Sleep during pregnancy – Newborns are known to keep people awake at odd hours with nightly feeds, but sleepless nights can begin long before the baby arrives.
Understanding how to sleep better during pregnancy isn’t just crucial for your energy and mood. According to sleep disorder specialist Sally Ibrahim, MD, pregnant women who sleep less are more likely to have complications. She finds out which sleep disturbances are common during her pregnancy and ways to get better rest.
Sleep Per Trimester
First Trimester: Women need significant sleep while the placenta grows. Don’t be surprised if you are generally sleepier; you need to go to bed earlier and take naps. At this point, you can best give in to that urge and get the rest your body needs.
Second Trimester: Your amount of sleep normalizes to the amount you need before your pregnancy. But, as the baby and the abdomen grow, things such as getting up and going to the bathroom may begin to affect sleep.
Third Trimester: Fatigue can come from poor quality sleep. Women tend to have lower quality sleep due to factors such as:
more frequent urination
Substantial weight gain
Engorgement associated with late pregnancy
Eight Tips for Better Sleep
While women can’t avoid many of the things that limit sleep during pregnancy, there are ways to get more (and better) rest:
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine.
2. Keep a regular time for going to bed and waking up.
3. Avoid electronic devices for at least an hour before bed. If that’s not possible, reduce the screen brightness and avoid bright light.
4. Limit caffeine in your diet.
5. Relieve stress with yoga, mindful meditation, or massage therapy.
6. Sleep on your side. You may need a maternity pillow to support your back and knees.
7. Limit breathing problems by elevating your head when you sleep.
8. Stay well hydrated to help reduce leg cramps.
Sleep Disorders During Pregnancy
Sleep disorders can appear or worsen during pregnancy. “A person may not have these conditions before pregnancy and can develop in any trimester, especially late in pregnancy.” Sleep problems during pregnancy are not inevitable. They can and should be treated
Restless legs syndrome: A woman with restless legs syndrome (RLS) can get worse during pregnancy, and the condition may also appear for the first time. Once RLS occurs, it is more likely to recur in subsequent pregnancies. However, the symptoms return daily (for pre-existing cases) or disappear (for new patients) at the delivery time.
Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.
Research shows adverse effects for both the mother and the fetus. The extent of the problem is not up till now fully understood. Also but there is substantial evidence that sleep apnea is associated with:
- Gestational Diabetes
- Preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension
Talk to your doctor if you continue to have trouble getting enough sleep. They can help identify the cause and offer further advice on overcoming it.
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