Getting exhausted during pregnancy is quite normal. While many expecting mothers find it hard to sleep during pregnancy, many mothers start sleeping a lot during pregnancy. Is excessive sleeping during pregnancy is all right? This article will help to shed some light on this topic.
Is It Normal To Sleep A Lot During Pregnancy?
The life growing inside will extract lots of energy from the mother. Moreover, many organ systems of the mother are overworking to support the growing fetus. Therefore feeling extreme fatigue and sleeping more than usual during pregnancy is quite normal. However, oversleep while pregnant is something the expecting mother should try to avoid.
Pregnancy’s first trimester is marked by various changes in the body. During this phase, the body has to work more to protect and nurture the budding life. Women who used to sleep around 6 hours at night are often found to sleep double the time during the first weeks of pregnancy.
Excessive sleeping during pregnancy second trimester, however, is not common among expecting mothers. The second trimester is supposed to be the “honeymoon period” of the pregnancy. It is believed to be the easiest and the most comfortable of the three trimesters.
By this time the body gets adjusted to the hormonal fluctuation and the ill effects of morning sickness get vanished. As a result, more often the expecting women experience an increase in their energy level during this stage.
Extreme fatigue will return once you enter the third trimester. Excessive sleeping during pregnancy third trimester more often happens due to the tension of impending labor that takes a toll on the emotion of the mother. Excessive daytime sleepiness is found in many expecting mothers.
Causes Of Oversleeping During Pregnancy
Extreme tiredness in early pregnancy is the primary cause of oversleeping during the first trimester. Also, the blood volume and progesterone levels increase during the first trimester. These two are contributing factors to excessive sleeping during pregnancy.
Jotting down the main causes of oversleeping during pregnancy
1. Hormonal changes
The basic culprit of the majority of issues that arise during pregnancy is the surge of pregnancy hormones. One of the major causes of excessive sleeping during pregnancy is the heightening of the pregnancy hormone progesterone.
This hormone can potentially induce excessive sleep and fatigue during pregnancy. Also, expecting mothers are subjected to constant hormonal changes throughout pregnancy. This can be one of the reasons for constantly feeling sleepy during pregnancy.
2. Fluctuation in blood pressure and blood sugar
During pregnancy, it is not rare to experience a drop in blood pressure. Pregnancy hormones dilate the blood vessels. The blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy and the blood vessels need to dilate to accommodate this increased blood volume.
However, this sudden expansion of blood vessels causes low blood pressure. Similarly, gestational diabetes and many lifestyle factors like skipping meals and too much exercise (mothers anxious about putting on weight often do this), severe morning sickness, etc can result in low blood sugar.
Related Reading: 11 Symptoms Of Not Eating Enough While Pregnant
Both low blood pressure and low blood sugar can potentially lead to fatigue and excessive sleeping during pregnancy.
3. Sleep deprivation
Pregnancy-related discomforts may adversely affect the quality of sleep. Many factors trigger sleep deprivation during pregnancy. When the expecting woman won’t get enough sleep, she is more likely to experience excessive sleepiness the next day.
How Many Hours Should A Pregnant Woman Sleep?
Sleeping is a lot more difficult when you are pregnant. You may keep waking up in the middle of the night. It may be difficult to find a comfortable position. The need to use the loo frequently will have you at an edge.
You will require more sleep, but may not have enough time for it due to daytime responsibilities – like work and household chores– causing exhaustion. Too much sleep, too, can lead to exhaustion.
You may need more sleep during the first trimester. Your need to urinate often can make you awaken frequently. An enlarged belly will make it difficult to sleep properly. You will have to make changes to your sleep schedule according to these factors.
So you might be wondering: how much sleep is enough sleep?
Pregnant women are advised to get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. In addition to this, you can also take some short naps during the day. This will give you the rest you need, without being too much.
Does Excessive Sleeping During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?
Your sleep schedule has a very important part to play in your pregnancy. It affects both you, and the growth and development of your baby. It can even influence labor and delivery! Let us learn how sleep is connected with the progression of your pregnancy.
So, not getting enough sleep can cause several complications, up to and including pre-eclampsia, which affects the blood pressure and kidneys. A trusted source claims that pregnant women who only got less than 6 hours of sleep each night, during the final days of pregnancy, had longer labors and were also 4-5 times more likely to have a c-section.
On the other hand, many studies ascertain that sleeping undisturbed for a long time can adversely affect the pregnancy, too. It claims that sleeping for more than 9 hours at a time increases the chances of the pregnancy ending in stillbirth.
However, if a pregnant woman is a lifelong long sleeper, it would not have the same outcome. This is about people who sleep for a long time only during pregnancy. Also, more studies are required in this field to find out the exact reason for this strong connection.
Some claim the autonomic nervous system – which regulates body functions – and the hormonal system will be active during sleep in late pregnancy. Excessive sleep during the late stage of pregnancy paves the way for overacting these systems, and this over action could bring about this late pregnancy complication.
Another claim is that the blood pressure reaches its lowest point during sleep. It spikes upon awakening. It is this short temporary increase in blood pressure that normally prevents extended periods of low blood pressure.
However excessive sleeping during pregnancy paves the way for extended periods of low blood pressure. When the pregnant woman experience extended periods of low blood pressure, it can contribute to fetal growth problems, preterm birth, and stillbirth
Studies proved that if expecting women get too much or too little sleep in early pregnancy, they will be more at risk of developing high blood pressure in the third trimester
How To Cope With Excessive Sleeping During Pregnancy?
However, some general lifestyle changes will help a pregnant woman to cope with excessive sleeping during pregnancy. These include:
1. Eating a healthy, balanced diet
Getting quality sleep at night will help to bring down the episodes of excessive sleep. A well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is found to improve sleep quality.
On the other hand, a high carbohydrate diet can contribute to excessive sleeping during pregnancy. So instead of food high in carbohydrates include vitamin and mineral-rich green veggies, lean meat, high fiber food, salmons, mushrooms, tomatoes, and coconut oil in your diet.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
2. Stay physically active
According to studies physical exercise can contribute to reducing excessive daytime sleepiness. It is also found that moderately intense physical activities like aerobics contribute more to combating excessive sleeping during pregnancy than more vigorous exercises.
So, doing regular aerobic exercises or simply doing physical activities like walking can help to deal with excessive sleeping during pregnancy.
3. Create a relaxing sleep environment
Creating a relaxing sleep environment contributes to improving sleep quality. By improving the sleep quality you can efficiently deal with excessive sleeping during pregnancy.
Avoiding screen- TV or mobile- 2 hours before bedtime, abstaining from loud voice and bright lights, etc are some of the ways to create a healthy sleep environment.
4. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Your body needs a proper routine to be truly healthy. So you must have a consistent sleep schedule. Try your best to wake up at the same time each day, and go to sleep at the same time every night. This will help your body have a consistent internal clock and will improve the quality of your sleep.
Pregnancy is a time when your body needs a lot more rest than normal. Exhaustion and fatigue are common side effects of being pregnant. In order to have a good night’s sleep every night during your pregnancy, you will need to make a few changes to your lifestyle.
Having a healthy and consistent sleep schedule is important. You shouldn’t get too little or too much sleep during pregnancy, as both can have ill effects on you and the baby.
If you follow the tips and precautions listed above, you are sure to experience calming, healthy, refreshing sleep during your pregnancy!