How much sleep does a pregnant woman need?

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pregnancy sleep

Sleep is vital for a pregnant woman in her first trimester or second trimester or even third trimester. Even though, as you advance in pregnancy, quality sleep can become more difficult for several reasons. In the first weeks of pregnancy, sleep can be something that comes easily because the pregnancy hormones can make you feel sleepy often, sleep long hours in the morning, and find yourself sleeping up to twelve hours. There is nothing wrong with sleeping that much; you are only pregnant. And sleeping that long is good for you and your new forming fetus in the womb.

While your body needs all the rest it can get to do all that work, remember to stand up and do some exercises and eat a healthy and good amount of food.

How much sleep do you need as a pregnant woman?

A pregnant woman needs eight to ten hours of night sleep and one to two hours of naps during the day. Even though daily career and household activities and discomfort could affect the number of hours a pregnant woman can get restful sleep. She must prioritize her sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to some pregnancy complications.

Why does a pregnant woman need much sleep?

A pregnant woman needs much sleep because 

  1. Sleep deprivation causes serious pregnancy complications, which are usually life-threatening to the mother and baby. Some of these complications are; 
    • Preeclampsia
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Difficult labor and delivery
  2. Poor sleep can cause a fetus’s developmental problems, as poor sleep could cause a short supply of oxygen to the baby. This can put the baby’s life in danger or cause a developmental setback. It has also been shown that sleep deprivation in a pregnant mother can cause behavioral alterations in the fetus.
  3. Sleep deprivation at the various stages of pregnancy can lead to antenatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, and problems with learning and memory.

What are the causes of sleep deprivation?

Pregnancy itself can be exhausting, and as you advance in pregnancy, sleep can become more difficult. Factors that can affect sleep in pregnancy are

  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Heartburn
  • Backache
  • Leg cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The heat caused by increased blood volume and pregnancy hormones.
  • Uncomfortable sleeping position.

How do you prevent sleep deprivation?

  1. Avoid or reduce stress. Stress cannot only cause you loss of quality sleep, but it also is not healthy for you and the baby. Stress could cause an increase in blood pressure.
  2. Avoid acidic or gaseous food and food that can cause you heartburn and acid reflux and upset your stomach, causing you discomfort and inability to sleep.
  3. Get a good quality massage. Massage is good for you. Massage will relax your nerves and muscles, help with backaches and waist aches, and give you a good sleep. You can get professional masus, visit a spa to get a massage or ask your significant other to massage your body with oils used for that purpose.
  4. Get pillows to support your back, pregnancy bump, place in between your legs, and support your head to have an enjoyable sleep.
  5. Air conditioner, air cooler, or rechargeable standing fan will help take care of the matter of heat. As much as possible, let your living space have cross ventilation. Consider this when choosing an apartment.
  6. Visit the doctor if you have terrible nausea and vomiting, and you see that you can hardly keep anything in your stomach. If your nausea can be helped by chewing gum, then always keep gum close by. Avoid things that trigger your nausea as much as possible. Avoid taking black tea, green tea, and coffee in your first trimester. These options might help nausea and vomiting but endanger the fetus and cause an abortion.
  7. Choose sleep positions healthy for the pregnancy. 

For best sleep positions during pregnancy, check our published article on that to get more information.  

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