Maybe you can’t see it, but you can feel it: The infamous first trimester fatigue is a sure sign that your bun is baking in your oven. But while your heart may be skipping a beat with excitement, your body could be feeling like it can barely leave the couch.
Don’t worry, it’s not just in your head. There are plenty of reasons why you feel like you're always tired:
- Your body is working overtime to produce enough blood and generate an entirely new organ (the placenta) within such a short amount of time.
- Your revved up metabolism is causing your blood sugar levels to lower
- Your progesterone hormone levels cause your blood vessels to dilate and lead to lower blood pressure (which can also explain any dizziness)
- Your emotional state can contribute to your physical fatigue, planned and unplanned pregnancies alike
With so many changes during the first trimester, it really is no wonder why your body is as tired as it is. Unfortunately for you, that means that all spare energy resources are being redirected – leaving you to feel as though 10-pound bricks are tied to each limb and difficulties staying awake.
There are plenty of ways to combat feeling tired during the day at home, like taking a quick power nap, pushing yourself to complete a brisk workout or even heading to bed an hour or two early. Our Tips for Sleeping While Pregnant guide is full of advice for sleepy moms.
But what do you do when you’re stuck at work and a wave of exhaustion hits you? Luckily, there are a few non-coffee-break tips you can try to avoid falling asleep at work:
- Drink Tea or Any Other Hot Drink
Swap your allotted one or two cups of coffee with 100-150mg of caffeine per cup for earl grey or chai tea with 30-60mg per cup, or green or white tea with 25-30mg. This way, you can have an extra cup per day – though still try to aim for caffeine-free days.
Maxed out on your 200mg caffeine allotment? Switch to herbal tea, hot chocolate, hot cider or any other hot drink. The motion of bringing a hot cup to your lips can simulate your usual habit, becoming a pseudo cup of coffee that alerts your brain.
- Listen to Lively Music
If you work in an environment that allows headphones, then use this opportunity to pump up the jams.
Just like needing a powerhouse playlist for workouts, an upbeat and lively playlist at work can help get you bouncing – and ultimately, stay awake.
Whether your playlist is packed with top-40 hits, Latin samba, head banging tracks or everything under the sun, all that matters is finding what gets you up and going the most.
- Take a Quick Walk
With how many bathroom breaks you need throughout the day, this could be a perfect chance to wake up your tired bones.
If you’re not running, try taking the longest route or using the farthest restroom in the building. If you are running, maybe consider the longer route on the way back to your work station.
Or just walk around for any reason at all. As a bonus, these brief walks can count toward your 30 minutes of daily activity.
- Eat Often Throughout the Day
As mentioned earlier, a drop in blood sugar is one of the many reasons your body feels as exhausted as it does.
Keep your glucose levels up by switching to five or six small meals per day as opposed to three large meals that will make you feel overstuffed and overexerted. More frequent meals can also deter nausea as well.
Just make sure each meal is packed with nutrients and not just sugar. That sweet little pick-me-up candy bar could cause you to have a sugar crash later on.
- Take a Short Break to Rest Your Eyes
Let’s face it, after every trick in the book, sometimes those eyes are just not staying open. So just give in.
Go out to your car, set your alarm for 10, 15 or even 30 minutes and just relax. Find a cozy chair and sink into the feeling while you recharge. Cuddle up on a sofa if there’s one around – just don’t forget the alarm!
Each pregnancy varies from one to the next, so finding what works best for you (and with your doctor’s approval) is the most important thing.
However, some women can develop more severe sleep disorders while pregnant, or their pregnancy can make existing symptoms even worse. If you’re unsure if you have sleep apnea, take our quiz and find out.
If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, then the best tip for better rest is to call a sleep specialist and schedule a study. Fortunately, the sleep experts at Alaska Sleep Clinic are well experienced in health concerns associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), including but not limited to headaches, strain on the heart and arrhythmias.
If you live in Alaska and are suffering from sleepiness – or worse, OSA – then request a free 10-minute phone consolation with our sleep experts and schedule a sleep study today.