Enough high-quality sleep is vital for everyone, but more so for pregnant women. You are growing a human being inside, and this demands more energy and more rest time to recover. But exactly how much sleep does a pregnant woman need?
Doctors recommend at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. However, this is rarely possible thanks to the countless discomforts pregnant women go through during those nine months. We will discuss some of those problems here and see how to solve them so you can get as much sleep as possible. If a mom- to-be doesn’t get enough sleep at night, they need to make time during the day for naps.
Why Does Sleep During Pregnancy Matter So Much?
If a person doesn’t get enough sleep, the worst that will happen to them is feeling tired and sleepy the following day, leading to less productivity. For pregnant women, however, lack of sleep has significant effects on the health of the mother and the baby.
For instance, one study shows that insufficient sleep caused by snoring and sleep-disordered breathing in pregnant women has been linked to preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
But even without these serious consequences, lack of sleep affects the mom’s energy levels, hormones, appetite and weight. So though it’s hard, getting enough sleep is extremely important if you want to have a successful pregnancy.
What Makes One Feel So Sleepy During Pregnancy?
Moms to be are always shocked by the level of fatigue and sleepiness they feel during pregnancy, especially in the first and last trimester. While research is still ongoing to establish the causes, pregnancy-related fatigue and sleep is caused by hormones. When you get pregnant, progesterone levels increase drastically, slowing the woman down and making her feel sluggish and sleepy.
However, it’s also caused by the physical strain your body is going through. Your body is working harder to grow the fetus which means you are using more energy, and many of your nutrients are going to the child, leaving you with little to survive. Pregnancy is also tiring emotionally because of the fear, the anxiety and the excitement of having a baby.
What Can You Do To Improve Sleep During Pregnancy?
The quality and quantity of sleep during pregnancy differ from one trimester to the other. For instance, the first trimester is marred by increased urine production, morning sickness, heatwave, and tender breasts. These problems tend to go away around the second trimester, so you will be able to get more sleep during those three middle months. However, as you enter the last trimester, other issues like discomfort and nasal swelling affect your sleep.
The solution is to take care of these issues individually so they can stop disrupting your sleep. If you are waking up to pee 5 times a night, stop drinking any fluids from 5 pm. suffering from heartburn? Cut out all spicy and rich foods and also take an antacid before bed. Many moms also sleep with the AC on to keep cool because it’s impossible to sleep when you are so hot.
Consider Using A Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow helps position you in a way that is more comfortable so you can sleep. It offers support for your back and tummy and also provide somewhere for you to place your legs and hands. A good pregnancy pillow like this PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow also comes with a cooling cover to keep you cool during those hot nights.
According to the Sleep Foundation, moderate to vigorous exercise increases sleep quality in adults and reduces sleep onset. People who work out regularly sleep more hours at night and get deeper sleep than those who don’t. As a pregnant mom, you can do walks in the evenings or moderate cardio during the day to improve sleep quality.
Establish Good Sleep Habits
But before you try anything else, establish a good sleep routine that signals your body it’s time to sleep. Form good sleeping habits like staying away from blue light for at least an hour or two before bed, dimming the lights, slowing down, and probably taking a bath. Stay consistent with that sleep routine because the body knows automatically what happens at a particular time of night.
People often talk about eating for two while pregnant, but there should be an emphasis on sleeping for two as well. Your body and mind are working extra to grow a human, and you need every ounce of sleep you can get. Since babies tend to keep moms awake after birth, it’s important to sleep well during pregnancy in preparation for that daunting period.