Pregnancy and sleep
During pregnancy, your experience as a mother-to-be is sure to be full of energetic excitement but there will be other times, too, when pregnancy fatigue and disruption to your regular sleep patterns wreak havoc on your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Thanks to the rise in gonadal steroid hormones during the first trimester and the added physical discomfort from being pregnant, such as heartburn, leg cramps and foetal movements that can come with carrying around your developing baby in the second and third trimesters, it’s natural that a good night's sleep may be a casualty.
Some studies show that reports of the frequency of altered sleep patterns during pregnancy range from 13% to 80% in the first trimester and increase to 66% to 97% by the third trimester.
Adding to that physical discomfort are emotional changes, too - mood swings, anxiety about your impending role as parent and added pressure on the relationship with your partner or husband also play a part.
Unfortunately, many pregnant women who are suffering poor sleep simply resign themselves to it as though it is an expected part of the pregnancy experience, without exploring ways that may help restore their energy in a positive way.
Relieve Your Stress
For some women, meditation and yoga can be great tools to aid relaxation and become calmly blissed-out by bedtime. For others, a deep, warm bath may help wash away the stresses of the day. Even just taking a little time out for you - treating yourself to a pedicure, reading a magazine in a quiet, cosy spot with a cup of herbal tea (and no mobile phone), or catching up with a close friend for some great conversation and laughter - can help. Exercising late in the day (be sure to exercise safely, depending on your individual health needs and the stage of your pregnancy) may also help give you a better night's sleep.
Avoid late night snacks and drinks - fewer trips to the toilet during the night will give you more time to sleep peacefully.
This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot. Sources include the University of Technology, Sydney