When a woman gives birth to a child, her life is radically altered. It can be difficult to prepare for the arrival of a small, vulnerable creature, especially if it is your first child. Insomnia is common among pregnant women, especially during the third trimester. According to some studies, approximately three-quarters of women experience insomnia after pregnancy. Sleep problems include difficulty falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night. This article discusses postpartum insomnia, its causes, and treatment options.
What causes postpartum insomnia?
Insomnia affects about 10 to 30 percent of adults. Changes in a mother’s sleep schedule can sometimes cause sleep problems after childbirth. During the first six weeks after delivery, these problems can make it difficult for the mother to fall asleep, stay awake constantly, or sleep poorly. It is possible to experience excessive daytime sleepiness and other problems as a result of postpartum insomnia.
A person with chronic insomnia has these symptoms at least three times a week and for at least three months; if it is less than three months, it is short-term insomnia.
1. The baby needs constant care and feeding during postpartum insomnia
During pregnancy, insomnia, insufficient sleep, and sleep disorders are common symptoms. After giving birth, many mothers also have trouble sleeping. Throughout the day and night, infants need constant care and feeding. As a result, the mother’s sleep time and her sleep at night are disrupted.
2. Hormonal changes during postpartum insomnia
Hormonal changes occur in postpartum women. There is a decrease in progesterone (the female sex hormone that makes you sleepy) and melatonin (the body’s drowsiness hormone). These settings affect the mother’s circadian rhythm, affecting not only her sleep, but also her mood, appetite, and other bodily functions.
3. Insomnia postpartum: Postpartum depression
Anxiety, fatigue, and sadness are some of the symptoms. Postpartum depression affects one in eight pregnant women.
Excessive sleep and hard sleep are symptoms of this disease. Insomnia may trigger or worsen postpartum depression. A study found that mothers who recently experienced sleep problems were three times more likely to suffer from depression than mothers who slept well.
Postpartum sleep disorders are a serious problem. It affects not only the mother, but also the baby and the father. In addition, studies have shown that women with chronic insomnia after childbirth are more likely to experience postpartum pain.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) may reduce insomnia symptoms depending on a person’s health and medical history. A specialist replaces problematic or incorrect thoughts and beliefs with healthier ones in this type of treatment.
There are several approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I):
1. Training in sleep
By learning more about insomnia and other sleep disorders, you can improve your sleep and understand how it works.
2. Measures that can improve sleep include:
Maintaining a regular schedule;
Providing a comfortable and healthy sleeping environment;
The right temperature and lighting for your bedroom;
Caffeine and alcohol consumption should be limited;
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
3. Controlling stimuli
People who experience insomnia and other sleep disorders may become anxious and need emotional reconstruction in order to sleep better. For stress control, it is recommended to wake up on nights when you have trouble sleeping, to use the bed for sleep and sex, and to set an alarm for waking time each day.
4. Embrace relaxation
When a mother wakes up during the night, she can use controlled breathing, meditation, and other relaxation techniques to fall back asleep.
If you suffer from postpartum insomnia, try these tricks in addition to cognitive-behavioral therapy:
1. Your sleep schedule needs to be reset
It is common for babies to have irregular sleep schedules. Sleeping while her baby is sleeping can help a mother adjust to her baby’s nap schedule and get enough sleep each night. Babies may sleep up to 17 hours a day, so mothers should stay awake most of the time while their babies sleep.
2. Tasks should be divided.
You have more time to sleep when you have help taking care of the baby.
3. Take a walk in the morning
After a sleepless night, a short walk can help you recharge. Circadian rhythms are restored by natural sunlight. You can also sleep better the next night if you exercise.
4. Alcohol should not be consumed
There are two important reasons why mothers should abstain from drinking alcohol. For breastfeeding mothers, avoiding alcohol is the safest option. The second reason is that drinking alcohol can reduce the quality of sleep. When consumed late at night, alcohol can calm you down and promote sleep, but it can also lead to a series of falls.