Sleep Trimester Guide for Pregnancy: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Trimester
Pregnancy is a very exciting and defining time in a woman’s life, but it also brings about lots of changes and potential discomfort. With all the changes, anticipation, anxiety, and excitement, many women experience sleep disturbance in pregnancy even if they have not suffered any sleep discomfort prior in their lives. In fact, an astounding 78% of women report sleep disturbance at some point during their pregnancy. There are many reasons women face disturbed sleep during this phase of their lives. Exhaustion is high during the first and third trimesters, and changing hormone levels impact an increase in daytime sleepiness as well as inhibit muscle functioning, creating the need for more bathroom trips through the night and increasing the risk of snoring and sleep apnea. If you or a loved one is looking to improve sleep during pregnancy, this guide is for you!
The first trimester is exciting – finding out that you’re a mom-to-be means exhilaration is high but it also means that exhaustion is high too. Women often struggle with morning sickness, new stress, and beginning body changes in the first three months of pregnancy, meaning good sleep can be hard to attain.
If you’re pregnant, chances are, you’re tired. Babies in the womb need mom to be rested for optimal development, and it’s hard work on the body growing a little one! It is important to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs. Maintaining a sleep schedule that may allow for earlier bedtimes or naps during the day will help keep you rested. Light exercise can also help give pregnant women energy and help regulate sleeping at night.
Babies bring a lot of stress when they come into the world. Apart from stress on the body, new parents to have normal fears and anxieties too. Worry about finances, schedules, the birth process, and more can keep mom and dad up at night and prevent good sleep. Deep breathing and meditation are stress relieving activities that mom can practice in bed to help reduce stress and encourage sleep.
Body Pain and Sickness
Many pregnant women in their first-trimester experience tender breasts and pelvic pain and cramping. A supportive mattress can help reduce body pain, and pillows created specifically for pregnant women can help reduce pressure and tension throughout pregnancy. Morning sickness does not just hit in the morning, and many women have difficulty sleeping at night because of nausea. Eating small snacks throughout the day, not going to sleep on an empty stomach, and keeping saltines or ginger chews at hand in the bedroom can help reduce nausea and help mom get to sleep.
The second trimester is usually a bit more comfortable than the first, though while some issues dissipate, some others crop up that may affect sleep.
Heartburn is likely to happen in the second trimester as the growing baby begins to put pressure on the stomach, causing acid to flow into the esophagus. Acid reflux and heartburn greatly impact sleep, as laying down often exacerbates these symptoms. For the best possible sleep, sleep with a wedge pillow or use an adjustable base bed that allows the head to stay propped up, reducing acid back up.
The third trimester means the baby is even closer to making his or her debut, and mom’s body is worn out! Moms can expect difficulty getting comfortable and waking up a few times a night – this will prepare parents for the needs of a newborn when the baby is born.
Needing to go to the Bathroom
By the sixth month of pregnancy, the baby is beginning to put a lot of pressure on the bladder. This means that mom will have to urinate quite frequently. To reduce even more waking up during the night, try to limit fluid consumption two hours before bedtime.
Similarly, the baby’s positioning often impacts mom’s lower back. As mentioned in the first trimester, having a supportive mattress that relieves pressure is key. Sleeping on one’s left side and stretching before bed and once up in the morning can help reduce back pain.
Snoring is impacted by weight gain and muscle tone. Hormones inhibit muscle functioning, which also contributes to snoring. Women in their third trimesters are likely to snore, even if they have not snored prior to being pregnant. As with acid reflux, elevating the head 6-8 inches can help reduce snoring, as can sleeping on one’s side.
Pregnancy is an exciting and life-changing time that also comes with significant difficulties. Making sure you get adequate rest will help promote development for your baby. Use the above sleep tips to help increase the quality of your sleep while pregnant.