What Happens When Pregnant Women Lack of Sleep?

what happens when pregant women lack of sleep

Sleep is highly correlated to pregnancy. According to the researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical center, the amount of sleep a soon-to-be mother gets can pose an impact to the pregnancy. As it is a crucial phase, poor sleep can manifest adverse effects while a healthy sleep does otherwise.

Although sleep is indeed important, pregnant women may find it difficult to do at times due to pain, discomfort, stress, and hormonal changes. But if you are one of the expectant mothers who has been struggling to get enough hours of sleep, there is a lot more you should know than just a headache or mood swings. It may lead to further pregnancy complications.

What are the consequences of a poor quality of sleep? Are there any safety measures and healthy ways to keep up with a healthy sleep while pregnant? Keep reading and learn more about sleep deprivation during pregnancy and the ways to prevent the complications.

The Bad Effects of Sleep Deprivation When Pregnant

Sleep deprivation is one of the common problems that a lot of people go through. Over the years, various studies have proven that lack of sleep can cause brain function impairment, loss of energy, heart problems, and poor performance. It can also weaken the body’s defense, the immune system, and make it vulnerable to diseases. As inadequate sleep can apparently demonstrate bad effects, pregnant women are greatly in peril that can result in birth-related complications.

A research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences depicted that poor sleep in pregnant women can cause disruption in the normal functions of the immune system. Hence, abnormalities in the production of cytokines, a loose and roughly specified classification of small proteins that are responsible for interacting and communicating with the other cells in the immune system.

When these cytokines reach an excessive growth, destruction of healthy cells can occur. Therefore, it makes a pregnant woman more susceptible to diseases, infections, birth-related complications, and other health issues.

Apart from these adverse effects, sleep deprivation can still pose imminent dangers during pregnancy. Here are the potential health risks:

1. Depression. Getting sufficient amount of sleep is definitely essential. It projects an impact on one’s mood that can either be elevated or altered to worse. Without adequate sleep, it may lead to anxiety and depression. As it is common for everyone, therapies and treatments have become available. 

Relatively, depression has also been a typical condition among pregnant women due to the massive changes in and out of the body. As much as it can be prevented, the prevalence of depression during pregnancy inevitably increases because of lack of sleep more commonly when associated with poor habits and lifestyle changes. Sleep deprivation and any disturbances in sleep are contributing factors that can develop depression during and after pregnancy. It can also manifest mood disorder, stress, and irritability.

2. Abnormalities in the development of the fetus. Healthy sleep is necessary during pregnancy as it nourishes the growth and development of the unborn child. It also a key to fully prepare the body for labor and the process of delivery. Taking only fragments and unhealthy habits of sleep can negatively affect the development of the fetus.

The fetus is completely dependent on what the mother eats or any activity she engages in. Whatever the expectant mother does, the effects will apparently reflect on the infant when it is born. To fully grow and develop, a fetus needs proper nourishment and oxygen. However, the developmental process disrupts when there are disturbances in sleep or healthy sleep habits are not consistent. The release of growth hormones can decrease and the supply of oxygen and blood flow can be compromised.

3. Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a health condition that pregnant women develop due to a relatively high increase in blood pressure. This may conclude possible organ issues and the worst, death for the unborn child and the mother. A lot of studies have demonstrated that preeclampsia can occur due to lack of sleep, snoring, sleep apnea, and poor overall sleep quality.

4. Other birth-related complications. Sleep deprivation is also a risk factor for many other birth-related complications. It has been associated with a longer perception of discomfort and pain during labor, difficulties and longer duration of labor, premature birth, and abnormalities in the normal progression that may lead to cesarean delivery. With all these complications, the healthy development of your unborn infant can be compromised. 

What You Can Do to Get Adequate Sleep

What happens when pregnant women lack of sleep

Keeping up with healthy sleep habits and taking adequate amount of sleep is not optional. For pregnant women, it is definitely necessary for your health and your unborn baby’s growth development are at risk. Rendering a serious attention and full consideration in regards to healthy sleeping will ultimately give your unborn infant the proper nourishment and care it needs.

Unfortunately, a lot of pregnant women incessantly strive to get enough hours of sleep. And if you are one those expectant mothers who have been experiencing the same dilemma, there are effective ways you can try.

  1. Limit your daytime naps. Taking the naps during the day encourages your body to be awake in the evening. However, gradually cutting this habit will help you sleep sound at night and get the hours you need.
  2. Set up the mood in your bedroom. Dim the lights and skip the screens like gadgets or TV. keep your bed cozy and clean all the time. Try using a memory foam pillow particularly the ones for pregnant women to keep yourself comfortable while sleeping. Mattresses toppers and blankets can also enhance comfort and support and hence, encourage your body to get a good night sleep.
  3. Try to set up a sleep schedule and be consistent with it. Train yourself to sleep and wake up at the same time daily.
  4. Skip heavy meals or midnight snacks before bedtime. When you are full, you should let your body digest it for three hours prior to sleeping. When you eat late, you will sleep late as well.

Wrapping Up

Lack of sleep in pregnant women can result in many complications where you and your unborn infant might suffer. Undeniably, you want the best care your baby truly deserves. However, getting adequate sleep might be a struggle for pregnant women but there are a lot of effective ways that can help to encourage healthy sleeping habits.

Keeping up with a healthy sleep routine will greatly provide an immense impact on your pregnancy, especially on the development and growth of your baby. As what was discussed, the quality of sleep plays a vital role during pregnancy that may result in positive effects or complications. If problems and health concerns ever arise, it is best to consult the doctor for professional advice.

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