Mother and Baby

How to beat sleep problems in your first trimester of pregnancy

Whether you’re struggling with indigestion or midnight toilet trips, a few lifestyle tweaks will improve your first trimester sleep no end

You’re months off having a baby, so how come the sleepless nights are already here? One of the early pregnancy symptoms, you’ll have in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is a lack of sleep plus early pregnancy exhaustion. But, don’t worry, a few lifestyle tweaks and you’ll be sleeping like a baby…

Beat your pregnancy bladder

Your uterus is growing rapidly right now and starting to put pressure on your bladder. No wonder you’re waking up in the night a lot more to pee. ‘It’s important to stay hydrated so don’t cut out fluids,’ says midwife Colette Boyd-Terry, who works for private antenatal care service My Own Midwife. ‘Instead, try drinking more in the day and less after 6pm, which should mean you wake less often in the night.’

Battle sleeplessness

Hormonal changes and generally getting your head around the fact you’re having a baby can mean a bit of tossing and turning at night. And then, you’ll find yourself exhausted during the day because of the extra demands on your body. The answer? Get napping.

‘This early stage of pregnancy can leave you physically and emotionally drained so daytime sleeps can help, especially if you’re not sleeping well at night,’ says Colette.

You’ll find yourself exhausted during the day because of the extra demands on your body

Get comfortable

At this stage, it’s about whatever’s most comfortable. ‘Lying on your front will probably become less comfortable as your bump starts to show anyway,’ says Colette.

Sleep position becomes more relevant in the second and third trimesters. Try a fresh set of sheets – or failing that, flipping the pillow over to the cold side – for that ultra clean and comfy feeling.

Handle nausea

Despite the term “morning sickness”, nausea can strike at any time of day during pregnancy – and even wake you in the night. ‘Keep a glass of water and a plain biscuit by your bed,’ says Colette. ‘Both can help to ease queasiness.’

Manage indigestion

An increase in the pregnancy hormone progesterone has a relaxing effect on pretty much everything in your body, including the opening to your stomach. This can lead to uncomfortable indigestion at night when acid pushes back up the oesophagus.

‘Avoid eating too close to bedtime to give your food time to digest,’ says Colette. ‘Also prop your upper body up with a pillow in bed to help gravity keep stomach acids down.’ What a good excuse to nick his extra pillow.

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