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Pregnancy and Insomnia

Dr. Ranjit Chakraborti

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Pregnancy and the growth of the child are nothing short of a miracle. Just two cells multiply into trillions of cells and form body parts and organs. There are billions of biochemical processes that have to be just right. To support this creation, female hormones are increased and reduced in production. This causes some problems to the mother-Insomnia being the worst. According to senior gynaecologist Dr. Ranjit Chakraborti, over three quarter of pregnant women suffer from insomnia. He defined insomnia as the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor quality sleep. Dr. Chakraborti explained that inadequate sleep may be due to: " Difficulty falling asleep " Waking up frequently during the night " Un-refreshing sleep

During pregnancy, insomnia is caused by: " Discomfort due to the increased size of the abdomen " Back pains as the back muscles have to bear the additional weight " Heartburn as the stomach is also presssed " Frequent urination during the night " Anxiety about the delivery and movement of the baby during the night " Anticipating the arrival of the baby " Frequent and vivid dreams " Hormonal changes, as elaborated by Dr. Chakraborti.

In the words of Dr. Chakraborti, The treatment for insomnia during pregnancy involves effecting life style changes and behaviour changes. Relaxation therapy reduces anxiety. We advise the patient for such techniques as Yoga, Meditation and Music too. We ask the patient to adjust the room temperature of her room so that it is comfortable, quiet and slightly warm. Any source and external noise must be avoided as much as possible. Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine must be done away with. Sometimes the patient is advised to take a sip of hot milk before she goes off to bed. Even some mild walking exercises or a warm bath can help. Last but not the least, patients are reminded that nothing is worth stressing out over so much that she loses her sleep over it.