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When you get pregnant, it is common to hear that you will need plenty of rest because once the baby comes, you’ll have a bounty of sleepless nights. But, most women don’t need this excuse to take a nap, their pregnant bodies are quite keen on taking a nap anytime, anywhere. Excessive daytime sleeping can be attributed to pregnancy hormones, but it is possible for some pregnant women not to get good sleep as well. Hormonal and body changes also make it difficult for pregnant women to get undisturbed sleep, leaving them more tired and stressed. It is essential at this time for pregnant women to stay rested and relaxed so that their baby can develop well.
Why Do You Feel Very Tired And Sleepy during Pregnancy?
Your body’s metabolism changes very rapidly during pregnancy causing fatigue. Your body also starts releasing progesterone hormones to maintain the pregnancy and regulate the reproductive cycle in the body. This very hormone is also responsible for inducing excessive sleep and fatigue during pregnancy. Due to the exertion caused by constant hormonal changes, feeling sleepy all day during pregnancy is to be expected.
Why You May Not Be Able to Sleep When Pregnant
Just as sleeping a lot during third pregnancy trimester and the other two trimester is possible, it is also possible that the hormonal changes in your body prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep as well. In this way, pregnancy can be a double-edged sword and here are some of the reasons why:
1. Physical Discomfort
Your body stretches and expands externally due to all the changes going on within. Your belly is bigger than ever, and your hormones are continually functioning, causing rapid internal changes. All these culminate into you not being able to rest well and find a comfortable position to sleep at night. Pair this with the need to pee and the morning sickness, and sleep can be quite challenging to come by.
2. Sleep Apnea
The hormones in the body also affect the muscles and cause you to snore, especially if you are obese. Women with higher BMI are more prone to develop sleep apnea during pregnancy. Sleep Apnea is characterised by shallow, heavy breathing and inconsistent pauses in your breathing during sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, your baby could be at risk of a lowered heart rate, preterm birth, and lower weight.
3. Nocturnal acid reflux
While acid reflux is thought to be a common symptom of pregnancy, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), does more than harm your sleep. Heartburn, as it is commonly known, which tends to happen in the night, can also damage the walls of your oesophagus.
Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster, and with so much information available out there, it is easy to fixate on something and be stressed. Pregnant women often find themselves worried about their baby and face insomnia. This is especially true of women who are pregnant for the first time.
How Much Sleep is Recommended during Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, you will need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day, along with a few short naps throughout the day. This may be more during the first trimester when the level of progesterone in your body is at its highest and makes you feel lethargic all the time. You may want to get as much sleep as possible whenever you can because although the lethargy abates in the second and third trimester, other problems like an enlarged belly and the need to urinate often can make sleep difficult.
Excessive sleeping is not out of the norm during pregnancy. But getting undisturbed sleep may be quite a hassle. If you have trouble sleeping, you can try a few tips to get a good sleep. To begin with, always sleep on your left side. You can try putting some pillows between your knees and behind your back to get some support. Ensure that you follow a routine; clock your sleeping and waking time. Drink water or any fluids in the first part of the day, so that you won’t have to wake up often to urinate. It also doesn’t hurt to take as many naps as possible.