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June 2023
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Poor Sleeping Habits May Lead to High Blood Pressure In Pregnant Women

Study shows that sufficient sleep especially among pregnant women lowers the risk of high blood pressure.

According to a study published in the October 1 issue of the Sleep journal, getting poor quality of sleeping during the first trimester of pregnancy may increase a woman’s risk of developing high blood pressure. The study was conducted by the University of Washington’s School of Public Health in Seattle and was led by epidemiology professor Michele A. Williams, ScD.

The pregnant woman may develop symptoms and complications which may appear in the later months of the pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a serious health condition that is linked to the excessive amounts of protein in urine and high blood pressure is one of its symptoms. This happens after 20 weeks of pregnancy and may increase a woman’s risk of developing eclampsia, a life-threatening condition acquired during pregnancy.

The Results

The study evaluated the health conditions of pregnant women who were in the habit of sleeping six, or less, hours per night and another group of women who consistently sleeps for 9 hours in the same conditions. It was observed that in the third trimester, the first group experienced systolic blood pressure that is almost 4 points higher than the second group. The researchers advised that pregnant women needs to get 9 hours of sleep every night since they have greater needs for sleep.

The researchers also observed women who slept more than 9 hours per night and found out that they had a systolic blood pressure of more than 4 points higher than the women with 9 hours of sleep. Despite of a very minimal difference, the increase in blood pressure is enough to bring a pregnant woman’s blood pressure into an alarming level. Pregnant women who consistently had 9 hours of sleep every night in their early months of pregnancy had an average systolic blood pressure of 114 on their last weeks of pregnancy.

The study consisted of a group of 1200 healthy pregnant women who answered questionnaires regarding their sleeping habits from their first day to the 14th week of pregnancy. 25 percent of the women slept for 9 hours, 13.7 percent slept for 6 hours, 55.2 percent had 8 hours of sleep, and another 10.6 percent had more than 9 hours of sleep. Over 6 percent of the group was diagnosed of having preeclampsia.  According to the survey and health examinations, women with less than 5 hours of sleep every night for the first 3 months of pregnancy have 10 times greater risk of developing preeclampsia.

The study only produced preliminary evidence with no sufficient information regarding the relationship between having too much and too less sleep to a pregnant woman’s blood pressure. Williams said that studies being conducted regarding sleep should put some attention on the effect of good sleeping habits to pregnant women.

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy

When pregnant, a woman is aware that she responsible, not only for her own health, but for the health and well-being of a growing life inside her womb.  For some, this complicates the simple.  But there is no need to worry.  Here are a few tips on how to maintain a health pregnancy:

Watch What You Eat

Pregnant women will tend to be very wary about a lot of things, especially when it comes to scrutinizing anything that they put inside their mouth. During pregnancy, a woman needs to be more aware of everything she eats, and it is important to know how one type of food can affect the small and fragile life growing inside them. Because of this, medical experts will advice pregnant women to:

  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • drink more juices

This is to supply the body all the nutrients that it needs. Eating fruits is one of the easiest and most effective ways of fulfilling your nutrient requirement as a pregnant woman. You can choose to eat fresh fruits but when eating fruits from a can, choose the ones which are kept in their own juices and not in syrups and liquid sweeteners.

  • Eating at least half an ounce of raisins a day can supply you with high amounts of potassium, fiber and iron and at the same time sating your craving for sweets without taking in too much sugar.
  • Yogurt is loaded with calcium and it can supply as much as a quarter of your daily requirement. It is also a rich source of probiotics that help in improving digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Mixing cereals with sundries, nuts and berries can either serve as a wholesome breakfast or a fast-grab snack while you are on the go, avoiding the temptation of driving through a fast food for some greasy junk food. Notice that all of these foods are easy to find and make. Pregnancy is already as stressful as it can get. You don’t need to keep yourself worrying about what to eat.

Keep Moving

It’s hard to move around when you are pregnant especially during the last trimester. The fear of falling or slipping may prevent pregnant women from doing too many movements and they may tend to just stay home until the baby arrives. A walk in the park for a few minutes may be good enough to maintain a health pregnancy. But it’s also important to know that exercise does not only improve the your baby’s health while he’s inside you but it also keeps you healthy and may make labor much easier than when you’ve been spending most of your time at home doing limited movements.

According to a study conducted by the American Physiological Society, the earliest stage a person can start preventing the possibility of any heart disease is while he’s inside his mother’s womb. Exercise during pregnancy ensures a healthy heart for babies once they are born. While the pregnant mother is doing her exercises, the baby is also experiencing the same cardio workout and health benefits.

Bask in the Sunshine

Vitamin D deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in pregnant women. This is according to a study on the health of pregnant women conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburg. Their levels of vitamin D were still below the borderline despite them taking vitamin supplements. Researchers said that the data may mean that women are not getting enough sunlight.

Visit your Doctor Regularly

A consistent prenatal checkup is a necessity to keep the mother and the baby healthy during pregnancy. It is also the best way of diagnosing any possible health complications at the earliest stage. Remember that a person’s mental and physical development starts in the womb, and there are studies to support this fact. Brain development starts really early and insufficient pre-natal support may cause long-term disadvantages.


Related Posts

  1. Sleeping Habits Linked to Diabetes Risk, According to Study
  2. Lack of Sleep a Nightmare for Blood Pressure
  3. Blood Pressures Rising Among Youth: Researchers Believe Lack of Sleep May Be to Blame
  4. Weight a Primary Factor For High Blood Pressure, Experts Say
  5. High Blood Pressure Puts Strain on Brain

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