Pregnancy is an exciting time in anyone’s life. From getting a nursery ready to shopping for all those itty-bitty baby clothes, nothing could be more thrilling.
Unfortunately, growing and preparing for a baby is exhausting work, and many times the symptoms of pregnancy can leave expecting women unable to get the sleep they need to recover from the hard work they have cut out for themselves. So even though they know they should be sleeping while they have the opportunity, they are left tossing and turning the night away.
Fortunately, there are remedies to treat many of the more common causes of sleep deprivation during pregnancy.
— First Trimester —
The first trimester is filled with excitement. Finding out you will be welcoming a new little one into the world is absolutely life-changing.
Even though nobody would be able to tell a woman in early pregnancy is expecting by looking at her, women in their first trimester cope with their own fair share of pregnancy symptoms on a day-to-day basis. Many of these symptoms can cause sleepless nights, meaning that despite the fatigue experienced by most women during the first trimester, ladies who have recently discovered their pregnancy may have an incredibly difficult time getting to sleep and staying that way.
Symptom: Excitement and Restlessness
One of the biggest reasons for lack of sleep during the first trimester and throughout pregnancy is a general feeling of excitement, anticipation, or worry. While these feelings are all very valid when you are preparing to bring a new life into the world, it is important that you do your best to get adequate sleep despite them.
Skip the caffeine. Throughout the day if you can, but if that isn’t an option, at least banish caffeinated beverages and snacks from your afternoon and evening diet.
Write down worries and concerns and solutions. By keeping a running to-do list, you will likely ease some of your concerns so they don’t suddenly pop into your head just as you are drifting off.
Additionally, it is extremely helpful to spend the hour or two before bed winding down. A warm bath, some relaxing music, a massage, and warm milk are all great ways to tell your body to relax and get ready for bed.
Symptom: Frequent Bathroom Trips
As your body begins to adjust to pregnancy and pregnancy hormones increase, so do trips to the restroom. Unfortunately, increased bathroom trips throughout the night mean decreased sleep time.
While drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day is very important during pregnancy, you can reduce the number of times you visit the ladies room during the night by scheduling the bulk of your liquid intake for the morning and afternoon hours and limiting fluids in the late evening and at night. Clearly, if you are thirsty you should drink some water, but downing a huge bottle of water just before bed is a sure-fire way to keep yourself up all night walking to and from the potty.
Commonly known as “morning sickness”, nausea during the first trimester can strike at any time during the day. For some women this means sleepless nights spent kneeling in front of a toilet. Keeping your nausea under control may seem impossible, but there are things you can try.
Eat small meals throughout the day, including a small snack just before bed, and keep crackers and water on your bedside table. Letting your body run out of fuel is one thing that will induce the dreaded pregnancy nausea.
If the small meals aren’t working, try consuming ginger or peppermint.
— Second Trimester —
During the second trimester your excitement is likely to grow as you get to see your little one during your mid-pregnancy ultrasound and your belly begins to grow.
The hundreds of bathroom trips a day have trickled off, and while any nausea you may have been experiencing will likely subside during the second trimester, this middle bit of pregnancy comes with its own special symptoms to keep you up at night. This means that even though you aren’t quite as fatigued as you may have been in early pregnancy, you could still be feeling pretty sleepy and cloudy-headed during the day.
Once again caused by those pregnancy hormones, indigestion is a common complaint throughout pregnancy. Your hormones tell your muscles to relax, leading to slower digestion. This also means the valve leading to your esophagus may relax a bit too much. These things, along with your growing uterus pushing on your stomach, can lead to stomach acids making their way into your esophagus, a very uncomfortable situation that makes sleeping seem like a far-off dream.
Those small, frequent meals we mentioned before? You’ll want to keep those up through this trimester as well, and avoid any acidic foods that may trigger heart burn.
Just in case the indigestion strikes anyway, having some Tums or Rolaids on hand is always a good idea.
Symptom: Uncomfortable Body Changes
As your uterus grows, your internal organs get pushed around to make room. Additionally, the second trimester is a time of pelvic pain for many expectant women. These things combined create some very uncomfortable situations for pregnant mamas who are just trying to get in a good night’s sleep.
It is recommended that you sleep on your side for the health of your baby. Because you may be feeling so uncomfortable at this point in your pregnancy, you will want to use plenty of pillows to support your growing belly. To help with pelvic pain, try putting a pillow between your legs. If you are feeling too uncomfortable to sleep, acetaminophen can be safely taken during pregnancy to help with discomfort or pain.
Symptom: Increased Body Temperature
Many women find that as their body grows, so does their body temperature. It isn’t uncommon to feel the need to turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees (Fahrenheit). Of course, your partner may not be too thrilled with this arrangement.
Go ahead and turn that thermostat down. Offer your partner extra blankets and make yourself comfortable. Cool, wet cloths or ice packs may help cool you down as well.
— Third Trimester —
During the third trimester, anticipation mounts. Your belly feels enormous, and you can feel your tiny baby kicking and squirming, getting stronger by the minute and preparing for his or her arrival.
Because you are about to pop, finding a comfortable sleeping position continues to be a challenge, and a couple of new sleeping challenges may present themselves during this time. Additionally, an old friend (frequent urination) will likely come for a return visit.
Symptom: Return of Frequent Bathroom Trips
This time due to your growing baby pushing on your bladder more than hormones, frequent restroom breaks will likely make a comeback during your final stretch of pregnancy. The benefit of this symptom is knowing exactly where the restroom is in each and every establishment your visit; the downside is loss of precious sleep.
As before, you will want to limit your before-bed fluid intake. Making a bathroom trip just before you head off to dreamland is also a good idea.
Symptom: Leg Cramps
Nobody knows the reason behind leg cramps during pregnancy, but many moms will agree that cramps in their calf muscles cause plenty of sleep loss during the last few weeks of their pregnancy.
Stretch your calf muscles plenty of times throughout the day and just before sleep. Additionally, you will want to carry a water bottle with you in order to stay hydrated, and wear shoes with plenty of support.
Symptom: Lack of Adequate Exercise
Many women avoid exercise during their third trimester because their growing bellies make it more difficult to get up and around, or because they believe they may hurt the baby. This lack of exercise can cause sleep issues when your body is left with energy to burn at the end of the day.
Unless your doctor or midwife has advised you not to, the best solution is to exercise. Go for a walk each day and practice prenatal yoga. Exercise will not only improve your sleep habits, it will also improve your overall health as well as your energy levels throughout the day.
Of course, one of the best ways to ensure you sleep well throughout your pregnancy is to invest in a high-quality mattress that offers you the comfort and support you need. If you are in need of a new mattress that serves just this purpose, please contact us at Urban Mattress. We would be happy to help you find the best mattress for you.