Anyone who has been sleep-deprived will truly understand the importance of sleep. Sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and for the pregnant woman, it is even more valuable. Pregnant women need more sleep depending on the stage of their pregnancy.
Table of Contents
- Sleep Hours In The First Trimester
- Sleep Hours In The Second Trimester
- Sleep Hours In The Third Trimester
- How many sleep hours required?
Sleep Hours In The First Trimester
Most pregnant women will sleep more during their first trimester and this will be influenced by the high levels of progesterone hormone production for the support of placental growth. There will also be increased nutrient demands for the developing baby.
During this first trimester, a pregnant woman will also experience many sleep disruptions because they will often feel the urge to urinate thanks to the growing uterus which puts pressure on the bladder.
Since pregnant women in their first trimester will need more sleep it is advisable that they cut back on fluids in the evenings before bedtime but drink plenty of fluids during the day to prevent constipation and excessive swelling.
The metabolic rate of the pregnant woman is also high at this rate and this could result in a feeling of warmness or hotness.
This could prevent sleep which is why it is advisable to have a cooling fan in the room to keep the woman cool as they sleep. The pregnant woman will need to do at least 8 hours of sleep during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Sleep Hours In The Second Trimester
The second trimester is usually a bit easier for most women. At this stage, most things have leveled out and changes aren’t happening fast. Sleep hours during this semester can be longer and more comfortable compared to the first trimester.
Some pregnant women might experience leg cramps at night which can keep them awake. This is the case especially if they are anemic or have low iron levels.
The only relief from the leg cramps is walking around but again once she wakes up to walk around, she might not go back to sleep.
To prevent these leg cramps from happening at night, the best thing is walking around as much she can during the day to exercise the leg and get the blood flowing easily.
The heartburn could also be another problem that could keep a pregnant woman awake at night.
If this is a problem, the woman should consider dealing with it because they will need more sleep hours during the second trimester of pregnancy to make up for more sleep deprivation that will come about during the third trimester where changes are accelerated.
A good sleeping position could be the solution to the heartburn problem. In the second trimester, the pregnancy has accelerated and the uterus is bigger and pressing on the stomach, causing the burning sensation.
This situation can be solved by sleeping on the left side with knees bent. The woman can also try sleeping with their head elevated or by propping their head on more pillows to prevent the acid backwash of heartburn.
With such a comfortable sleeping position, it becomes possible to achieve 8hours or more of sleep also required for the second trimester of pregnancy.
Sleep Hours In The Third Trimester
In the third trimester, many pregnant women have reported that the overall quality of their sleep becomes affected.
They find it difficult to fall asleep and their frequency of nighttime and early morning awakenings become increased compared to the past two trimesters.
AT this stage the woman’s belly is larger because the fetus is bigger and more active. When the woman is rested, the fetus moves a lot and this can keep the woman awake.
The best thing here is to sleep in the position that they feel most comfortable with. It is advisable to avoid sleeping on their backs at this stage to avoid pressure on the already strained spine.
To achieve more sleep hours it is important to use pillows for more comfort and to achieve the required more than 8 hours of sleep.
How many sleep hours required?
A pregnant woman should get adequate sleep for the perfect development of the fetus. More than 8 hours should be the goal and in the last trimester, more rest and more hours of sleep should be achieved.
There is more than a pregnant woman can do to achieve quality sleep and the following are some short useful tips.
Maintain a Regular Sleep Cycle
Make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, weekends included. This will enable you to feel more awake and alert during the day and comfortably asleep during the night.
Unless your doctor advises against exercising, spend at least 30 minutes daily on light exercise. Exercising will let out any pent up energy within you, increase circulation and your mood, making you fall asleep easier at night.
Just avoid vigorous exercising when you are too close to bedtime. Light exercises such as yoga are usually the best.
Avoid too much fluid intake at night
It is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy and you can do that during the day. To avoid many trips to the bathroom during the night, it is important that you cut back on fluids before bedtime.
No Spicy foods and heavy meals before bedtime.
Avoid spicy foods and very heavy meals before bedtime because that could cause heartburns at night that could keep you awake for hours.
These are the precious hours that you need to be sleeping. Heavy meals make your body work harder to digest the food and this can leave you feeling fatigued the next day and result in an uncomfortable sleep.
If you are feeling hungry before bedtime, try a light snack such as a banana or crackers to keep the hunger pangs at bay.
Get out of bed if you can’t sleep
When you lie in bed and sleep doesn’t come, don’t lie there and wait for it. Get out of bed and do a relaxing activity such as reading, writing, a warm bath, play the guitar, paint and so on.
In a short while you will eventually feel sleepy and the moment your head hits the pillow you will be fast asleep and for many hours.
Many hours of sleep are important when pregnant. If you are following the sleep tips and still having trouble getting your 8 or more hours of sleep, then it would be advisable to consult your doctor for other options.
Sleep hours are very important for the pregnant woman and at least 8 or more hours are recommended for every pregnant woman.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !