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How to Get Enough Sleep, Especially During Pregnancy

By and Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:30 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Perhaps no worker is more notoriously sleep-deprived than a hospital staff resident. In one scene in "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith confesses, "I fell asleep at a restaurant, at a table, while I was on a date."

And 40 years ago, Dr. Mike fell asleep, face down into his dessert, while at his boss's dinner party. Can YOU wipe cream pie off your face gracefully?

We all need sleep, and that's especially true for pregnant women. A new study looked at records for almost 3 million births and found that women with insomnia were 30 percent more likely to have a preterm birth (before 37 weeks), while 5 percent delivered before 34 weeks. In addition, 40 percent of women with sleep apnea delivered preterm.

Researchers think sleeplessness leads to elevated inflammation, which over time can trigger early delivery. Preterm infants can have breathing, heart, gastro and brain problems, as well as chronic health and behavioral/cognitive issues.

So if you're pregnant or planning to be and have sleep issues, talk to your doc and ...

  • Shoot for 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, with your doc's approval.
  • Make the bedroom cool and comfortable.
  • Eat ever-smaller meals as the day goes on. And make sure to get two nutrients associated with better sleep: magnesium, in leafy greens; and tryptophan (an amino acid that converts into the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin) in egg whites, soybeans, chicken and pumpkin seeds.
  • No midnight snacking.
  • Turn off electronics 30 minutes before bed.
  • Practice 10 minutes of mindful meditation before sleep.

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Getting sufficient sleep is critical to health, especially during pregnancy. Here are some tips to help.
sleep, tips, mehmet, oz, michael, roizen
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:30 AM
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