Pregnancy is asking too much of you already and now it is coming for your sleep. You’re getting less sleep as you move from one trimester to the next. Now it feels like getting a good night sleep with a baby bump is looking impossible. It isn’t. Who says you can’t look forward to being a mother and still have a good night sleep? They were wrong. You’re going to prove it by following these tips to sleep better in any trimester.
First-trimester sleep problems and how to fix them
If you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy, you may be experiencing these sleep problems:
1. Long hours of no sleep at night.
It is not uncommon to find it difficult to sleep at night in your first trimester because of the rush of progesterone. This often makes you feel tired and drowsy during the day.
A quick fix is to rest as much as possible and grab a quick cat nap whenever you can.
2. A constant need to pee
You may be experiencing increased needs at night to make bathroom trips as your growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder more often than you thought possible.
To fix this, you need to drink plenty of fluids during the day but cut down in the late afternoon and evening.
3. Difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position
If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, your newly tender breasts may make it hard to find a comfortable sleeping position.
To sleep better you’d need to start training yourself to sleep on your back; or better yet, your left side. That position improves the flow of blood and nutrients to your fetus and uterus and helps your body get rid of waste and fluids.
Second-trimester sleep problems and how to fix them
16 weeks on and now it seems your sleep problems have gotten worse. Some common sleep problems include:
1. Baby bump pressing on your blood vessels
If you feel comfortable sleeping on your back, your second trimester is the best time to stop.
Instead, sleep on your side so your bump stops pressing on your blood vessels to avoid feeling faint and nauseous.
2. Pelvic pain cuts your sleep short
A solution you can try immediately is to use a pregnancy pillow at night. It sits under your bump and between your legs to reduce some of the pressure and support your body.
3. Lack of sleep from indigestion and leg cramp
You’re likely to experience uncomfortable indigestion at night. To fix this you’d need to stop eating too close to bedtime to give your food time to digest. Another fix is to prop your upper body up with a pillow in bed to help gravity keep stomach acids down. You may also be feeling some painful pins which deprive you of sleep. To remedy the discomfort, straighten your leg and flexing your ankle and toes upwards.
Also, you can try stretching exercises before bed: stand a large step away from a wall with your palms flat on it, then lean forward and keep your heels on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times.
Third-trimester sleep problems and how to fix them
The third trimester is generally the hardest to get good sleep at night with a growing tummy, leg cramps, sinus congestion and heartburn along with a babysitting on your bladder. Luckily, there are some tips to help you sleep better before the big event occurs.
1. Get additional pillows or new Pillows
You need to sleep on your left side during your third trimester to reduce pressure on your back from your baby bump. But you need more pillows to do this. You may find that using additional pillows to support your back and your stomach at the same time can help. Other mothers recommend putting a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side.
You can try a new latex body pillow or a contour latex pillow that is specially made for side sleepers to get the most comfort possible when pregnant. Upon purchase of more pillows you should strategically place pillows to help support the stomach and help you get to sleep—try a full-body pillow for this kind of support.
1. Uncomfortable bed
A comfortable bed is key. Since your spine feels more pressure than normal during the third trimester, you don’t have to stop at getting different size pillows. You might need more to get comfy. Especially if you’re not getting enough support from your mattress because you’re finding that you have a lot of back pain or sore muscles. You might need to add a mattress pad or get a new mattress altogether.
2. Restless legs syndrome
In your third trimester, you may feel crawling or uncomfortable feelings in your foot, calf or upper leg, which momentarily disrupts your sleep. This is often caused by iron deficiency and/or folic acid deficiency. A quick remedy is to have your iron status checked by your doctor. And if you’re having leg cramps you may want to avoid carbonated sodas and drinks. Also, you can straighten your leg and flex your foot upwards. Try doing this before going to bed several times to help ward off future cramps.
Should these tips fail you on some nights and you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed forcing yourself to sleep. Get up and read a book, write in a journal, do a boring chore or take a warm bath.