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Pregnancy affects many aspects of a woman’s body, and it may also affect how she sleeps. Hormone changes, physical changes and the stress of pregnancy can all change the duration and quality of sleep. Most of these changes are reversible after delivery. For some women, sleep changes during pregnancy are a sign of underlying sleep disorders that persist after the delivery of the baby.
Am I at Risk ?
Most pregnant women will experience some sleep disruption. Some women can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to rise. Women with gestational diabetes also can develop obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy.
Healthy sleep is required for your body and mind to function properly. Poor sleep can cause irritability, depressed mood, fatigue, sleepiness, inattention, and disruptions to your metabolism. A woman’s body will undergo many changes during pregnancy, and these changes can affect sleep.
Increased sleepiness tends to occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. Sleep disruptions caused by nausea or vomiting and increased urination also are common. Many women report an improvement in sleep and daytime alertness during the second trimester. However, some women begin snoring by the end of the second trimester.
New or increased snoring that occurs along with silent breathing pauses or daytime sleepiness is a warning sign for obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder can increase the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. The third trimester can be the most difficult trimester to sleep. In one study, 97% of women had at least some difficulty sleeping through the night during this stage of pregnancy. Common causes of sleep disruption include:
Tips to sleep better in pregnancy
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: CONTENT DEVELOPED BY THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
QUESTIONS ABOUT A SLEEP ISSUE? LET’S TALK.
Imtiaz Ahmad, MD, MPH, FCCP
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad is a highly qualified physician, Board Certified in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. He has been actively serving the community of Lee County, Florida since 2004, with a strong focus on a proactive healthcare approach. Dr. Ahmad has received advanced training from some of the most prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, Cornell University, State University of New York at Brooklyn, and the University of Mississippi. SOMNAS is a medical facility that is committed to improving and maintaining the health of patients with sleep disorders. The expert team at SOMNAS is known for their compassionate and high-quality care. They offer unparalleled treatment and care to patients on the Gulf Coast of Florida, ensuring a better and healthier life for them.
Job Title: Board Certified in Pulmonary Medicine