One of the most perceived symptoms from the beginning of pregnancy is sleep when you are pregnant. What is the reason we feel so tired? Our eyes are closed! But like all the changes that happen during this stage, it has a curious reason.
Drowsiness during pregnancy
During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone increase, and your metabolism is at a high level, which can cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue. If you work or have other children to take care of, this can be a big problem, as it is difficult to control the desire to lie down for a while and sleep soundly.
“During pregnancy, the metabolism increases, and the body stores cholesterol, glucose, etc. Yes, there is some tiredness and sleep. This is because the metabolism is saving resources. That, coupled with the hormone progesterone, which also increases in levels, makes you feel sleepy,” explains gynecologist Susana Haquet Santana, academic of the Department of Embryology and Genetics of the Faculty of Medicine, UNAM.
During the first trimester, things are like this. You will be more eager to sleep than usual, which is normal. You will feel tired while watching how your body transforms to protect and promote your baby’s development.
The placenta, the organ that nourishes the baby throughout his growth, is forming. Your body is making more blood; your heart is beating faster. All of you is preparing to give life.
What can we do? Be patient. Drink water to cool down. When you can’t anymore, get up and take a walk. Eat well and take your vitamins. Sleep during pregnancy is normal, but if you are underweight, one of the main symptoms of anemia is an increased feeling of tiredness and fatigue. The consumption of iron-rich foods is highly recommended: green leafy vegetables, oily nuts, and fruits with vitamin C. Preferably whole, not in juice.
Later, things change. Tiredness doesn’t go away, but it will be hard for some moms to fall asleep. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different, so there are no rules.
Trouble sleeping during pregnancy
According to the Mayo Clinic, typical symptoms during pregnancy could disturb sleep. For example:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Need to urinate often
- Physical discomfort (tender breasts, back pain, leg cramps, heartburn, itching, shortness of breath, restless leg syndrome)
- Fetal movement
- Anxiety about labor and delivery
- Sleep disorders
What can you do to sleep well?
From the beginning, it is a good idea to get used to sleeping on your side (preferably on the left side, with your legs bent). This is the most comfortable position as the pregnancy progresses. You can experiment with different pillows. Many women find it helpful to put one under the abdomen or between the legs. There are pillows for pregnant women, too.
Take care of your diet. Minimize caffeinated beverages, colas, coffee, and tea. Many doctors recommend having a bigger breakfast and lunch and a lighter dinner at night, but make sure you’re getting enough nutrients. Drink enough water during the day and less when you are about to sleep. It would help if you also tried to eat the amount indicated by your doctor.
Lastly, always consult your specialist. He can help you specifically with your case.
Translated by: Liga M. Oliver Manrique de Lara
Spanish version: Here