Pregnant women are likely to experience sleep disruptions and signs of depression. Changing hormones, physical discomfort, anxiety and excitement, among other factors, can make you encounter multiple sleep problems during pregnancy. All women face the risk of suffering from depression during pregnancy. But sleep disruptions during pregnancy are the primary factor likely to lead to bouts of depression.
If you’re constantly experiencing sleep disturbances during pregnancy, you can likely feel depressed. Depression is a condition characterized by feeling down, irritable and sad. Not achieving the proper sleep each night can make you unable to perform most of your daily routines and possibly lead to depression and other mental illnesses. If not getting enough sleep makes you feel depressed or suffer from another mental illness, you should seek medical help if the problem persists.
How Sleep Disruption May Lead to Bouts of Depression During Pregnancy
Depression is a condition that can affect the way you think, feel or act. Sleep disruptions can affect your mood during pregnancy and possibly lead to anxiety and stress. Persistent stress and anxiety can lead to hormonal changes that can interfere with the way your brain chemicals function, causing depression. When you experience the problem of sleep disturbances during pregnancy, your cortisol level (stress hormone) may make you irritable and depressed. High levels of stress hormones in pregnant women can influence the brain’s part that regulates their mind and body’s internal clock, such as sleeping habits.
Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy
Sleep disruptions can cause mothers to experience multiple issues leading to more severe problems, such as depression and other conditions. Depression during pregnancy may have financial, health, emotional and relationship effects. If you suffer from depression that is a result of trouble sleeping, there are common signs you might experience, including:
- Changes in sleep patterns like sleeping too much or trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite, such as losing interest in food or eating too much
- Lack of pleasure or interest in activities you often enjoy
- Feeling worthless, sad or hopeless
- Lack of energy
How to Address the Issue of Depression During Pregnancy
If your depression is caused by sleep disruptions, the first step towards addressing the issue is treating the cause. You can do several things to improve your sleep during pregnancy. Sleep hygiene is crucial in dealing with sleep problems and even depression. You should develop a routine sleep pattern of going to bed and waking up. For instance, you can practice going to bed at 9 pm and waking up at 5 am.
Adhering to a routine bedtime will help your body’s biological clock function more effectively. It will help if you avoid consuming caffeine-containing drinks such as coffee, tea and others, particularly a few hours before bedtime. It would be best if you also avoided too much intake of fluids a few hours before going to bed. That will help reduce the need to wake up in the middle of the night to pass urine, thus reducing sleep disruptions. In addition to developing and adhering to correct routine sleep hygiene, you can do several other things to keep your state of depression under control.
Several over-the-counter antidepressant medications can treat mild depression and other related problems. Note that ignoring your depression can eventually cause adverse effects on you and your unborn baby over time. But if you resort to using antidepressants for depression, be sure to consult your doctor before you take any form of medication. Your doctor will advise you about the specific antidepressant medication to help your condition.
Seeking help from a therapist may be an excellent way to ease anxiety, manage stress and deal with depression during pregnancy. It would also be essential to find a support group to help with your condition. For instance, you can approach other pregnant women who understand the problem you’re going through. Talking with a counselor or social worker about your depression can be of utmost importance when dealing with your condition.
If you are suffering from depression, you may fail to seek optimal prenatal care, lack the energy you need to take care of yourself and your unborn baby or even find it unnecessary to eat healthy foods. Therefore, it would help to seek immediate help when you discover the signs of depression to prevent potential complications.