Pregnancy can be a frustrating ordeal and carries its own set of problems which can aggravate or cause insomnia and tempt one to pop one of those colorful pills that promise to drive away all the stress and worrying. Imagine that one night where you can slip away into a dreamless state of sleep, waking up exuberant and refreshed to face the challenges of the new day. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
But according to Baby Center, sleeping pills are addictive, habit-forming and most of them do not even actually make you fall asleep. They simply depress your nervous system, making you ‘think’ that you were asleep when you actually didn’t get much sleep at all.
Many doctors normally prescribe sleeping pills because they don’t know how to treat insomnia. However, during pregnancy, doctors hesitate to recommend sleeping pills because they carry risks for the baby.
Baby Center notes that due to the habit forming nature of the pills (whether they are anti-depressants or benzodiazepines or other off-the counter pills), the baby can become addicted to them and may experience withdrawal symptoms later on.
Studies also indicate that sleeping pills may also result in the baby suffering from jaundice, brain damage or a low IQ. Animal studies have shown that the foetus is at risk when sleeping pills are taken.
Popping a sleeping pill occasionally is okay if you’re having a bad night. But try relaxation techniques, regular exercise, a healthy diet, or a warm bath to cure your insomnia. Waking up at the same time everyday and staying out of the bedroom when you’re not really ready to sleep also works.