The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Pregnancy

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Pregnancy

For a new mom-to-be, experiencing sleep deprivation before giving birth is common. However, you probably didn’t realize that it could also occur during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Most women experience sleep problems during pregnancy. Pregnant women tend to get more sleep during their first trimesters but experience a big drop in the quality of their sleep. It turns out that pregnancy can make you feel exhausted all day long. It can also cause insomnia at night.

The amount of sleep you get while you’re pregnant not only affects you and your baby but could impact your labor and delivery, as well. Lack of sleep during pregnancy has been tied to a number of complications, including preeclampsia which is a serious condition that affects your blood pressure and kidneys and could result in pre-term birth. Now is the time to take sleep seriously.

When you’re having a baby, one of the first symptoms you may notice is being overwhelmingly tired, even exhausted. Sleep will be irresistible to you. You can most likely blame your changing hormones for this, especially the extra progesterone that comes with being pregnant. In the beginning, pregnancy also lowers your blood pressure and blood sugar, which can make you feel tired.

Here are some of the effects of sleep deprivation for pregnancy, plus a few tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:

3 – Effects of sleep deprivation on pregnancy

1. Sleep deprivation can make your body prone to disease

Sleep deprivationSleep deprivation can harmfully affect health, as well as having a critical effect on pregnant women, possibly leading to maternal complications like hypertension and gestational diabetes.

During pregnancy, chronic sleep apnea is often acquired or worsen in the second and third trimesters. Sleep apnea is estimated to have affected around 10 percent of pregnant women. This breathing disturbance during sleep can have severe implications, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and hypertension.

Preeclampsia can be correlated with the pregnant woman’s possible organ damage and raises both mom and child’s risk of mortality. Moreover, pregnant women who have too much weight or have a large neck circumference may be an additional danger. These may lead to airway collapse and breathing difficulties during sleep. These pauses in breathing, called sleep apnea, may be associated with surges in blood pressure. The surges can lead to variations in blood vessels by decreasing the amount of blood pumped by the heart which can reduce the cardiac output. As a result, this can harm the blood flow through the placenta to the fetus. With insufficient blood flow, the oxygen levels may drop that may lead to the growth limitation of the baby and bad pregnancy outcome.

Furthermore, prolonged sleepless nights due to excessive regular snoring can put you to a higher risk of gestational diabetes and weight gain because of irregular variations in the regulation of glucose. As well as lengthy naps, moderate sleep apnea has at least 15 disturbances to breathing per hour of sleep which results in the increase in higher glucose levels.

2. Sleep deprivation can affect your developing baby

A developing baby requires a dependable nutrient supply which includes oxygen. There are significant implications when sleep is interrupted like the impairment of blood flow to the placenta. Insufficient sleep can decrease the production of growth hormone that can lead to problems with development and growth of the unborn baby.

It is well understood that even minor decreases in the mother’s oxygen concentrations can jeopardize the fetus. When the blood oxygen of the mother drops, the fetus responds with heart rhythm decelerations.

3. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of pregnancy complication

pregnancyEvidently, during pregnancy, snoring and sleep apnea will increase the likelihood of having sleep problems. In addition, health issues like obesity, diabetes, asthma, and smoking can also intensify the problem. As a consequence, it can heighten the chances of premature delivery, growth limitation, and potential for health issues in the newborn infant that may lead to death.

Studies indicate that pregnant women in the third quarter who have slept less than 6 hours at night have longer labors and 4.5 times higher chance of cesarean section in comparison with those who slept at least 7 hours every night. Those who sleep less may have a greater perception of pain. Also, sleep deprivation can affect the normal process of labor.

An insufficient amount of sleep can weaken a pregnant woman’s function and mood which leads to problems with attentiveness, focus, and memory. There may also be higher incidences of depression. These problems can have an impact on their communication and social interactions.

What you should do?

Since sleep deprivation is prevalent during pregnancy, here are the few tips with the help of a few home products that you can do to sleep better at night:

1. Develop a bedtime routine

bedtime routineOne of the best ways that you can do is to handle insomnia when you’re pregnant by creating a healthy sleep routine. Start by going to sleep every night at the same time. Begin your bedtime routine with calming things that can help you release stress.

Avoid digital screens in your room for at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light from your mobile phone or tablet may disrupt the circadian rhythm of your body. Instead, consider reading a book in your adjustable bed frame.

Having a warm bath can also make you sleepy. However, just be cautious about the temperature because it’s not recommended to be exposed to hot water, especially in early pregnancy. To prevent you from slipping, look for rugs near me that can help you dry down your feet.

2. Find a comfortable position

Sleep becomes a little difficult to get through as your body develops, particularly in the third trimester. Getting comfortable is hard. Moving around and shifting positions in bed is more difficult. If you’ve been a sleeping belly or back, sleeping on your side can be difficult to adjust.

Make yourself at ease in your hybrid mattress. When you’re pregnant, the best place to sleep is on your left side. Put a pillow between your knees and put one underneath your belly for support, as it gets larger. This increases your baby’s blood flow and thus nutrient flow.  If you are bothered by breast tenderness, choose a comfortable sleep bra that will suit you well.

3. Practice Meditation

Practice MeditationMeditation is growing in popularity these days, with the greater need to decrease stress among our busy schedules and demanding life. Sitting quietly and focusing on your breath is the simplest way to start. An ancient Zen saying indicates you should sit twenty minutes each day in meditation. If you’re new to this, it’s best to start with five or ten minutes.

Sit quietly, even in your adjustable bed, for 20 minutes every day and do it consistently for 100 days. In order to break the chaos throughout the day, you can add 2 to 5 minutes of meditation, and you’ll see the benefits such as lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, alleviate symptoms of depression, and enhance sleep quality. Regardless if it’s subjective or scientifically-proven, those who practice regular meditation have seen the benefits in their daily lives.

4. Eat to sleep

If you can’t prevent yourself from eating a meal at night, you may opt for sleep-promoting food. However, try to eat it slowly to enjoy it and lessen the chance of having heartburn. Choose natural, low-fat foods as much as possible over junk foods.

If you have to eat something early in the afternoon, eat a light snack. High-protein snacks can stabilize your blood sugar concentrations throughout the night. Also, you can feel sleepy by drinking a warm glass of milk before bed.


If you’re worried about your sleeping problems the affecting development of your baby, talk to your physician. Reviewing your sleep practices and factors that can lead to sleep deprivation can help you create new sleeping habits. Early detection and intervention of these sleep problems can make your pregnancy more bearable. Eventually, this will result in a more promising shift from pregnancy to early maternity.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top