If you’re anything like us mamas, you don’t just like sleep — you love sleep.
Expectant mamas know that it’ll be hard to get a good night’s sleep after their little ones arrive.
From that oh-so-relaxing feeling of hitting the soft sheets for a good night’s sleep after a long day to waking up feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, rest is imperative to allow the body and mind to recharge, helping you to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to conquer the day.
If you’re growing a tiny human, getting enough hours of sleep is essential. But if you feel the need to catch ZZZs all the time, you may start to worry.
So, should you be concerned if you simply can’t keep your eyelids open? What should you do if you’re not feeling well-rested? Can over-sleeping hurt your growing tot?
You have questions, and we have answers. Read on to discover everything you need to know about excessive sleepiness during pregnancy.
Everything You Need To Know About Excessive Sleeping During Pregnancy
According to the experts over at the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of shut-eye needed for optimum health varies by age. Having seven and nine hours of good quality sleep is generally recommended at the age most women find themselves pregnant and ready to enter the exciting stage of parenthood.
Why Does Sleep Matter So Much When Pregnant Anyway?
There is a ton of scientific research that supports the importance of good sleep during pregnancy.
Getting enough sleep is critical for all sorts of essential bodily functions. Because of its role in restoring energy and providing cognitive support, it’s easy to see how insufficient rest can lead to a number of not-so-wonderful side effects, such as:
- Brain fog
- Slow reaction times
- Inability to focus
- Poor concentration
- Daytime sleepiness
In addition, the amount of shut-eye you get when expecting can affect you and your developing baby.
Fortunately for most soon-to-be-moms, sleep is irresistible — especially in the first trimester. In fact, it’s over-sleeping that pregnant women tend to struggle with earlier in their pregnancy, not the other way around.
What Causes Excessive Sleepiness During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy can profoundly affect the amount of sleep you get, and it differs depending on whether you're in your first, second, or third trimester.
- During the first trimester, hormonal changes occur as progesterone levels and blood volume increase. This can leave you feeling more tired than usual as your body adjusts to the changes.
- Most expecting mothers find it much easier to snooze in the second trimester. This is likely due to their hormone levels finally beginning to stabilize. But no two pregnancies are exactly alike, which means fatigue and morning sickness is still totally possible during this time.
In other words, if you’ve made it through the first trimester thinking you won’t feel sleepy now that you’ve reached the second trimester, you’d be sadly mistaken. Physical discomfort from restless legs syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn, frequent urination, and leg cramps can keep you from catching ZZZs during the night, which of course, can leave you feeling incredibly sleepy in the AM.
- By the third trimester, lugging around the extra weight in addition to the emotional rollercoaster of giving birth can have you longing to spend your free time curled up in bed.
Signs You Might Be Over-Sleeping
Many of us also feel sluggish from the moment we turn off our morning alarm clock to the second we get to close our eyes and drift off to dreamland.
It’s perfectly normal to feel sleepy, even exhausted during early pregnancy. It’s also very normal to feel exhausted during the third trimester, this is something that affects around 60 percent of all pregnant women.
During pregnancy, we might feel as though we can’t get up in the morning despite getting a good night’s rest, or like we’re always in need of a cat nap.
Getting enough rest is imperative for both you and your little one, but if you find yourself routinely sleeping more than ten hours in any given stretch, you might be overdoing it in the sleep department.
On the flip side, if you’re up several times throughout the night or have disturbed sleep patterns, your daytime sleepiness could be the result of poor sleep quality. In this case, adopting a good bedtime routine and ensuring that you’re catching ZZZs in an environment that’s conducive to sleep is key.
We also recommend using our Organic Sleepy Body Lotion to help fight pregnancy insomnia and get the quality rest you need and deserve. Apply two to three teaspoons of lotion onto areas of tension before it’s time to hit the hay and let the sweet dreams roll.
Is It Safe To Sleep a Lot While Pregnant?
Unfortunately, there may be some risks to sleeping excessively when pregnant — especially in the third trimester.
If you have questions or concerns about the amount of sleep you’ve been getting (or not getting), reach out to your OBGYN for medical advice and help put your mind at ease. Don’t be afraid to voice any concerns you may have!
3 Tips To Help Improve Sleep When You’re Expecting
Whether you’re napping in excess due to fluctuating hormones or poor sleep quality from the night before, or if your sleep habits need a little improvement, check out these tips and tricks listed below:
Tip #1: Use a Pregnancy Pillow
Are you a back sleeper? Can’t seem to fight the perfect sleeping position? Are you dealing with aches and pains? Consider using a comfy-cozy pregnancy pillow. You’ll thank us later.
Tip #2: Wash Your Worries Away
If stress, tension, or racing thoughts keep you from finding good sleep, try taking a warm bath with one of our Handmade Organic Bath Bombs. These gentle bath bombs are made with organic essential oils to relax your body and mind.
Simply drop one into a tub full of warm water and enjoy an ultra-soothing scented bath!
Tip #3: Exercise Daily
One of the best benefits of exercise is that it can support a deep, restful snooze. Plus, regular exercise can give you more energy to help keep exhaustion at bay.
If your muscles are sore following a quick sweat sesh, we created the Organic Sleepy Body Lotion to help massage your tired muscles and find solace in deeper, more restful sleep. Not only will this feel oh-so-good on your achy-breaky joints, but our gentle snoozy formula is made from 100 percent organic ingredients that are perfectly safe to use when pregnant.
In other words, you can rest easy knowing that this all-healing lotion is pregnancy-safe and won’t harm the health of your developing little one. What’s not to love?
A Final Word
Growing a tiny human is hard work — so it’s not all that surprising when pregnant women constantly long for the soothing comfort of their bed.
While sleep is extremely important (more so during pregnancy!), excessive sleeping is thought to come with some risks. So if you’re sleeping more than ten hours per night, consider reaching out to your healthcare provider.
Maternal sleep practices and stillbirth: Findings from an international case‐control study - O'Brien - 2019 - Birth | Wiley Online Library
Daily Sleep and Fatigue Characteristics in Nulliparous Women during the Third Trimester of Pregnancy | PMC
PROMISE: first-trimester progesterone therapy in women with a history of trial and economic evaluation | NCBI
Sleep and physical activity from before conception to the end of pregnancy in healthy women: a longitudinal actigraphy study - ScienceDirect