You’re exhausted, but your expecting body conspires at every turn to thwart your sleep. Here are the top tips for getting in more shuteye when you need it most.
The first trimester hits you hard with fatigue, thanks to the dramatic increase in sleep-inducing hormone progesterone, as well as a ramping-up of metabolic processes. To get in some extra Zz’s, adjust your schedule to accommodate a nap—if you can; and even if it’s on the floor of your office, or in your car.
“It’s best to nap between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; otherwise you’ll have trouble falling asleep at night,” says OBGYN Teresa Ann Hoffman, M.D. “And take one or even two 30-minute catnaps rather than one long, two-hour sleep.”
Somewhat counterintuitively, exercise is a great remedy for lethargy, and also promotes more restful sleep. Just avoid workouts late at night, as these will have the opposite effect: insomnia.
Nocturnal visits to the loo disturbing your slumber? Put an embargo on fluids after 6pm. (And keep caffeinated drinks for the morning only.)
Heartburn is another perk of pregnancy that can keep you up all hours. Towards the end of the second trimester, it’s your growing baby that can scrunch up things inside, forcing stomach acids to travel back up your oesophagus; but eating too late and too much in the evening can exacerbate the problem, too. Stay upright for at least four hours prior to bedding down, and make dinner your lightest meal of the day for easier digestion.
When your bump gets in the way of proper shuteye, invest in a body pillow. Pregnancy body pillows support both bump and back—excellent to cuddle (and bonus, they don’t snore).
Finally, anxieties over impending parenthood can lead to crazy dreams—or just staying awake all night. The key is to try tackle a bit each day of your to-do list, so that you feel some sense of control over things and can assuage that super-intense nesting instinct.