How Much Sleep Do You Need During Pregnancy and How to Get it?
Pregnancy is a time in a women’s life which is full of change. The human body goes through a long term process which brings various hormonal and chemical changes. Much like all other aspects of your life, pregnancy alters your sleep cycle as well.
Sleep is a very significant aspect of our lives, especially during pregnancy. Being pregnant is exhausting and most women complain of constant fatigue. Sleep becomes even more important at this juncture to ensure that you are well-rested and replenished for the next day.
The amount of sleep needed for pregnancy depends on which trimester you are in but most experts believe that a minimum of 7 hours is a must throughout your pregnancy.
The First Trimester
The early stage of pregnancy leads to several changes in the body of a woman. One of these changes is the increase of a hormone called progesterone.
Progesterone can make a woman feel drowsy which helps in sleeping and can also increase the amount of time you sleep for.
A majority of women sleep for 9 to 11 hours during their first trimester. It is considered healthy because of the added pressure on the body. Some experts believe that you should increase your sleep time by two hours when you are pregnant as compared.
Progesterone also has a negative action on sleep. The level of urination can be increased in women who cannot tend to sleep.
The Second Trimester
Your sleep period improves during the second trimester. You get used to being pregnant both physically and mentally which makes you more comfortable.
Your objective should be to sleep for eight hours a day in the for second trimester. In addition to the 8 hours, you should also try and get naps during the day when you feel tired. These naps will help you with the fatigue.
The main antagonists to a good night’s sleep in the second semester are heartburn and leg cramps.
Take naps whenever you can. Image Credits: Pxfuel
The Third Trimester
This period is the most difficult to get quality sleep. Various factors such as hormonal changes, enlarged belly, active foetus and morning sickness affect one’s ability to move. It is also the most exhausting time of the pregnancy.
Experts say during the third trimester a woman should get as much rest and sleep whenever possible.
You should try and get 7-8 hours of sleep at least. Doctors suggest that a pregnant woman in the third trimester should spend 8-9 hours in bed every night and that usually leads to 7 hours of quality sleep.
What Can Be Done to Sleep Better During Pregnancy?
The following activities can help you in getting better sleep:
Monitor Your Fluid Intake: Fluids are important during pregnancy. Have plenty of fluids during the day but cut down on them in the evening. This will help you in decreasing the frequency of urination and not be disturbed while sleeping.
Follow a Routine: Having a routine will help your body clock. Try to go to bed at the same time every day. Some people also state that having bedtime rituals such as a hot shower, reading a book or other relaxing activities have helped them in sticking to their routine.
Reading a book before bed can help in sleeping. Image Credits: pikrepo
Clear Your Mind: Having negative thoughts affects the sleep cycle of all individuals. It is important to have a clear mind. Avoid activities that cause you to stress or make you anxious. You should see a therapist whenever you feel anxious or depressed.
Avoid Caffeinated Drinks: Caffeine intake can affect your sleep cycle. Else you can have coffee drinks in the morning or the afternoon. This will increase the time between caffeine intake and sleeping.
Avoid caffeinated beverages. Image Credits: Pxhere
Physical Activity: There are mild exercises which are done during pregnancy. Even if you do not indulge in exercise, just move as much as you can. Be careful not to do any exercises which cause you discomfort or have a risk of causing harm. Also, ensure that your doctor has not asked you to be on bed rest before doing physical activity.
Be Comfortable: There are studies which show that specific sleeping positions such as sleeping on your left side are helpful. Find a comfortable spot for you and add comfort with soft pillows or other objects. Comfort could be the key to a good night’s sleep.
The sleep cycle will change during different times of your pregnancy. It should be your priority to sleep as much as possible.
In case you are having trouble sleeping, it does not mean that something is wrong but you should inform your gynecologists’ about it.