Pregnancy & Sleep
Pregnancy is such a magical time. You’re growing a little life inside you and soon you’ll have a new son or daughter to show off to the world! However, pregnancy isn’t easy. It can really take its toll on a woman’s body, especially when it comes to sleep. Here are just some of the effects that pregnancy can have on sleep:
Daytime Sleepiness and Fatigue
You may find that you’re sleepy in the daytime, and feel quite fatigued. This is really common and isn’t anything to be worried about. Your body is going through a lot, so it’s only natural that it is getting tired.
First, Second, and Third Trimester Sleep
Through the different stages of your pregnancy, you’ll go through different symptoms. The sleep hormone progesterone will be coursing through your body during the first trimester. This hormone makes you extremely tired. You’ll also be visiting the bathroom a lot, due to the extra fluid in your body. You might feel so exhausted that you feel as if you’ve caught the flu, but it’ll usually be down to the hormones. Although progesterone can make you sleepy, it can also disrupt your sleep at night time. You’ll probably struggle to get comfortable too. It’s a good idea to sleep on your left side if you don’t already, as this can help your body to release toxins and is better for the fetus. The second trimester is usually referred to as the honeymoon period of sleep, so make the most of it while you can! You may still have issues, but they won’t be as serious and you should feel like you’re getting a better quality of sleep. It’s a good idea to start getting around 30 minutes of exercise a day, as long as it is cleared with your doctor. You should also use this time to get into a good sleeping routine. The third trimester makes up for the second trimester. You’ll be more uncomfortable than ever, as your belly will be so big! You may find it better to sleep propped up, but even then you’ll probably wake up during the night. You’ll experience less deep sleep, and your baby won’t help by wriggling around in your belly.
Sleep Disorders Made Worse by Pregnancy
There are a few sleep disorders that can be made worse by pregnancy, and even brought on by pregnancy if you haven’t already had them. You may experience things like sleep apnea, especially if you are overweight to begin with. You may experience restless leg syndrome, where you feel uncomfortable in your legs and the only way to get rid of it is by moving them. You may even suffer with insomnia. You might even simply be anxious or excited for your baby's arrival.
How to Minimize Sleep Issues During Pregnancy
- Use more pillows to support your stomach and back. You can even buy special pregnancy pillows.
- High protein snacks and warm milk before bed.
- Stretching, yoga, and deep breathing before bed.
- Exercise early on in the day, not too close to bedtime.
- Over the counter medications that won’t hurt your baby.