How To Get The Best Sleep You Have Had Now That You Are Pregnant

Good sleep is essential for the healthy progression of the pregnancy. Irrespective of this fact, the growing belly, different types of pain and muscle cramps,  and the inability to sleep on the stomach can make sleep challenging and it is a known fact that most of the expecting mothers experience some degree of sleep disturbance. Moreover, for some pregnant women, the sleep disruption can be so severe that they require some type of intervention to induce sleep.  Many women with sleep problems, make inquiries about the use of a natural supplement that enhance the sleep pattern,  such as melatonin, during pregnancy.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland of the brain to regulate one's sleep cycle. The production and release of melatonin in the brain are associated with the time of day. The production increasing when it's dark and decreasing when it's light.

How is the production of Melatonin is affected during pregnancy?

Stress, lack of physical activities, lack of rest, out of balanced hormone levels are some of the factors that hinder the production of the adequate amount of melatonin by the brain. During pregnancy, women have higher possibility to contract at least two of these factors. Therefore, the quantity of melatonin generated will be decreased, thereby, affecting the sleeping pattern of the expecting mother.

Is it safe to use Melatonin during pregnancy?

The question of whether melatonin is safe to use during pregnancy is debated by experts. Some advocates as it is natural, and it is a hormone produced by the human body, there is no need to worry to take it as a supplement in the course of pregnancy.

However, the argument of those who advocate against the usage of Melatonin goes like this:

  • It elevates the melatonin level in the blood incredibly:

Melatonin is without a doubt naturally produced the hormone in our body that induce sleep. However, when it comes to the melatonin supplements, the quantity is higher than what the body normally produces. It is found that a typical dosage of melatonin, which is 1 to 3 mg, elevates blood melatonin levels up to 20 times than normal levels.  As in the case with most supplements, we don't know fully about the impact these high levels of this hormone in the progression of pregnancy and development of the fetus.

  • It is not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration:

The supplement Melatonin is not a prescription drug, so it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  • Possible side effects:

Melatonin can cause a headache, dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness which pregnant women don't want to deal with.

Therefore, it is better to skip this option of melatonin supplement in the course of pregnancy. Instead, find out different ways that help your body to produce more melatonin naturally and safely. This way, you can get rid of any possible ill effects of melatonin supplement may bring about.

How can we increase the level of Melatonin naturally?

Here are some ways that help to increase melatonin level naturally:

Add these to your diet: Adding seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds, vegetables, and food that are rich in calcium and magnesium, nuts like walnuts, almonds, and cashew, whole grains, etc in the daily menu will help to increase the production of melatonin.

Avoid these from your diet: Avoid or reduce considerably the spicy food, heavy meals, cacao, cocoa, green tea, and caffeine. 

Avoid screen time before bedtime: at least one hour before the bedtime stay away from all the screens. The blue light gives out from your device, let it be computer, television, tab or mobile, tricks your brain into thinking it's still daylight. Therefore, melatonin production will be delayed until it's "dark".

Regulate room temperature: Sleeping in a warm room can lead to restiveness. 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit (not above 70 degrees) is considered as optimum temperature that induces sleep.

Expose to morning sunlight: 15 minutes exposure to the morning sunlight will help the brain to regulate the production of melatonin. Bear in mind, melatonin production is triggered by light in the day and dark at night.

Maintain complete darkness: Ensure complete darkness in the sleeping room. More the darkness deeper will be your sleep.