Healthy and Fit Pregnancy
How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?


How are you sleeping nowadays, Mom? Sleep and rest are a must, especially now that you have a baby growing in your womb. However, sleep may not come easy these days as your body goes on a hormonal overdrive. Read on to understand what’s going on and check out how you can get enough sleep throughout your every trimester:

First trimester sleep
The first trimester can be considered the adjustment period to the changes happening inside you. Along with the emotional and mental rollercoaster, there’s the physical discomfort, nausea, and the sudden heat-producing, sleep-inducing flood of hormones that adds to the feelings of fatigue. Let’s not forget the frequent, urgent trips to the toilet as the growing weight of the uterus compresses the bladder. You keep waking up at night, interrupting precious sleep.

How to survive:

  • Schedule and prioritize sleep during your daily routine.
  • Hoard daytime naps—on lunch breaks or in the car while it’s traffic.
  • Drink a lot of fluids during the day, but cut down before sleeping at night to lessen waking up to pee.
  • For nausea and vomiting, cut down on spicy foods and avoid known triggers. Have crackers handy for a queasy stomach.

Second trimester sleep
Moms usually get a break now with the hormone flood levelling off, nausea disappearing, and less bathroom emergencies happening at night since the uterus moves up and relieves pressure from the bladder.  With more energy coming in, don’t try to do more things though. It’s better if you just relax, enjoy the time, and go on getting as much sleep as possible. After all, you are now prone to heartburn since your diaphragm is getting cramped and other internal organs are getting displaced. Nightmares could also be more frequent and realistic. So you may not be waking up to pee anymore, but sleep could still be disturbed by gas or vivid dreams.

How to survive:

  • To avoid heartburn, keep away from spicy, acidic, or fried foods. Sleep with your head elevated by pillows.
  • Eat small frequent meals throughout the day instead of three full meals.
  • Keep sleeping and try to get as much as eight hours a night.
  • In bed, lie on your side with your knees and hips bent. Put pillows between your knees, under your tummy, and behind your back to help take pressure off your lower back.
  • If nightmares or dreams are disturbing you too much, talk to a therapist or counselor about your anxieties.

Third trimester sleep
The home stretch is also the most sleep-deprived stage of pregnancy. Back with a vengeance, exhaustion seems doubled with frequently disturbed night sleep because of the need to pee, vivid dreams, general feeling of discomfort, and the baby kicking up a storm. It’s also getting more difficult to breathe sometimes from the extra weight. There’s also back pain, muscle aches, leg cramps, Restless Legs Syndrome, and snoring from the compression of various organs, veins and nerves, loosening joints, and softening bones. All this while trying to keep up with the daily routine is really tiring.

How to survive:

  • Using a long “pregnancy” pillow could help you sleep.
  • To avoid leg cramps, skip carbonated sodas and drinks.
  • If you are snoring or have swollen ankles and headaches, get your blood pressure and urine protein checked.
  • If you have Restless Legs Syndrome, talk to your doctor about iron deficiency.
  • Don’t force yourself to sleep. Relax, get up, and do something or take a warm bath.
  • If you get leg cramps, straighten your leg and flex your foot upwards. Do this a few times before going to bed to help avoid cramps.

Just remember that resting is as important to you as it is to your baby’s growth and development. Try keeping as relaxed as possible when it’s near to bedtime, and maybe, you could also try the classic technique of drinking a warm glass of milk to help you sleep! After all, you need calcium now more than ever.

Photo credits:

Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

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