Pregnant women often hear, “Eat for two; sleep for two.” Unfortunately, getting enough shuteye may not always be easy.
There can be numerous factors preventing sleep, from back pain to morning sickness to having your growing uterus push against the bladder – any one or more can impact on it and keep you up at night – but there are steps you can take to maximize restful slumber.
Most expectant moms are quick to admit feeling exhausted throughout most of their pregnancies – which makes sense as your body undergoes numerous physical changes during this time, from heartburn and swelling feet to preexisting sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea which may worsen during the first trimester.
During this stage of gestation, it’s recommended that women try to get as much rest as possible – including napping during the daytime when possible and keeping to a regular schedule at bedtime, including avoiding caffeine and sugary foods. It can also help if sleeping on their left side increases blood flow to their baby and helps relieve any backaches caused by growing bumps. Nausea can sometimes interrupt sleep; to be prepared at any point, keep salty snacks like crackers or dry cereal nearby in case it strikes unexpectedly.
At this stage, pregnant women should aim to sleep for at least seven hours per night; however, this can sometimes prove challenging due to physical discomfort and emotional strain.
As pregnancy progresses, hormonal changes often stabilize and relieve some of the exhaustion caused by its first three months. Unfortunately, morning sickness may still interfere with restful nights’ rest – remember that eating healthily and drinking plenty of water will help decrease bathroom trips in the night time.
Women should try sleeping on their left sides to increase blood flow to their fetus, kidneys and heart. Naps can help replenish energy stores; however they should be limited due to oversleeping that could increase preterm birth risk.
Women often report feeling sleepy throughout the third trimester due to physical discomforts associated with gestation. Some may need to supplement nighttime rest with daytime naps; and women might feel warmer or sweatier while sleeping due to an increased metabolic rate.
Pregnant women typically find that during their second trimester they tend to experience better quality sleep due to hormonal shifts that take place at this point in gestation. Morning sickness tends to subside and less frequent bathroom trips will likely occur since their uterus no longer sits so close to their bladder.
Pregnancy-related aches and pains, increased stress levels related to giving birth or caring for a newborn and the potential onset of sleep apnea are just some of the factors keeping women from getting enough rest during their pregnancies. According to one study, women experiencing severely disrupted sleep during late gestation had longer labors as well as higher rates of cesarean sections than others.
Pregnancy can be an exhausting time, but there are ways you can enhance your restful slumber during this crucial stage. Try getting into a regular bed-and-wakeup schedule that adheres to your usual times each day; also avoid caffeine in the morning and evening and limit water intake before sleeping so as to prevent frequent awakenings to pee.
Finally, don’t be intimidated to reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Speak to your physician about ways to manage these issues so as to feel as healthy as possible.
Women may find themselves surprised to experience how exhausted they become early on during gestation; this is normal but making sure you get adequate rest can make a world of difference in how you feel during this exciting yet exhausting time!