While we know how hard it can be to get a good night’s sleep after you have a baby, new research suggests that sleeping more during your pregnancy can have extremely beneficial effects. A new study by researchers in Chicago shows that pregnant women who sleep at least eight hours a night in a comfortable bed are almost three times less likely to suffer from gestational diabetes and other potentially harmful inflammations while pregnant.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that can develop during a pregnancy when blood sugar levels become too high, which can put both mother and baby in danger. While treatable, it is important to make sure that it is addressed as soon as possible to avoid possible lasting side effects. As always, the best treatment is to avoid the problem all together, and that means getting plenty of sleep in a comfortable bed.
Sleep scientists still aren’t a hundred percent sure on the causation for the elevated diabetes risk in insomniacs, but they theorize that it could have to do with inflammation in the body caused by pregnancy, and an imbalance of hormones which can lead to insulation resistance and elevated blood sugar levels.
The good news is that sleep combats these problems before they start by evening out hormone production, reducing inflammation in the body, and creating more naturally-occurring antioxidants to better help your body cope with stressors. It’s one of the best ways to help your pregnant body cope with its change, and as easy as extra rest on a comfortable bed — but what do you do when sleep is elusive?
New Sleep Positions Could Be The Key to Pregnancy Insomnia
Your body is obviously going through some pretty intense changes, and as such, sleep positions that worked before may not work now, leaving you tossing and turning — even in a comfortable bed that you’ve come to known and love. While some people may turn to sleep aids, and other medicines, it’s important to remember that whatever you’re putting into your body is also going into your baby’s body. As such, it is key to find natural remedies whenever possible, to avoid added chemical stresses on the body.
The best position for sleep is on your side. This not only keeps you comfortable, but it also has been proven to increase blood flow to the baby and nutrients to the placenta. If you’re experiencing heartburn at night that keeps you up, try propping your upper body up with pillows to reduce the effects. It may not be easy at first to change your routine, especially if you’re a back or stomach sleeper, but know that with patience and a comfortable bed, sleep will definitely find you.
There have been tons of articles about the general benefits of getting six hours of sleep, but only recently has science begun to focus on the specific effects of sleep on pregnancy. Check back for more insights and breakthroughs as they happen here on SleepAuthority, where we are passionate about wellness, sleep, science, and how those subjects work together to give us a better picture of the importance of sleep.