During pregnancy, it is recommended that you aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, the amount of sleep needed may vary depending on individual factors, such as activity level, stress levels, and overall health.
Experts recommend sleeping soundly during this time as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. You should make it a point to store up energy reserves for the third trimester, which is more taxing. It can be beneficial to use this trimester to rest and prepare for the baby’s arrival.
What disturbs my sleep at night?
Feeling exhausted is a common pregnancy symptom. Often mothers do not get the required amount of sleep due to fluctuating hormones, changes in the body, and emotional shifts. Some other hurdles that can come between you and restful night is your growing belly, pressure on the diaphragm, increased urinary frequency, acid reflux and restless legs syndrome (RLS). All of this disrupts the body’s regular sleep and wake cycles resulting in daytime drowsiness and increasing fatigue.
Why is lack of sleep unhealthy during pregnancy?
It is unhealthy for moms-to-be suffer from lack of sleep. Mothers who are sleep deprived during pregnancy may have higher risks of developing pregnancy complications. These include –
- Higher rate of preterm birth
- Longer labor
- Low birth weight
- Likelihood of caesarean section
- Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes or a form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women
- Postpartum depression or type of depression that happens after giving birth
What can I do to sleep comfortably?
- Avoid large meals – Don’t eat large meals and fried, spicy, or acidic foods. These foods can trigger heartburn.
- Avoid lying down after eating – Stay upright for at least two hours after eating. It prevents acid reflux giving rise to stomach acid or bile and burning pain in the chest.
- Cut down on caffeine – Avoid tea, coffee or cola drinks in the evening, as the caffeine can make it harder to go to sleep.
- Have fixed time for sleeping – Go to bed and getting up at the same time each day improves sleep health. The body starts responding to the routine.
- Daily exercise – Keep active. Regular physical activity during pregnancy might help you fall asleep more easily.
- Electronic devices – Limit use of electronic devices before sleep. It could be detrimental to foetal brain development and may result in behavioural issues.
- Yoga and meditation – These relaxing techniques ease your mind and body and promote sound sleep.
- Deep breathing – Breathing deeply and rhythmically can ease muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and help you fall asleep faster.
- Comforting bedroom – Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool at night will help to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.
It is important to prioritize getting enough sleep during pregnancy, as sleep plays a crucial role in both your and the baby’s health. If you are having difficulty sleeping during pregnancy, consult your doctor who could help you improve your sleep quality with relaxation techniques or medications that are safe for use during pregnancy.