One of the most common laments of the pregnant woman is the unceasing feeling of exhaustion, and for many women, the inability to get enough sleep. This is most prevalent in the first trimester when your body is first undergoing all the varied changes of hosting a new baby, and during the last trimester, when the extra weight can really slow you down and make simple movements difficult, like picking up the grape that dropped and rolled under the kitchen table (the unprecedented level of clumsiness is another story altogether).
According to sleep expert Mary O’Mally, there are a few reasons why you need extra sleep during pregnancy. Growing a healthy baby takes lots of energy. Your heart works four or five times harder than usual just to keep an adequate supply of blood flowing in your body and your baby’s. (That’s why your resting heart rate may be quite fast by the
third trimester.) Your kidneys are also working overtime to expel waste, and your muscles are straining to support your increasing girth.
A surge in the hormone progesterone also contributes to your
fatigue. An increase in this sleep-inducing hormone may be your body’s way of letting you know that you simply need more sleep than usual! So if you are feeling like you just aren’t getting the rest you need, here are a few helpful tips from BabyCenter:
1. Go to bed! Easier said than done, but the dishes can sit in the sink overnight while you sleep. Napping during the day, even a short power nap, can make a difference.
2. Adjust and prioritize: Don’t start any new projects if they can wait. Get a babysitter to take the kids out to the park for the afternoon. Have your friend pick up coffee and meet at your place, instead of shelpping out to meet her at the coffee shop. Anything that makes your life easier is a good thing!
3. Fill up on healthy foods!Although your body needs about 300 extra calories to feed that growing baby, don’t fill up on junk food. Sugar and fats will sap your energy. You know what to do… whole grains, fruits, veges, protein… and stay hydrated with lots of water.
4. Take a hike… Or better yet, just a short walk around the block. Moderate exercise will energize you and keep you in shape. Although it takes a extra burst of energy to get off your chair, once you’ve stretched a bit you’ll feel much better!