For most women the expectation of a new baby is a time of giddy anticipation and happiness! Unfortunately this joy is sometimes marred by lack of sleep. Women can feel tired throughout pregnancy, but it is usually felt most strongly in the first and last trimester of pregnancy.
Sleep issues in the beginning are normal, and can occur due to your rapidly changing body and an influx of pregnancy hormones. The gestation process is using a lot of your fuel and there are metabolic changes happening to help sustain a growing life. This, coupled with nausea and fatigue, and you’ll have one tired mum-to-be!
Here are some tips to help you sleep soundly throughout your pregnancy.
It’s Bed Time
Try to keep a regular bed time, and factor in an extra hour between the sheets to keep your baby-growing body running at its best. Short power naps of around 30 minutes between 2pm and 4pm are also recommended. These will help re-energize you, but won’t interfere with your regular night time schedule.
If you suffer from nausea, keep some dry crackers by your bed to quell that midnight monster. This will keep you in bed, making it easier to fall back asleep.
Find Your Sleeping Position
As your pregnancy progresses, it’s harder to find a comfortable sleeping position. Pillows are key! To help accommodate your growing tummy experiment with them to find the position that is right for you. Obstetricians and midwives usually suggest that women try to sleep on their side during the later months of pregnancy. This may lessen discomfort and also help with the healthy growth of the baby.
Heartburn is another very common issue during pregnancy. Your growing uterus presses on your stomach. This can force stomach acid up into your oesophagus. Pillows to the rescue again! Use them to prop you up, keeping your chest upright in bed.
Snoring & Breathing Pauses
You may find that you start to snore during pregnancy or have occasional breathing pauses which end in a snort or gasp. This is totally normal, and you shouldn’t worry unless it occurs very often, is extremely loud or interrupts sleep. In these cases it’s always best to speak to your doctor or midwife as not enough or interrupted sleep can lead to other health issues.
Night Time Restlessness
During the last trimester, sleep may be particularly hard to wrangle with frequent trips to the toilet at night, leg movements or discomfort from the pregnant belly as well as all the other issues mentioned above. To reduce the number of toilet trips during the night, be sure to go to the toilet just before going to bed and avoid drinking too much in the evening.
Remember, all of these issues are normal, and happen in varying degrees to all pregnant women. If you are particularly worried about a certain issue, it is always important that you consult your doctor or midwife.