Due to your raging hormones and changing body, your sleep patterns may be thrown off during early pregnancy. You may have trouble sleeping well or getting comfortable at night and feel sleepy during daytime. Don’t despair. Taking some easy steps can ensure you a good sleep in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Why Are You Feeling Sleepy During Pregnancy?
You Have Hormone Changes
During the first trimester, you will begin feeling very sleepy during the day time. This is brought on by a sudden surge in the levels of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that regulates a female’s reproductive cycle. It also causes drowsiness. Your sleep at night may also be disrupted by progesterone resulting in even more fatigue during daytime.
You Have Trouble Finding a Comfortable Position
You may have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position especially with your newly developed breast tenderness. During the first trimester, begin training yourself to sleep on the left side as the flow of nutrients and blood to your uterus and fetus is improved in this position. Besides, sleeping in this position can help you get rid of waste and fluids.
You Have a Constant Desire to Pass Urine
Due to the pressure put by your growing uterus on your bladder, you have an almost constant desire to pass urine. This can make you tired during the day leading to feeling sleepy during pregnancy. Drink plenty of liquids during the day but avoid them in the evening and night.
Your Heart Rate Is Increased
Your heart rate increases to pump more blood as more of your blood has to be supplied to the uterus. Therefore, the heart needs to work harder to send sufficient blood to the rest of your body.
You Have Shortness of Breath
Due to increasing pregnancy hormones you may breathe in more deeply, which will make you feel as you are working harder to get air. Moreover, later on in pregnancy, breathing can become difficult due the pressure caused by your enlarging uterus on the diaphragm.
Backaches and Leg Cramps
Due to the extra weight of pregnancy, you may feel aches and pain in your legs and back, which will affect the quality of your sleep. Moreover, during pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is produced by the body. It results in loosening of the ligaments of your body, making you unstable and prone to injury especially in your back.
Constipation and Heartburn
The entire digestive system is slowed down during pregnancy leading to symptoms of heartburn and constipation. These symptoms worsen during later stages of pregnancy when the uterus grows and puts pressure on the large intestine and the stomach.
During the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy, morning sickness is a very common symptom. Nausea can develop at any time of the day in most females. It can also occur at night disrupting your sleep. Nausea is usually worsened by low blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
Anxiety and Stress
The first trimester of pregnancy is a combination of excitement and surprises, especially for first time mothers. The physical and mental changes during pregnancy can lead to stress and anxiety in the pregnant females. This is also one of the causes of feeling sleepy during pregnancy.
How to Sleep Well During Pregnancy
Drink Adequate Quantity of Fluids
Drink lots of fluids throughout the day; however, avoid before bedtime so as to minimize urination at nighttime.
Remain Physically Active
Do regular physical exercise to maintain optimum health and to improve blood circulation, thereby, reducing leg cramps at night time. Avoid doing exercise during the later part of the day as adrenaline is released due to exercise which can keep you awake at night.
Decrease Your Anxiety and Stress
The key culprits in disrupting your sleep could be stress and anxiety. Remember that it won’t help to worry but sharing your problems will. Talk to a friend or a counselor about the issues that you are feeling worried and stressed.
Develop a Routine
If you develop a soothing, comforting and consistent evening routine, you will be more relaxed and can sleep with more comfort and ease. Try some soothing rituals as bedtime approaches such as drinking a cup of hot milk, taking a warm shower, reading a book, brushing your hair gently or getting your shoulder massaged.
To avoid heartburn, avoid reclining for an hour or two after a meal. If you have heartburn, elevate your head on pillows while sleeping. Also avoid fried, spicy or acidic foods such as tomatoes as they may aggravate your symptoms.
Take a Nap During the Day
Take a nap during the day to help reduce symptoms of fatigue. Find calm and quite spot and relax, even if it is only half an hour.
Use Pillow to Provide Support to Your Body
Use a regular pillow or a special pregnancy pillow to provide support to your body. For comfort, sleep on your side by keeping one pillow under your knee and another pillow under your belly.
Keep a Watch on Your Diet
To prevent insomnia completely, avoid alcohol and caffeine. If you are suffering from nausea, try eating bland snacks such as crackers frequently throughout the day. Nausea is prevented if you keep your stomach slightly full at all times. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. This is not only crucial for your health and your baby’s health but also for getting the recommended nutrients that will keep you satisfied sleep soundly.
See Your Doctor
If your trouble “feeling sleepy during pregnancy” persists for a long time even after following the above mentioned measures, see your doctor for proper advice. During pregnancy, it is important that you get proper rest that you need.