If a pregnant woman is ‘eating for two’ whenever she sits down for a meal, then it’s also true that she is ‘sleeping for two’ every time she goes to bed. Pregnancy can significantly reshape the sleep architecture of expecting mothers, often for the worse. Sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are somewhat commonplace. Furthermore, physical symptoms of pregnancy like cramps and nausea, as well as the general discomfort of carrying a child to term, can greatly exacerbate sleep-related conditions.
Pregnancy in measured in three stages known as trimesters, beginning with the first day of the woman’s last menstrual cycle and ending with the birth of the child roughly 40 weeks later. This guide to pregnancy and sleep will discuss the various sleep developments and concerns that arise during each individual trimester, as well as postpartum sleep issues and the sleep habits of unborn fetuses.