It is no surprise that pregnancy impacts your sleep. When you are pregnant, your entire bio-mechanism changes.
Regardless of the trimester, you’re currently in, pregnancy would have a profound effect on your sleep regime.
We can easily blame it on the hormonal changes which take place during pregnancy but there are a lot of other factors to consider.
The sleep issues you experience might vary based on how far you are into your pregnancy. This article explains why it happens and what you can do to get the rest you deserve.
What Roles Do Hormones Play?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy impact your sleep, mood, metabolism, and physical appearance. Inevitably, any sudden hormonal change will impact your pattern of sleep.
Progesterone, during pregnancy, relaxes your muscles. It could also end up stimulating a frequent sensation to urinate which disrupts sleep. It keeps you from going into REM Sleep.
Estrogen on the other hand could act as a vasodilator that stretches and enlarges your blood vessels. It can result in nasal congestions, heartburns, and swelling of limbs. All of which directly affects your sleep.
Prolactin that’s secreted during pregnancy pushes you into the ideal slow-wave sleep.
And finally, oxytocin is a major contributor to contractions. Its levels are most likely to spike during nights which may also lead to a higher chance of labour.
What Can You Expect In Each Trimester?
There is no general theme or graph that can accurately depict sleep changes during pregnancy. In most cases, it is highly erratic and not every mother would experience similar symptoms.
Pregnancy Sleep During First Trimester
The first 3 months or 12 weeks of your pregnancy is the first trimester. At the start, your average sleep time would increase during the nights. You’ll also tend to take frequent naps during the day.
At the end of your first trimester, this would start to deteriorate. You might experience frequent awakenings during the nights and reduced slow-wave sleep. It would take around 10 weeks for you to notice these symptoms.
Pregnancy Sleep During Second Trimester
The second trimester lasts about 4 weeks (Week 13 to 28). You’ll start to feel better in the beginning with less time spent awake during the nights after going to sleep.
The quality of your sleep would also improve noticeably. Although by the end of your second trimester, your sleep quality would drop again. You might also find yourself disturbed and awake during the nights.
Pregnancy Sleep During Third Trimester
You are almost close to delivery if you are in your third trimester. It starts at the end of your 7th month of pregnancy and lasts till you deliver the baby.
You’ll find it almost impossible to get into a deep sleep. You’ll most likely oscillate in between stage 1 or 2 sleep. The frequent naps you have during the day will have a significant impact on your overall sleep efficiency.
How Can You Improve Your Sleep During Pregnancy
The more you progress into your pregnancy, the more your body starts limiting you. You might find it difficult to sleep in the same position for long intervals after your second trimester.
Pregnancy impacts your sleep but there are certain sleep positions that can help you ease out.
If you can sense discomfort in your lower body and especially around your hips, try slipping a Cosee Cloud Ball Fiber Pillow or one of Sleepcosee's Jacquard Cushions in between your legs while you sleep. This will help you relieve the amniotic fluid pressure between your uterine walls.
You can also ensure optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava (IVC) by sleeping on your left. This is considered the “ideal” sleep position during pregnancy.
Though pregnancy impacts sleep, this article should have helped you realize that you aren’t alone. There are a lot of things you can do in the comfort of your home to make yourselves comfortable.
If you want to be sure about a particular sleep position or experience pain while sleeping on your stomach, consult a doctor as early as you can.