Early in pregnancy, it’s common to feel fatigued during the day and sleep longer at night. This is likely due to increasing levels of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy.
Later in pregnancy, particularly during the last trimester, women often have poor sleep quality. Studies have confirmed that pregnant women experience less deep sleep, and wake more often during the night. Leg cramps, backache, heartburn, movements of the fetus, general discomforts of pregnancy, and an increased need to urinate can all disrupt your sleep.
Throughout your pregnancy, it’s important that you get enough sleep, maintain a regular sleep/wake schedule, and avoid as much stress as you can. If you’re having trouble sleeping, avoid sleeping pills and alcohol and use other measures to help you rest. For example, muscle relaxation techniques may help you sleep better, and may reduce the general discomforts of pregnancy. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding heavy meals and spicy foods within 2 or 3 hours of your bedtime will help avoid heartburn.
Getting as much rest as possible after your baby is born is also very important. Severely disturbed sleep has been tied to postpartum depression and child abuse.