Sleeping During Pregnancy
Sleeping During Pregnancy
A good night's sleep is arduous for many pregnant women with a growing bump. One of the first symptoms of pregnancy is tiredness. Hormones changing, physical discomfort, excitement, and even anxiety about becoming a mother lead to many sleepless nights while pregnant.
Why is sleeping important during pregnancy?
Sleep during pregnancy is vital. Growing a human being in your body is no easy feat; therefore, the body needs its rest. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it is important to prioritize sleep during pregnancy to avoid pregnancy complications like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, prolonged labor, and a higher cesarean section.
Your immune system is also affected by your sleep. When you're pregnant, your immune system stands down regards your baby - therefore, getting the Zzz is essential!
Sleep through pregnancy
How you are sleeping may be different from trimester to trimester. During the first several weeks, you might feel exhausted or even too nauseous to sleep due to progesterone and the placenta developing.
The second trimester brings new challenges. Challenges include blocked nose, leg cramps, more dreams/nightmares, and even snoring!
As your belly expands during the third trimester, you might struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position. In addition, with the hormones pressing on your bladder, the frequency of your need to pass urine at night might increase even more. Therefore, it's also essential to consider sleeping positions during the third trimester (described in the next section).
Sleeping positions during pregnancy. What is best?
Stomach, back, or the side? After your first trimester, sleeping on your stomach becomes impossible due to the bump growing.
During the third trimester, sleeping on your back is defiantly not the best. It puts extra pressure on your intestines, leading to tummy troubles.
Experts state that the best sleep position when pregnant is on your left side for human physiology. What about the right side, then? If you're struggling with gastric reflux concerns, you may want to roll over to the right side instead. But either side is okay; left is best, though.
But it is important to remember that you should not be worried if you wake up and find out you've rolled onto your back overnight. There is no harm done - at all!
Tips for position
If you're not used to being a side-sleeper and find it hard to sleep on your side, we have gathered some tips to tackle pregnancy sleep problems:
- Use lots of pillows! Prop a pillow under your tummy and between your knees for more belly and back support. You can even buy an extra-long pillow. It can prevent you from rolling to your stomach or back.
- If you feel shortness of breath, you can put a pillow under your side to raise your chest.
- For heartburn: Rise your head using books/blocks and pillows - this helps keep acids down in your stomach.
How much sleep do I need when pregnant?
If you're having trouble sleeping while pregnant, you are not alone! Many pregnant women feel this struggle, so try not to stress about sleep.
But how much is exactly the right amount of sleep then? The most reasonable answer is not by hours in bed but by how you feel. You're not getting enough sleep when constantly feeling tired and beyond normal fatigue. Try some tips above, or see a healthcare practitioner who can help you with your sleeping issue.
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