Being pregnant comes with a lot of changes in your body, many of them related to the change in hormones to help create this new life. During this time you will hear many people tell you to get as much sleep as you can. Once your new baby arrives, sleep will be a distant memory for at least the first year of their life. However, getting this sleep will prove to be a challenge to many women. In this post we will go over the changes taking place and some ways to get better sleep.
The hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy can feel like a whirlwind. You will begin to experience extreme rises in reproductive hormone levels, which may cause disruptions to your normal sleep patterns. Beginning in the first trimester, estrogen and progesterone will steadily increase and will then rapidly fall after delivery.
You may find yourself feeling more fatigued then normal starting in the first trimester. This is because progesterone has a sedative effect on the body, and the surge in this hormone is causing that fatigued feeling. Rapid eye movement also known as REM sleep has also been shown to be impacted by changes in progesterone and estrogen levels during pregnancy, negatively impacting your sleep.
Other than these few changes, during the first trimester your body won’t have changed enough yet to cause disruptions in your sleeping position. Starting in the second trimester as your womb begins to grow, getting in a comfortable sleeping position will start to become difficult. Getting a pregnancy pillow is one beneficial way to help relieve the difficulty. There are different types of pregnancy pillows, but each can provide you with support around your back and growing belly. You can also position the pillow between your legs when you need it. They will also assist in propping up your body up to give you support in the most needed spots, so you can get a comfortable night’s rest.
Drinking enough water during the day can also assist in sleeping better during your pregnancy. As you progress in your pregnancy painful leg and body cramps will begin to occur. You may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with these painful cramps. So making sure you are drinking enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day will help lessen the amount and the frequency of any kind of leg or body cramps. Drink plenty of fluids and hopefully you will be able to avoid these cramps waking you up in the middle of the night.
Over stimulation also negatively impacts your quality of sleep. We now fluctuate between staring at our cellphone and television screens, even into the late hours of the night. This issue affects everyone, but is especially important for pregnant women to be aware of. The lighting from these devices act as stimulants and interfere with the body’s melatonin production, which is the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Consider turning off the television approximately an hour before bed and picking up a book to read instead.