Insomnia/Sleeplessness in Pregnancy
Written by Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
For many pregnant women, being unable to fall asleep at night is a very real problem. Some women complain that they do manage to fall asleep but wake up again in the middle of the night and then stay awake for a very long time. Insomnia occurs mainly in the early pregnancy, becomes better in the second trimester and can again increase in the later part of pregnancy.
Causes of Insomnia
- Hormonal imbalances in pregnancy are the main cause of insomnia. Progesterone, which is secreted in large amounts throughout pregnancy but has a surge in the first trimester has a strong effect on insomnia. Other hormones also increase in various degrees and this imbalance can cause differences in the metabolism of food, in the blood flow and in your psychological bearing.
- Physical discomforts like heartburn, backpain, leg cramps can keep you awake.
- Movements of the baby which appear to increase at night can disturb you. It is a common misconception that babies move more at night. But they only appear to do so because you are rest and are more aware of the movements.
- Fears of the coming labour and childbirth. You may have concerns about your health or the baby's health and may worry about miscarriage /abortion. There may even be more specific reasons for anxiety, such as financial worries. An unplanned pregnancy is another cause for anxiety and keeping you awake at night.
- Dreams which are usually the result of your subconscious fears can wake you up and prevent you from going back to sleep.
- Increased frequency of passing urine can wake you up repeatedly. In the first trimester, the uterus is small and remains inside the pelvic cavity. It pushes against the bladder decreasing the bladder capacity to fill with urine. So you need to pass urine more frequently. In the last trimester, the large uterus once again presses against the bladder and causes frequent need to pass urine.
- Uncomfortable body positions while sleeping in the last trimester can cause difficulty in sleeping. Backaches and leg cramps are also more common in this trimester.
What you can do to control Insomnia
- Normal Labor.
- Care to be taken during the postpartum period.
- Third Trimester in Pregnancy .
- Chancroid - a sexually transmitted disease.