Pregnant mothers often complain of fatigue, lethargy or restless sleep. Elevated levels of progesterone may affect the brain Y-aminobutyric acid A receptors, leading to drowsiness.
Sleep problems during pregnancy
In different pregnancy periods, different sleep problems will occur.
●In the first 3 months of pregnancy, the total sleep time of pregnant mothers increases but the quality of sleep decreases, especially during the non-rapid eye movement period, the deep sleep time decreases. The sleep of expectant mothers is often disturbed by nausea and vomiting.
●When the second trimester of pregnancy, although the time of deep sleep in the non-REM period increases, sleep is often interrupted by nocturnal acid reflux.
●When the pregnancy enters the later stage, the sleep time of the first stage of the non-REM sleep period increases, but the deep sleep decreases, and the REM sleep time also decreases. Although the total sleep time has returned to the pre-pregnancy level, back pain, frequent urination, fetal movement, leg discomfort and acid reflux will greatly affect sleep.
●Sleep time within 6 months of postpartum lactation is often less than 6 hours. As the baby’s sleep matures, the mother-to-be’s sleep slowly returns to normal. Studies have shown that breastfeeding mothers take longer deep sleep, suggesting that prolactin is helpful for sleep.
According to research data, pregnant women sleep during pregnancy focuses on the following three issues:
● and respiratory-related sleep disorders, primarily obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
● restless legs syndrome
● depression and anxiety caused by insomnia
sleep Insufficiency not only affects mother-to-be’s daytime functions, increases emotional disturbances, but also affects mother-child relationship. When sleep is insufficient, the human body produces a series of pro-inflammatory factors, such as cytokines and protein C, which can cause high blood pressure during pregnancy. Lack of sleep can also increase pain, increase labor, and increase the risk of cesarean section.
Normal sleep is like this
When a person is awake, various neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, acetylcholine and orexin, etc., all participate in the maintenance of brain awakening through the “ascending awakening system”. When sleep starts, there are neurotransmitters such as adenosine to inhibit the “rising wake system” and cause sleep.
After falling asleep, it first enters the non-rapid eye movement period, which is characterized by weakened muscle tone and insignificant eye movement. Sleep during this period is subdivided into three stages. The third stage of deep sleep plays an important role in cell repair and immune system regulation.
Then, sleep enters the REM period, the dreaming period, and you can observe that the eyeballs move quickly and the muscles that control breathing are also active, while the tension of other muscles disappears. This period is critical to the recovery of cognitive function.
Modern medicine believes that sleep is an active process. The two sleep periods alternately cycle around 4 times at night to ensure the recovery of bones and muscles, the deepening of learning and memory, the regulation and optimization of hormone metabolism, stress relief and immune system function Of strengthening. Studies have shown that glial cells during sleep can clear the beta-amyloid protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease, thereby reducing the occurrence of memory impairment.
Scientific advice for pregnant mothers to sleep well
Pay attention to sleep hygiene
as far as possible the timing of sleep to help establish the “biological clock” to avoid excessive napping. Try to exercise for half an hour every day. Avoid spicy foods and late meals to reduce acid reflux. Drink less water after the evening to avoid night urine. Avoid smoking, drinking, and drinking caffeinated beverages before going to bed, as well as playing over-exciting computer games or excessive exercise. Avoid talking and thinking before going to bed, play some relaxing music when you fall asleep, and ignore the alarm clock. Arrange the bedroom warmly and comfortably, and maintain the best sleeping temperature (16 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius).
The obstetrician recommended that the pregnant mother lie on the left side and sleep with her knees bent, and put the pillows between her knees, under the abdomen, and behind the back to reduce the pressure on the lower back and help sleep.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
for insomnia pregnant mother, exchanges and amendments, can record hours of sleep a day, to help develop plans to provide cognitive therapy to relieve anxiety and tension. Train pregnant mothers to go to bed only when they are drowsy. Provide knowledge of normal pregnancy sleep, and establish a more realistic understanding and expectation of pregnancy sleep. Avoid fear of insomnia and bad self-suggestion, reduce excessive observation and alertness to sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome treatment
if the family observed in pregnant women with severe snoring and frequent apnea, daytime sleepiness, coupled with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or obesity, suggested a sleep monitoring rule out the possibility of sleep apnea syndrome, In severe cases, continuous positive airway pressure can be used.
Treating restless legs syndrome
is common in late pregnancy women should check for anemia, lack of folic acid and iron, excluding renal dysfunction, peripheral nerve disease, and family history, take symptomatic treatment. In addition, hot and cold therapy for feet and legs, acupuncture massage, etc. can also help pregnant mothers reduce discomfort.
needs medication to treat insomnia maternal mostly suffering from various types of anxiety disorders, depression or bipolar disorder. If maternal insomnia is accompanied by depression, mirtazapine can be used to help improve insomnia and appetite. If pregnant women suffer from anxiety and insomnia, the sedative antidepressant sertraline is preferred. If bipolar disorder causes insomnia, mood stabilizers or atypical antipsychotics are preferred.
In addition to normal sleep disturbance during pregnancy, breathing-related sleep disorders may also occur. Without intervention, it will have adverse effects on both the mother and the fetus. Non-drug therapies should be tried first. If medication is necessary, it is best to consult an expert before making a decision.
How to do good sleep hygiene?
The following are the “10 Dos and 10 Dons” for maintaining sleep hygiene:
try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time to help establish a “biological clock”, do not watch the alarm clock;
exercise for half an hour every morning, do not do it 2 to 3 hours before bedtime Physical exercise;
eat regularly, don’t eat spicy food and eat too late to reduce acid reflux;
take a nap, no more than 30 minutes;
make the bedroom layout warm and comfortable, install dark lights in the bedroom to maintain the best sleeping temperature (16 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius), do not be too cold or too hot;
to keep hydrated, do not drink water after evening to avoid nocturia;
to maintain a good mood, be happy, do not smoke, drink and drink caffeinated beverages before going to bed, As well as playing computer stimulation games that are too exciting;
you can play some relaxing music when you fall asleep, don’t think
too much before going to bed; you must weigh yourself, maintain a certain growth rate, and do not gain too much weight;
follow the advice of the obstetrician, Lie on your left side and sleep with your knees bent. Put a pillow between your knees, under your abdomen, and behind your back to reduce the pressure on the lower back to help you sleep. Do not lie supine after 20 weeks of pregnancy to avoid hypotensive syndrome in the supine position.
Sleep 10, can you do it?