Women feel very tired during pregnancy, especially during their first trimester, and necessitate more sleep than before. The early pregnancy symptoms like drowsiness, anxiety, nausea, heartburn, midnight toilet trips, indigestion, and even restless leg syndrome (RLS) may affect the sleep patterns.
However, a few lifestyle tweaks can recover your first-trimester sleep to make you sleep like a baby.
You will feel very sleepy early in your pregnancy particularly during the day. The rise of progesterone hormone brings about this sudden change in sleep patterns. This hormone regulates the woman’s reproductive cycle making you drowsy. The thermogenic (heat producing) and soporific effects of progesterone lead to fatigue and early sleep onset, and make you exhausted, giving the false notion of a flu.
2. Stress and anxiety:
The first-trimester pregnancy is a combination of surprises and excitement, especially for first-time moms. While adjusting to the physical and mental changes, a few women may feel great, and others awful. A study on first-time moms vs experienced moms showed that the experienced women had an extra 45 minutes to one hour of sleep every night.
Progesterone hormone shows relaxing effects on everything in your body. It also relaxes the smooth muscles that are opening into your stomach from the esophagus. It, therefore, allows stomach contents and acids flow back into your esophagus, causing indigestion after your meal, disrupting your sleep post dinner.
Best Sleeping Positions during First Trimester
How can you get that precious sleep while experiencing all the above issues that disrupt your sleep?
1. Sleeping On Side (SOS):
Lying on the side is far better than sleeping on your front or back. But the best sleeping situation is on the left side. Sleeping on the right can develop pressure on the liver and your doctor will ask you to avoid that. Left would be the best position as it avoids the growing uterus from exerting pressure on the liver, allowing the fetus to get enough oxygen and nutrients via the placenta. It also improves blood circulation and reduces the energy spent in drawing the optimal blood flow for both mother and baby.
You can alternate your position to the right if you may not like sleeping on the left for a long time. You should feel free to alternate from one side to another, but make sure you do not sleep on the right for a long time.
2. Sleeping On Back:
In the initial stages of pregnancy, you can choose to sleep on the back if you are used to that position. However, as the pregnancy advances, you should avoid lying flat on your back. It is because the growing uterus exerts pressure on your back muscles, spine, major blood vessels, which therefore alter the blood flow in your body and baby.
Sleeping on the back will also give you muscle pains, swelling, and hemorrhoids. The position can reason a drop in the blood pressure levels, which may lead to dizziness. For some women, it can reason an elevation in the blood pressure and may lead to snoring and eventually sleep apnea.