How are pregnancy-related sleep disorders treated?

Updated: Jan 31, 2019
  • Author: Gila Hertz, PhD, ABSM; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Relatively little is known about the health significance of sleep disturbance in pregnancy. Pregnancy can pose a risk for developing SDB, [44] back pain, and leg cramps. It can also trigger episodes of sleepwalking and PLMD. [45]

In addition, sleep disturbance during pregnancy also can be associated with frightening dreams, postpartum blues, and sometimes even major depression and postnatal psychosis. [46]

Throughout their pregnancy, women need to pay extra attention to their sleep pattern by making sure that they get enough sleep, maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule, and avoid excessively stressful conditions.

Because sleeping pills and alcohol can harm the baby, other measures to improve sleep need to be considered. The practice of muscle relaxation technique prior to bedtime may be effective in promoting better sleep and reducing the discomfort of pregnancy.

To avoid exacerbating heartburn, women should maintain a balanced diet and avoid eating heavy meals and spicy food for at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

After delivery, getting enough rest continues to be very important, as severely disturbed sleep may place women at risk for postpartum depression and child abuse. [47]


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