Fighting off the ZZZ monster regardless of what time of the day it is? What if you’re sleepy even though you’ve slept enough? Why are the reasons why you feel sleepy, what can you do to fight off the sleep monster, and will there be any negative effects on your baby if you’re sleeping nonstop?
Sleeping during pregnancy: Causes of sleepiness in each trimester
Why is it never enough even though you’re having more than your 40 winks? The reasons for your sleepiness during pregnancy differ from term to term, so let’s look at the causes for sleepiness in each term.
You’re feeling sleepy not because you’re lazy – and now you have evidence! Progesterone is the reason why you need some shuteye more often than ever. Once pregnancy is established, the amount of hCG in the body increases, and this is turn causes the increase in the production of progesterone.
Progesterone causes your body temperature to go up, and when your body is feeling the heat, this causes you to feel sleepy all the time. When the placenta is completely formed in the Weeks 12 to 16, the production of hCG will be taken over by the placenta, and your body temperature will drop and return to lower levels.
The sleepiness you feel in the second trimester might not be as difficult to fight off in comparison to the sleepiness you feel in the first trimester. However, you might feel tired when your belly starts growing bigger. Also, as progesterone continues to be secreted by the placenta, this makes you feel sleepy.
If your morning sickness becomes better in the second trimester, you might overeat and that could be the cause of your empowering desire to have a siesta.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, it’s not progesterone, but estrogen, that is secreted in increasing levels. Estrogen has the effect of suppressing sleep and keeping you awake at night. This could even be the cause of insomnia.
Some moms are exempted from the effects of estrogen and are able to sleep just as well as before. If you’re tired out from carrying your big belly every day, you might be tired enough and be completely unaffected by the effects of estrogen.
How to fight off sleepiness during pregnancy
Sleeping is not the only way to fight off sleepiness. After all, you have things to do, and you can’t possibly sleep every time you feel sleepy. It’s time to change the game plan and see what else you can do!
Method #1: Washing your face with cold water
Water has an amazing effect on you. If you’re not wearing makeup, this can work for you – splash cold water on your face! When you’re wearing makeup and want to keep your makeup on as it is, washing your hands can produce a similar effect.
Method #2: Move your body
Working moms might find it hard to stay awake and mentally alert while working. Simple exercises like doing shoulder exercises, standing while working, or stretching can help keep you awake. A short 10-minute walk or a taking a breath of fresh air outdoors can also provide some temporary relief from the sleepiness.
Method #3: Massaging your hands or ears
Massaging your hands and ears has the effect of getting rid of your sleepiness. Press on the “Middle Rushing (Zhongchong)” point on the bottom right corner of your fingernail of your middle finger. There are many pressure points on your ears as well, so if you use you pinch your ears at the top and slide down and up, or press the top of your ears down, that will get rid of your sleepiness.
Method #4: Chewing gum or eating sweets
Jaw movement helps fight sleepiness. If it’s alright for you to eat during work, you might want to chew on some gum or eat some mints. Moving your jaw helps you to think as well, so this is killing three birds with one stone.
Method #5: Eat less in one meal
When morning sickness takes a turn for the better or when your baby drops in the third trimester, you get your appetite back. If you’re already feeling sleepy, divide your meals into smaller portions and eat more frequently.
Method #6: Drink coffee or tea
How about a cup of coffee or tea? The caffeine in these drinks can help you get rid of sleepiness. Watch the amount you drink, though – too much can affect your baby.
Method #7: Taking a 10-minute power nap
If none of the aforementioned suggestions work for you, then you might want to forget about it all and just sleep to your heart’s content. However, when sleeping to your heart’s content is out of the option, how about a 10-minute power nap? That has been proven time and again to help get rid of the sleepiness even though your body doesn’t go into deep sleep.
Is sleeping when feeling sleepy during pregnancy a good idea?
Sleeping day in and day out? Will that affect our baby or mess up their sleep-wake cycle? There is no problem – sleep away. Sleepiness is a sign from your body that you need to rest. Sleep like a log if you have to.
Even if you have a relatively sedentary lifestyle and don’t do much, your body is doing all it can to give your fetus all the nutrients that it has, and this will make you feel sleepy. If sleeping with all your might doesn’t make you feel less sleepy, then that might mean you really have a sleep debt to catch up on.
Sleeping during pregnancy: Rest in order to be able to do your best for baby
Feeling sleepy during pregnancy isn’t something you can control even if it affects your work and your ability to do chores at home at well. Trying to get the understanding of the people around you might not be easy, but talk to them to make them understand. There is a saying that goes like this: “rest, in order to go a longer distance”. Rest, your pregnancy journey is far from over.