You need plenty of sleep during pregnancy as your body is hard at work creating a new life inside you — something that takes a lot of energy!
But sleep is challenging for many pregnant women because of all the changes their bodies undergo. At some point, it seems almost impossible to be comfortable while sleeping until the baby comes out. We know — we’ve been there! Here is some useful information about sleeping better during your pregnancy that can help you out.
Sleep During Pregnancy: How Much Do You Need
Getting enough rest is important during pregnancy, but the amount of sleep you need will differ for every woman.
Pregnancy is a time of change, and as your body expands and adjusts to accommodate your growing baby, it’s normal to need more sleep. But how much? That depends on your individual needs.
You may need more or less than you did before getting pregnant—but that’s okay! It’s all about listening to your body and ensuring you’re getting enough sleep, no matter what that looks like.
How Many Hours of Sleep During Pregnancy Is Needed?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, one study found that most women who were pregnant or breastfeeding needed about 10 hours of sleep each night. Some women can function on less than that, while others need more.
So if you’re struggling with sleeplessness, ask your doctor if it’s normal and how much sleep you should get at this stage in your pregnancy to feel well-rested and healthy.
Is It Okay to Sleep Too Much During Pregnancy
The short answer: is yes!
The long answer: while you might feel like you’re in a dream state most of the time, your body is working hard to grow a baby. That takes a lot of energy and resources, so it’s normal for pregnant women to sleep more often than usual.
However, if you find yourself waking up feeling tired or if you’re experiencing any other symptoms such as headaches or nausea, that could be an indication of something more serious. Make sure to talk with your doctor right away if you suspect anything like this is happening.
Best Position to Sleep When Pregnant
Sleep during pregnancy can be challenging if you don’t know what is the safest and most comfortable position to do it.
There are a few things to consider regarding the best position for sleep.
First and foremost, you want to ensure that you are comfortable and resting in a position that allows you to breathe easily.
Second, you want to ensure that your body is resting where it can support itself without straining any muscles or ligaments.
Third, you want to ensure that your body is supported throughout the night so that it doesn’t have any unnecessary strain on itself while sleeping.
Does Sleep During Pregnancy Affect the Baby
Sleep is crucial to a healthy pregnancy, and getting as much rest as possible is important. But if you’re not sleeping well during your pregnancy, you may notice some negative effects on your unborn baby.
Your baby has been developing for nine months, and during that time, he or she has grown from a single cell into an almost fully formed human being. That incredible growth process requires a lot of energy—and proper nutrition. And one of the most important sources of energy for your growing baby is the food you eat and convert into energy through digestion.
During pregnancy, the placenta helps transport nutrients from your blood to your baby’s blood. The better nourished you are, the easier it is for the placenta to do its job—which means more nutrients for your baby!
The best way to ensure proper nutrient transfer is by getting enough sleep each night while pregnant. Sleep deprivation can lead to anaemia in pregnant women, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, irritability, irregular heartbeat and palpitations, headaches… and even constipation!
Does Pregnancy Sleep Positions Matter?
It’s true. Pregnancy sleep positions can matter.
But the most important thing to remember is to be comfortable. If you’re not comfortable, your body will be strained, making it harder for you to get a good night’s rest.
Some general guidelines may help you get the most out of your pregnancy sleep experience. And while they aren’t set in stone, they might give you some helpful tips on how to get the best sleep during pregnancy.
Tips on How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy
You’re pregnant, and you’re tired.
It’s no surprise—you’re growing an entire human being inside of you! You’ve got a lot of work to do, and it’s hard to get enough sleep when your body has other ideas. But do you know what helps?
Several things can help you get a good night’s sleep during pregnancy. These include:
- Taking naps during the day.
- Find a comfortable position to sleep in that allows you to stay asleep for as long as possible. This might mean putting pillows under your head, behind your back, or even sleeping on your side instead of stomach-down (but not too much—you don’t want to get pressure sores!).
- Try not to move around too much when you’re sleeping—this will help keep your muscles relaxed and prevent them from becoming stiff or sore.
- Ensure that the room temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much—if it gets too hot or cold, it could wake you up!
- Try not to eat or drink anything before bedtime (except water), as this can cause heartburn or indigestion, which could also wake you up in the middle of the night!
- Sleeping in a dark room with no noise (noise can make it hard to fall asleep).
- Having a comfortable bed that is easy to get into and out of easily (think about getting a body pillow)
- Avoiding caffeine before going to bed (caffeine can keep you awake)
- Try using an aromatherapy diffuser or essential oils like lavender before bedtime. They can help calm your mind and body, which can make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
How to Sleep Better in the First Trimester
Image Source: iStock
The first trimester is a time of many ups and downs as the newly pregnant woman has to deal with fluctuating emotions, morning sickness, exhaustion, and worrying about the baby. However, with a few lifestyle changes, you can overcome the discomfort and find a way to sleep better during pregnancy. After all, you need to relax for your and your baby’s health.
Many women encounter extreme exhaustion during the first trimester. Don’t be surprised if you need twice the amount of sleep you used to. If you work, see if you can set aside short breaks to take a 15-minute nap.
It’s natural to worry but know that worrying can’t solve any problems. You’ll have a much healthier pregnancy if you can relax and allow your emotions a healthy outlet. If you’re under external stress, talk to a friend, a mentor, or a counsellor who can help you sort out your feelings.
Sleep as you like. During the first trimester, you can sleep in any position you want as your uterus is still tucked safely behind your pelvic bone. If you’re a tummy sleeper, enjoy this position for as long as possible because you’ll have to adjust soon!
Sleep Tips for the Second Trimester
Now that you are in your second trimester, you should feel more energetic. That doesn’t mean, however, that sleep doesn’t pose a few challenges. Your body is starting to change, so you’ll go through an adjustment period to figure out what’s most comfortable for you.
For many pregnant women, heartburn sets in during the second trimester as your growing uterus pushes your stomach up. If you have heartburn, you should change your lifestyle and watch what you eat. If all else fails, chew on an antacid tablet as you go to bed.
Start sleeping on your left side.
Mid-pregnancy is when you need to start paying attention to your sleeping position. Lying flat on your back to sleep while heavily pregnant can block off the blood flow to your fetus, so avoid this sleep position. Lie on your left side instead to promote the best blood flow to your baby and all your organs.
Drink less before bedtime. Drinking plenty of water is good, but as your uterus puts pressure on your bladder, you’ll have to go to the loo a lot. So to minimise nighttime visits to the bathroom, drink less before bed.
Sleeping During the Third trimester
In the third trimester, you may find it difficult to fall asleep because you find it hard to get comfortable. You’re probably feeling large and awkward and having trouble moving around. The extra weight is probably also putting a lot of strain on your muscles, so it’s about finding a way to relieve all the aches and pain.
Your enlarging belly makes it hard for you to feel comfortable as it exerts pressure on all body parts. At this time, a pillow or bolster between your legs will feel better. Some women swear by investing in a full-body pillow which is specially designed to support pregnancy and makes sleeping on your side much more comfortable.
Try a heating pad or a hot rice pack if pillows don’t relieve aches and pains. You can also try a non-medicated heat patch if the ache is on your back. Look into getting prenatal massages designed to address women’s aches and pains.
You may experience cramps at night, especially in your legs and feet. Gentle massaging will help, as well as light flexing. Do not point your toes, as that will make the cramps worse. Try to walk around a little to improve your blood circulation.
It can be challenging to get good sleep during pregnancy, but with the right information and mindset, you can still have the quality rest that you deserve. If you are having trouble sleeping while pregnant, do not hesitate to consult your doctor about it.
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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