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The Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy

importanceofsleep.jpgYour sleeping habits can definitely impact your pregnancy, and now, according to a new study by the University of California, it can impact your delivery as well. According to the new study, women who got less than six hours of sleep late in their pregnancy averaged a 29 hour labor. Women who slept for more than seven hours each night labored on average for only 17.5 hours. Another significant finding in the study was that women who slept for less than 4.5 hours on average each night had a 4.5 times greater chance of delivering via C-section.

Even if your sleep is interrupted by trips to the bathroom, leg cramps, and a kicking baby, maximizing your opportunity for rest will help you achieve a longer night?s sleep. Make a consistent effort to go to bed earlier than usual, and?if your boss, other children, or dog will let you?sleep in later than usual.

Other tips to help achieve a peaceful night?s sleep include the following, offered by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Set a schedule and stick to it; varying your sleeping schedule disrupts your brain?s pattern of a sleep-wake cycle.
  • Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
  • Choose a comfortable mattress or pillow (many pregnant women swear by body pillows).
  • Create and stick to a bedtime routine, such as reading or bathing; a routine helps your body know that it?s time to sleep.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387

http://babyfit.sparkpeople.com/articles.asp?id=701


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