may be encountered.

How much sleep is enough during pregnancy? 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, people between the ages of 18 and 64 years of sleep should get seven hours of sleep. At the same time, pregnant women should sleep a little more than this and also get a few hours of sleep a day.


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Tips for sound and sound sleep during pregnancy? 

  • Use more than one pillow at bedtime. Place a pillow between your knees, then one below your belly. This will give you rest and sleep well.
  • Avoid eating heavy, chili-spices, and fried foods before going to bed. Instead, eat light food and take a walk for about two hours before sleeping. If you want to or if your doctor says, you can drink a glass of milk or herbal tea before sleeping.
  • Yoga and light exercise in the morning can also result in good sleep at night.
  • You can get your hands, feet, neck, and head massage before sleeping. This reduces muscle tension and provides relief.
  • Taking deep and long breaths also relieve tension in the muscles and normal heart rate, due to which there is no problem in sleeping.
  • The room and bed you sleep on should be clean and the atmosphere should be quiet.

This allows us to prepare ourselves to work again with full energy the next day. At the same time, sleeping is even more important for a pregnant woman, because by getting enough sleep, the development of the unborn baby develops better. We hope that through this article you will have understood its importance and women who are pregnant will have found a solution to their sleep problems. If you want to know more about this topic, then share your questions with us in the comment box below.


1. Sleep disorders in pregnancy By NCBI
2. How much sleep do I need? By NICHD
3. Maternal Sleep and Fetal Outcome By citeseerx
4. Physiologic and pharmacokinetic changes in pregnancy By NCBI
5. Body changes and discomforts By womenshealth

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