Advice on getting a good nights sleep in the second trimester of pregnancy, with information on sleep problems, insomnia and the benefit of naps
The second trimester is often known of the honeymoon period of pregnancy as for many women the nausea and fatigue experienced during the first trimester subsides. The placenta joining you and your baby has now developed and levels of the sleep-inducing hormone progesterone lower, leaving you feeling less drowsy and more energised. Additionally, nighttime trips to the toilet may become less frequent for a while as the position of your uterus changes placing less pressure on your bladder.
If you haven't started already, you should now begin to sleep on your left hand side as this recommended as the best sleep position for you and your baby as the circulation of blood and nutrients around your body is facilitated. Lying with your knees slightly bent and using pillows to support your lower back and growing bump is likely to make this position more comfortable. You may decide to invest in a special maternity pillow although regular pillows can also be used to relieve pressure on your joints.
The second trimester is also a good time to begin to establish a bedtime routine so that your body knows when to expect rest. Try to go to bed and rise at approximately the same time each night to help 'set' your body clock for the third trimester. Taking half an hour to wind down before you actually get into bed will also help sleep come more easily. A warm bath, hot milky drink or even a massage from your partner (if they can be persuaded) will all help you to relax and prepare your body for sleep.
Make the most of your rediscovered energy and take part in some gentle physical exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming as this will do wanders for your health and also make nodding off to sleep that much easier. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet with little 'junk food' or caffeine and plenty of water will also leave you feeling full of vitality and more likely to sleep at night. Additionally, now your waistline is beginning to expand it is a good time to invest in some maternity nightwear that is comfortable and leaves room for you to grow. Pyjamas that are too tight tend to dig in, restrict your movement and are likely to disrupt an otherwise good nights sleep.
You may experience strange, vivid dreams during the night but try not to worry about their meaning - they are simply a mechanism that your brain uses to process the huge physical and emotional changes that you are going through.
At some point during the second trimester you will begin to feel your baby moving, this will become more pronounced as you near the end of this phase of your pregnancy. Your baby is unlikely to have the same sleep-wake cycle as you do so expect to feel some kicks in the night!
Unfortunatly some women still suffer from nausea right through the second trimester of their pregnancy. Ginger tea, fizzy water and plain foods such as crackers or bananas may help to settle your stomach - it's a good idea to keep a stash by your bed for emergencies. However, if you are still feeling very unwell and unable to sleep it is always best to seek advice from your GP or healthcare professional.
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