Trimester-by-trimester: Guide to Sleep

Pregnancy brings a lot of unexpected surprises, but perhaps one of the least welcome is a disruption to your sleep schedule. Being pregnant is exhausting, so why are you lying awake counting sheep at a time when you need sleep the most? Rest assured that you're not alone. Many mums-to-be have trouble falling – and staying – asleep while pregnant due to the hormonal changes and physical discomfort of carrying a baby. While it's frustrating, experts say the situation is fixable, and since your new baby's health depends on your health, the more sleep you get during your pregnancy, the better! Read on for a pregnancy tip for each trimester that will help you to get the rest you need.

Sleeping During the First Trimester

During the first few months of your pregnancy, you may notice that you need to urinate more often in the middle of the night. This is normal, but to prevent the number of trips to the bathroom, avoid drinking too many fluids in the evenings. Just make sure that you drink plenty of water during the day to make up for this. Stress can also keep new mums-to-be awake, so if you're worried about your new pregnancy, try keeping a journal next to your bed and jot down your worries before you go to sleep. The act of writing them down may help to alleviate your stress enough for you to fall asleep.

Sleeping During the Second Trimester

Many mums-to-be find that their sleep improves during the second trimester as the need to urinate decreases. However, your changing body shape may present some sleep problems. As your baby grows, you'll find that sleeping on your side with your knees bent may be the most comfortable position. While strategically placed pillows can help keep you in this side position, don't worry if you roll over onto your back in the middle of the night – it's one of those parts of pregnancy that you can't control.

Sleeping During the Third Trimester

During the last trimester of your pregnancy, the need to urinate frequently often returns – along with heartburn, leg cramps and discomfort due to your expanding belly. To help prepare your body for sleep, do something relaxing before you head to bed, such as taking a warm bath for 15 minutes. Getting into a regular bedtime routine can also help your body to shut down for a good night's sleep. While it might be tempting to work into the night getting ready for your new baby, remember to put your needs first. The nursery decorations can wait until the morning! If you find a bedtime routine that works for you, be sure to stick to it. While it is possible to get a good night's sleep while pregnant, you'll find that it isn't as easy once you have a new baby in the house, so stock up on your shut-eye now!

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