Swimming while pregnant
During pregnancy, hormonal changes and physical discomfort can cause lack of sleep. With each passing trimester, getting enough sleep or more importantly, good-quality sleep becomes difficult. Thankfully, we have some remedies for you to deal with the crisis!

Read on to understand about what exactly happens while you are pregnant and its effects on your sleep pattern.

The Quality of Sleep During Pregnancy

The following changes occur during every trimester of pregnancy:

  • First trimester
    • Waking up frequently to visit the bathroom
    • Physical and emotional stress, leading to sleep disturbances
    • Feeling more sleepy during the day
  • Second trimester
    • The fetus moves above the bladder and reduces pressure on it. Thus you may feel fewer urges to urinate at night.
    • Emotional stress and the baby’s growth may still disturb sleep
  • Third trimester
    • Discomfort due to increase in the size of the belly
    • Sinus congestion, heartburn and leg cramps
    • The baby’s position changes and pressure on the bladder increases again. Thus sleep is disrupted by frequent visits to the bathroom.

Natural Remedies To Induce Sleep

During pregnancy you must be careful about what you consume. Medical approval must be taken before trying anything new. Several medications are said to counter interact during pregnancy because of the unknown effects or the adverse effects on the fetus.

However, there are certain safe and effective natural remedies that you can try to help improve the quality of sleep.

1. Essential oils of lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile

You can use around 2-3 drops of the essential oils of lavender, ylang-ylang or chamomile to comfort your nerves. Not more than a few drops should be used as it may prove to be unsafe if used in excess. Use of lavender oil could be harmful during the first trimester of pregnancy. Check with your doctor, and  if you do use it, do so occasionally and not more than 3 drops at a time.

  • Place the drops on a tissue  instead of your pillow. This will ensure that the oil is fresh every time.
  • You can also indulge in relaxing with a warm bath just before going to bed. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the bath.
  • If you are using a vaporizer, ensure that it is not left on for more than 15-20 minutes. Too much of exposure may cause nausea and headaches.

Another way in which you can use essential oils to help you sleep is by asking your partner to give you a neck and shoulder rub or a foot massage. Dilute around 4 drops of the essential oil in 2 teaspoons of a base oil like olive oil or grapeseed oil.

2. Bach Flower Remedies

If stress and tension during pregnancy are the main culprits for your sleep problems, you can try Rescue Remedy to soothe your symptoms.

  • If you find yourself waking up suddenly at night, especially after vivid dreams, take 2 drops of Mimulus (single flower remedy) for fear or Rock Rose for terror.
  • Weariness caused by not having slept well at night can be treated with olive oil or Hornbeam.

3. Herbal Teas

Certain herbs have soothing and relaxing properties that prove effective in calming the nerves and inducing sleep.

  • The herbs that can be tried are Valerian, St. John’s wort and Kava. They are available at most health food stores.
  • Herbal tea is prepared by adding 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to a cup of freshly-boiled water. Let the herbs steep in the water for 1 hour. Strain and re-heat the tea before drinking.
  • Herbal teas are best drunk in the following ways – 1 cup in the morning, 1 cup at noon and 1 cup at night.
  • Be cautious about the valerian tea as it has a sedative effect and should not be taken during the day.

4. Cherry juice

Cherry juice has no known side effects and has been proven to reduce the severity of insomnia. For pregnant women, it may be a safe and natural alternative to hypnotic drugs.

5. Fermented Ginseng

According to a study published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety in 2008, ginseng does not give rise to any adverse effects in pregnant women. Small amounts of ginseng have been proved to be safe to consume during pregnancy. By fermenting ginseng the body is able to absorb it better.

Pregnancy can be tough but it does not have to be the most miserable 9 months of your life. Staying active through gentle exercises and eating sufficient portions of well-balanced meals should help you sail through this miraculous period.