This post is submitted by Squaberry.
Growing from two to a trio? Get ready to welcome the most amazing and life-changing experience of your life. Pregnancy is probably the only time in a woman’s life when she goes through an emotional roller coaster over a short span of 9 months. While you prepare yourself for nausea, morning sickness, mood swings and indigestion, your biggest concern would be getting restorative sleep during these months.
While we all long for shiny hair and glow on the skin, pregnancy is anything but a bed of roses. Amidst all the excitement, nervousness, depression and discomfort, you will mostly find yourself sleepy at all times. This would be surprising because you’ll be sleeping more than usual and yet will end up feeling tired. Puzzled as you may be, here is everything you need to know about sleeping during pregnancy.
So what’s the best sleeping position?
Your sleeping position has a key role to play when it comes to enjoying a comfortable sleep throughout the night. Basically, your sleep is affected by the hormonal changes your body goes through and your endless trips to the washroom during the night. Finding a comfortable position amidst all of this is a real challenge.
According to medical science, throughout pregnancy, sleeping on the side, especially to the left is the ideal sleeping position. This is because as your uterus grows in size pressure is exerted on the liver. In order to alleviate pressure off the liver, and to facilitate blood flow to the fetus, sleeping on the left is recommended. This position also ensures smooth oxygen and nutrient flow to the fetus. Although many experts and gynecologists prefer that expecting women sleep on the left side, sleeping to the right is also favorable.
The first trimester is marked by the increased levels of progesterone. An increased progesterone means increased urination along with increased sleepiness. This is because your blood volume increases by 50% which, in turn, increases urination by a good 50% too. Pregnant women also experience severe heartburn in the beginning, which gets worse if you eat something spicy mistakenly. In order to prevent heartburn, avoid having spicy foods which goes without saying.
Since avoiding anything you like becomes all the harder with pregnancy cravings, try and eat at least an hour before going to bed. Over the counter, antacids are also pretty effective when it comes to curing heartburn. Lastly, keep blood sugar levels under control during your pregnancy. Although every pregnancy is different, it is recommended that you take small meals and breaks between your meals, instead of eating too much at once. Since your belly won’t have grown much, you can always sleep on your back or your stomach.
However, since that interrupts the oxygen and nutrients supply to the fetus, it is not recommended by doctors.
There is only one rule when it comes to sleeping in your second trimester: Enjoy while it lasts. As your belly grows bigger, so does the discomfort. Since the fetus will be pressing against your stomach, the chances of acid reflux increase. While you were able to enjoy sleep on your back or sides, adjusting with the size will now be a serious problem. Lack of sleep eventually makes you feel worn out and out of energy and also has a magnifying impact on your mood swings.
The second and third trimester is when you could get your hands on a pregnancy pillow. According to vjpillow.com experts, pregnancy pillows alleviate pain and pressure and let your aching body unwind. By cushioning you from head to toe, these pillows give you the perfect loft and comfort you long for. Pregnancy pillows are available in a wide range of variety, which you can choose from, according to your suitability.
Though sleeping issues in pregnancy cannot be confined to a certain trimester and carry on throughout the whole pregnancy, some issues gain severity during a particular period while other symptoms diminish. As the delivery days get closer, it is natural for expecting mothers to feel all the more anxious, which causes lucid dreams during the night. While it gets hard to exercise as much as you could in the first trimester, you can always go for a walk or do yoga. Exercising releases serotonin that relieves stress and depression. This can free you from the lucid dreams.
Another issue faced by women in the last trimester is the Restless Legs Syndrome, characterized by a tingling sensation in legs and feet. This keeps them restless through the night and interferes with their sleep cycle. Getting a daily legs massage could help you quite a bit with the tingling feeling.
Other Tips to Enjoy a Sound Sleep in Pregnancy
Pregnancy insomnia is experienced by millions of women across the world. This is attributed to numerous reasons as mentioned above in the article. A healthier lifestyle needs to be adopted in general to enjoy a sound sleep during pregnancy. These few tips may help:
As far as your routine is concerned, don’t go to sleep right after you’ve had your meal. This can increase the occurrence of acid reflux. Similarly, intake of fizzy drinks must be reduced as much as possible, preferably to zero.
Meditation is a must to get rid of all the negative energy. Getting up in the morning and going for a walk improves blood circulation for you and the fetus. Contrary to popular belief of avoiding physical movement as much as possible, going for a morning walk is extremely beneficial. This may even ease labor pain in the long run.
Avoid stressful situations as much as you can and look for simple stress relief activities that can be done during the day. This may involve simple things such as coloring, getting organized, listening to music or massaging certain points of your body.
Maternity bands should make it to the top of your maternity shopping list. These bands are worn on the waist and above, which avoids strain on the back, thus making you feel less tired at sleep time. Investing in a pregnancy pillow will also improve your sleep quality considerably.