Pregnancy is a wonderful time! The body of the expectant woman goes through numerous changes, and she senses a new life developing within her. The bodily changes that occur to accommodate and promote the growth of the fetus can cause discomfort and constant fatigue for the woman. The exhausted legs, the emotional stress, and the morning stress can take a huge toll on you and result in sleep problems. This tiring experience may make you ask questions like “how many hours of sleep do I need when pregnant?”
Sleeping extra during pregnancy is a smart move since your body works a lot harder. Your heart pumps blood more vigorous to ensure it reaches both your body and that of the developing baby. Therefore, you should relax and take a nap when you feel tired. Sleeping for not less than eight hours per day during pregnancy is advisable. The amount of sleep required by the expectant moms varies with their stage of pregnancy.
First Trimester: Sleepy All the Time
In the first trimester, pregnant women tend to be lethargic and overly fatigued due to the rapid increase in progesterone, a hormone responsible for maintaining pregnancy. Your body also undergoes metabolic changes, directing many of your calories to the gestation process. In other words, the developing fetus takes a significant portion of your energy. Some of the problems that are likely to deny you sleep at your first stage of pregnancy include increased bathroom visits, nausea, and body aches.
- Schedule Your Snooze Time
Just like you plan your day at the office and your meals, do the same for your sleep. Take a catnap from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to avoid sleep problems at night. Instead of one stretched, two-hour rest, take two or three 30-minute catnaps. You can reserve a corner in your office for napping or even in your car.
- Minimize Your Fluids Intake After 6 p.m.
This move will help curb nocturnal bathroom runs. If you can’t do without drinking caffeinated beverages, restrict them to the morning hours.
- Workout Early
Exercising in the morning hours, afternoon, and even in the early evening will stimulate sounder sleep. Avoid late-evening exercises since they tend to promote insomnia.
- Invest in a Quality Pregnancy Pillow
Buy a maternity pillow at your first trimester and practice sleeping on your side with it. Get a pillow that matches your body shape and addresses your needs.
Second Trimester: Heartburns
In the second trimester, expectant moms tend to sleep well. However, the dramatic metabolic changes that happened in your body in the first trimester may limit the amount of sleep you will get. At this stage, you will experience challenges such as heartburn, vivid dreams, and leg cramps.
- Shun from Heartburn-Encouraging Foods
These foods range from spicy, sautéed, to acidic foods such as tomatoes, juices, citrus fruits, and coffee.
- After Eating, Sit Up for Four Hours
During pregnancy, the digestive process tends to be long and staying upright will help maintain stomach acids in their correct position. If heartburn always keeps you wake, consider making your breakfasts heavier and dinners lighter.
- Avoid or Cut Down on Carbonated Drinks
Leg cramps can occur due to calcium imbalance. The phosphorous in carbonated beverages like soda water reduces the amount of calcium your body can metabolize. Therefore, it is wise to avoid them.
- Focus on Your Relaxation
A quieter mind will guarantee an adequate night’s sleep. Professionals recommend prenatal yoga, meditation, or other relaxation methods, including soaking in warm baths, consuming tryptophan-rich foods like milk, turkey, and bananas, and joining a parenting class to learn how to take care of your newborn. Cuddling your PREGNANCY PILLOW is another ideal strategy for relaxing.
Third Trimester: Increased Sleep Disruptions
A big percentage of expectant moms tend to wake up at least thrice per night in the third trimester. Others wake up over five times. However, sleep is essential at this final trimester of pregnancy. Multitudes of studies have revealed that expectant women who sleep an average of fewer than six hours per night experience substantially longer labors, and they have 4.5 times likelihood of having cesarean sections compared to their counterparts who sleep for seven hours and above. Sleep disruptors in the third trimester include back pain, disordered breathing, frequent urination, and restless leg syndrome.
- Support Your Back
Resting on your left side is the ideal way of eliminating stress from your lower back, preventing snoring, and increasing circulation to your growing baby. Support your back with a PREGNANCY PILLOW. You can also put a pillow under your belly or between your knees.
- Lower Your Liquids Consumption in the Evening
Other than minimizing your liquids consumption in the evening, you should avoid drinking at least two hours before your bedtime. Lift your tummy when you are urinating to ensure your bladder will empty completely.
- Have a light Leg Massage and take a warm shower pre-bedtime
This move will alleviate pains in the legs and eliminate restless leg syndrome.
- Consult a Sleep Specialist
Seek help from a certified sleep specialist if you have severe apnea and snoring. The specialist will monitor your airflow using a state-of-the-art machine.
Adequate sleep and relaxation are paramount for any expectant woman. Rest for a minimum of 8 hours per night and have a 2-hour nap during the day. Use the solutions suggested in this article to reduce sleep disruption at every stage of your pregnancy.