Sleep Trimester Guide for Pregnancy: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Trimester
Last Updated on September 24, 2023
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I. First Trimester
II. Second Trimester
III. Third Trimester
I. First Trimester
A first-time pregnant woman can be hit hard with the seemingly endless exhaustion she can feel. Even though the belly may not look pregnant yet, baby is already tiring out mom. The huge rise in progesterone levels, caused by pregnancy, allow for the placenta to grow and for the baby to receive necessary nutrients. As metabolic changes occur mommy will be craving more calories to feed the energy the baby is using for growth.
Feeling endlessly tired with aches and pains you have not experienced before, as well as sudden urges to escape to the bathroom, are what greets you when you enter the first trimester.
You will find yourself falling into bed for earlier sleep times to crave the rest that the baby is asking for. Try to schedule some naps during the day to help to keep you going until bedtime. Even if it is to just catch a quick rest during lunchtime. Stay away from napping too late in the afternoon as this could have adverse effects when it comes to trying to fall asleep at bedtime.
Getting a bit of early exercise into your schedule can help encourage better sleep. Just make sure to keep the workout to morning or afternoon as an evening of exercise may cause unwanted insomnia.
With the rise in progesterone, coupled with a growing baby that puts pressure on the bladder, you will find that you may be running to the bathroom for constant pee breaks. This can be a sleep interrupter too as you learn how to find comfortable positions that may prevent less pressure on the bladder. Try to cut down the fluids a few hours before bedtime to help curb bathroom sprints.
New Body Pain
Suddenly your breast may become swollen and painful to the touch as they prepare for motherhood. Pregnancy can also cause pelvic cramping similar to a period. These new pains can affect sleep as you attempt to find relief without increasing discomfort. Hugging a pillow can keep arms from falling on tender breasts and help you stay asleep.
Dreaded morning sickness is not just for daybreak. Nausea can hit mommy morning, noon, and night. Keep some saltine crackers next to the bed to grab a bite if feeling sick awakens you. Just one or two crackers can help to curb the nausea.
With a new pregnancy brings new stress worrying about yourself and baby. Stress has a habit of waking one up. Keep a notebook next to the bed so if stressful thoughts interrupt your sleep you can write them down to deal with in the morning and help you get back to dreamland.
II. Second Trimester
By the middle trimester, you are getting used to a growing belly and all the “fun”that comes with pregnancy – including sleep disturbances. This is the trimester that a woman may be able to catch some z’s with a bit more ease as the body’s hormonal changes settle into a rhythm and the need for bathroom time is reduced.
In the second trimester, the nausea usually will calm but could be replaced with heartburn. With the baby growing it will tend to start putting pressure on the stomach causing acid to back up into the esophagus This is known as acid reflux and lying down can create even more of a burning feeling that can disturb sleep.
If this occurs try relaxing in a reclining position, with head raised, to sleep. You will also want to stay away from ingesting items that can aggravate heartburn such as: spicy, fried, acidic, and caffeine.
This is the time that legs can begin cramping as you are attempting to get comfortable in bed. A leg cramp could seemingly wake you for no reason. Try to relax your leg and hold it out straight as you push your heel out and point your toes in towards your head. This will stretch your calf out and help to end the cramp.
If cramping seems to be constant and getting worse then be sure to cut out any bubbly drinks. The phosphorous in these beverages has an impact on the quantity of calcium that the body can metabolize. With this in mind, be sure to add more calcium to your diet. Dairy and dark green leafy veggies are great sources of calcium.
Dreams are a manifestation of our daily thoughts and concerns. As it gets closer to birth mommy will be getting more nervous and this can have an impact on sleep by activating intense dreams. Do not worry if wake from a dream about losing your baby – you are not alone as this is a very common dream for many moms-to-be. Take some deep breaths and try to relax to put yourself back into a peaceful slumber.
III. Third Trimester
The third trimester is the home stretch. Your body is getting fully prepared for the moment of birth and you now have a baby inside of you seemingly kicking and screaming, and even hiccupping, to get out. Be prepared to wake an average of two to three times a night, or even more. As the tot is now squishing all your organs, and putting plenty of pressure on your bladder, be prepared for bathroom wakeup calls, and struggling to get comfortable.
Pain in the Back
As the baby takes over the pressure on the lower back can cause waking pain. Be sure to sleep on your left side to remove pressure off your back. This sleeping position is also good for baby’s circulation. Try different types of pillows to support the belly, back, and legs. Upon rising do some stretching exercises that will help relax any pain.
More Pee Time!
It’s back! The dreaded waking trips to the bathroom will now return in full force as baby grows and drops to prepare for birth putting even more compression on your bladder. Try to cut fluid intake out at least two hours before sleep time. When peeing lift that baby belly up to let your bladder empty as much as possible.
No, this does not mean you will be running in your sleep. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) affects approximately 20-percent of pregnant women. RLS can feel like bugs crawling on the legs that you need to shake off. You can help this problem by adding iron and folate rich foods to your diet. Be sure to also cut out iron and folate stealing caffeine. You may also want to take a short walk before bedtime to help curb RLS.
As you experience weight gain you may face vascular congestion that obstruct the nasal passages. This can influence getting breaths through the airway, which, in turn, can lead to snoring. A few women may have the snoring nightmare lead to obstructive sleep apnea, where the breathing can actually-stop for 10, or more, seconds. This problem can add risk with preeclampsia and a baby that is low-birth weight.
For intense snoring problems, it is vital to consult a health professional. For sleep apnea, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine may be what the doctor orders. The CPAP will help to keep airways open to make sure that both mom and baby are getting sufficient oxygen to help you sleep peacefully.
Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More