Maybe this will be reassuring or terrifying. I hope reassuring is what you get from it.
I have 3 birth children (I have adopted children too, but not as toddlers/babies) and among those 3, all of them had times they did a weird sleep change that I did not find a reason/answer for with any degree of certainty. I say this because you should know that you aren't alone and sometimes weird things happen, then pass, and you can't even know if anything you did mattered in many cases. I could say "When I did this...it stopped" but I also have enough kids to know that it might have simply stopped because it was going to stop at that point versus that what I did that time was actually effective. Or what I did might have been effective, and again, I can't know because I wasn't going to experiment with sleep once it was better.
So what I will offer are things I have tried that seemed to help for similar-ish sorts of behavior, and different things helped different kids to varying degrees, and I make no claim about anyone item other than it likely "won't make it worse". What these things are would be the ones I think did work to some degree for all three of them.
If you normally do a bath before bed, stop. Change it to way earlier in the day. If you do not normally do a bath before bed add it. This one has for some reason varied a lot per child, but absolutely seems to impact sleep. I had one child that if you gave him a bath, no matter how tired he might be already (even long day) he would not settle in well for at least 3 hours. I sometimes put him to bed dirty (and I mean dirty, like outdoor play, etc) simply because it was easier to wash sheets than deal with 3 more hours of him wound up and ornery.
Lavender really is a lovely thing. There have been scientific studies about it's actual impact on assisting with sleep. I use therapuetic grade and just add it to olive oil and apply it to my kids before bed. Olive oil is great for the skin and they are used to that little ritual, and then they also smell amazing.
With a bad 1st hour of sleep, I try adjusting the bedtime if that is feasible. I move it up by 15minutes first, then another 15 if that hasn't helped, then I go the other way with it, push back 15, then 15, then 15 again (so you would be back to where you start, plus 15 mins later at that point). The reason is that sometimes I can't tell whether my child is not tired enough or overtired. I assume overtired first as that usually is the case.
Onto something I adore for toddler age when using blankets is pretty standard. My kids did so great with a weighted blanket. I have my oldest with sensory processing issues. It was recommended to me to use a weighted blanket to help him sleep more soundly and since it worked so well for him I figured I would try it with the next. You have to base the weight on the weight of the child, so personally I prefer something like Etsy or the like for someone to buy one. I made my own because I sew. There is a formula that is used based on the size of the child, hence I say Etsy. The point is, a blanket that is a nice weight will help the child's nervous system calm down and be less prone to restless sleep. These I like so much I keep meaning to make one for myself, but alas someone is always outgrowing one here and I never make it onto the "to do" list on sewing. I would say at this age, you get about a year out of the blanket before you might consider sizing up, maybe longer. I know when because they do in fact sleep more restless again.
And onto the reassuring part. It all passes. All of it. One day you realize you do not get woken anymore at all. You don't have to change any more bums, or get puked on ever, or even have to help them puke. You no longer have to survive on tons of coffee and commiserating conversations and you can pep talk some poor sleep deprived soul that they too will hit that finish line. I know how hard lack of sleep is. I am truly sorry for anyone going through a rough patch with their little one. It can be so hard to find something that seems to work and harder still to make a plan on what to try with a brain that is half asleep when awake due to lack of sleep.