66-94% of women report sleep disturbances during pregnancy, with the likelihood of sleep disturbance increasing through the 3 trimesters.
By the end of the pregnancy, almost all women are waking up, and for longer periods of time.
Aside from being generally annoying and leaving you staring longingly at cups of coffee that you’re trying to avoid, sleep disturbances in pregnancy can have other physical effects, such as:
- Increased risk of gestational diabetes in women sleeping less than 4 hours per night
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased risk of developing depressive symptoms during pregnancy
- Some women may be at an increased risk of longer labours, C-sections and more spontaneous pre-term deliveries if their sleep is affected significantly enough in the last weeks of pregnancy.
So, what can you do about it?
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about some aspects of this sleep disturbance- there’s nothing that will change the fact that your baby seems to like to use your bladder as a trampoline, or that they think 3am is the best time to practice their dance moves.
However, some things can be tweaked a little, in order to make you more comfortable.
Here are our top 3 tips:
Use a spiky ball on your gluteal (buttock) muscles before going to bed.
Spend a couple of minutes rolling around on both sides, getting in to all of the tender spots. Your gluteal muscles work overtime to help stabilise your pelvis while you’re pregnant, so they’re likely to be very tight. Releasing them off in this way before going to bed will help minimise the achy sensation you may be suffering in them while laying on your sides.
Using two pillows between your knees, instead of just one, or folding one pillow in half.
This will keep your knees further apart, and take the tension off your gluteal muscles, which will help for the reasons outlined above.
Wearing silky pyjama pants to bed.
As the pregnancy progresses and the weight of your belly increases, many women find it increasingly difficult to roll from one side to the other in bed. Wearing silky pyjama bottoms gives you a little more ‘slide’ than you might otherwise have, which can make this task just that little bit easier!
If you’ve tried these tips, but still feel like you need more personalised help, give us a call on (03) 9372 7714 or book online today to see how our Osteopaths can help you.
Cristina A Reichner. Insomnia and sleep deficiency in pregnancy. Journal of Obstetric Medicine. 2015 Dec; 8(4): 168-171.