Many (endless?) questions come up when you become pregnant. One popular category: sleep. Questions arise – even fear. If there is something expecting parents are afraid of, (often unnecessarily), is that their life as sleeping creatures is over. Expecting mothers have the double amount of questions about sleep, as sleep-during-pregnancy is also a common concern. Do I need more sleep? How do you sleep when you have a huge stomach. And so on.
We have answered your questions here.
Answers to all your questions about sleep and pregnancy
Some people say that it’s difficult to sleep during pregnancy – why?
First of all – not everyone sleeps worse during pregnancy. Some even sleep better than usual. But it’s not unusual that it becomes more difficult to sleep. It’s due to a wide range of reasons.
1. The frequent need to pee.
As the fetus presses on the bladder you might need to pee more often and that wakes you up during the night.
During pregnancy, the calcium increases, due to the hormones. Calcium plays a central role in the muscle function. The increased calcium makes women more likely to have cramps, often in the calves.
3. Restless legs
Some pregnant women feel the need to constantly move their legs during the night. This might be triggered by rising estrogen levels or a lack of folic acid and iron. Tips to make this feeling go away is to do a lot of mental activities during the day, such as crossword puzzles, and maybe skip that last cup of coffee.
4. Intense dreams.
Pregnant women often have stronger, more intensive, and realistic dreams and nightmares, that can disturb your sleep and simply wake you up during the night.
Why do I feel so sleepy all the time?
A lot is going on with the hormones when pregnancy kicks in, affecting both your mood and your sleep. Progesterone and estrogen rise dramatically. The first one is what gives you all those mood swings, whilst the second gives you that amazing “pregnancy glow”. Of course, they also help your body cope and prepare for giving a new human life. On the other side, your blood pressure and blood sugar levels decrease, potentially leading to feelings of fatigue.
Do I need more sleep during pregnancy?
There is no straight answer to that question. Sleep is very individual. But if you feel the need to sleep more than usual, that’s probably the case. Your body is working harder than usual because it is creating a new human being. The heart is beating faster, a lot of new hormones are created, the kidneys are working hard and as the months pass, the body becomes heavier. So it’s no wonder that you need to sleep a few hours more than usual. But it’s also not strange to continue sleeping as usual.
According to a comprehensive study from 2015, which reviewed more than 300 existing studies, pregnant women may need two hours of sleep more than usual. But as said before, “may happen” = it does not apply to all.
Is it dangerous not to get enough sleep during pregnancy?
We all know the feeling after a sleepless night. The head’s aching, you feel all tired, lazy, and dull all the time. There’s a high level of crankiness and your body just won’t cope. Sometimes, sleep deprivation might affect the immune system and in that way increase the risk of catching a cold. But don’t worry, not getting enough sleep is not dangerous. Sleep allows the brain and body to slow down and engage in processes of recovery. However, the human body is designed in such a way that it can “catch up” the days after and treat you with even better and deeper sleep.
How many hours of sleep do I need?
How many hours of sleep you need per night is very individual. It depends on your typical sleep needs and habits, and also on the quality of the sleep. Usually, 7-9 hours per night is recommended for pregnant women. However, if you feel alert and have energy during the day, you’re probably getting enough sleep. Sometimes, you might wake up a few times in the middle of the night. Then you might feel the need to rest some more during the day after.
Can I sleep on my stomach? Or on my back?
At first, yes. As the pregnancy is getting longer, it becomes more difficult. Nowadays, it’s common that expecting mothers are advised to sleep on the left side. It optimizes the blood flow around the body and to the baby. It’s not harmful to sleep on the right side. Sleeping on the back, on the other hand, increases the risk of impaired blood supply to the fetus because blood vessels may end up getting squeezed. Pregnant women should not sleep on their backs, especially during the last months of pregnancy.
What can I do if I have sleep problems?
If you’re not getting enough sleep – there are many things you can do. To eat better, work out and have a good relax routine before bedtime can help. Otherwise, it’s also recommended to get a pregnancy pillow. This will help you sleep in a comfortable position, good for both you and the baby in the belly.
Get a good night’s sleep with Najell Pregnancy Pillow
Najell Pregnancy Pillow is not only the answer to your sleeping problems. It’s also designed to give you the optimal comfort when you’re sitting down, getting some rest, or just relaxing on the sofa.
Najell Pregnancy Pillow helps you keep your spine aligned by supporting your body. The adjustable functions and carefully developed design make it possible to get the support your body needs. By changing the firmness by tightening the knot you can adapt it to your shape. In that way, you get the ultimate support to your pregnant body and the pillow helps your neck, back, and legs to be in the right position. In that way, you can get a good night’s sleep with fewer aches and less back pain. Better sleep makes a better day.