Pregnancy & sleep challenges… UGH!
This is part one in a three-part series that addresses sleep challenges during pregnancy. In this post, we’ll look at the effects of first trimester symptoms and your ability to catch a sound night of ZZZ’s. What’s more, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to get you sleeping better too.
Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life. Your body is changing as it grows a marvelous new life – talk about miracle-making in action. But with all those changes, there’s more than a few challenges too. Leg cramps, sore breasts and frequent urination are all common within your first trimester. Not to mention how exhausted you’ll be. Every. Single. Day…
Sleep during any stage of pregnancy can be difficult, but the first trimester is a time of adjustment. Some of the most common sleep disrupters can be reduced with a few tricks. And some have to just be survived. Feel free to steal what you need to get you sleeping better tonight.
Give yourself permission to nap
Early in your pregnancy, you’ll start feeling very sleepy during the day. High levels of progesterone, a hormone that helps regulate the reproductive cycle, brings on a sudden craving for naps. This is when you’re allowed to use your pregnancy as an excuse to nap – so take lots of them. Strangely enough, progesterone can disrupt your sleep at night, leading to even more fatigue during the day. All you can do is rest as much as possible and grab a quick catnap whenever you can. Read more at BabyCenter.com
Power down with a shower
One of the first noticeable changes to your body during pregnancy is swollen, tender breasts, which can make it difficult to sleep. Especially if you’re a stomach sleeper. To help relieve some of the soreness, take a hot shower or warm bath before bedtime. The warm water will stimulate blood flow to reduce swelling but it also helps your whole body relax, which allows you drift off into dreamland faster. Read more at Parents.com
Manage nighttime waking
Progesterone does more than just make you drowsy. This necessary hormone is also partially responsible for that never-ending quest for a bathroom. You need to hydrate to keep your pregnancy healthy but monitoring the amount and kind of fluid you consume as bedtime approaches will help cut down on the number of times you wake up during the night. Also, make sure you use a night light in the bathroom since turning on the lights will stimulate your senses and make it harder to fall back asleep. Night lights are less abrasive on the senses and will allow you to fall back asleep sooner. Read more at SleepFoundation.org
Pregnancy can make you feel like a riding a rollercoaster of emotions, new bodily sensations and, of course, worrying. Sleep, along with a healthy diet and moderate exercise can help you feel better about the changes happening now – and yet to come. And don’t forget, you and your baby both need you to be well rested at end of the ride – which is when the real fun starts.
Next week we’ll bring you tips on how to survive sleeping during your second trimester. Until then, we’d love to read your pregnancy sleep stories and tips.