If you think the words sleep and pregnancy don’t belong in the same sentence, you’re not alone. Sixty percent of pregnant women say they take a nap over the weekend, while more than half admit taking at least one nap during the working week. Read on to find out what you can do for a good night’s sleep during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to contend with sleep disturbances. Mostly, these are the result of stress and anxiety, physical discomforts, and hormonal fluctuations. With the progress of your pregnancy, you may find it more challenging to find a comfortable position, or you may have to wake up several times during the night to empty your increasingly cramped bladder.
Tips to Get a Good Night Sleep During Pregnancy
During the last two trimesters of pregnancy, sleeping will become a problem for most pregnant women. This can be due to the increased level of histamines in the body, which develops due to the rise in hormones like estrogen, prolactin, etc. Above that, most of the women gain weight, and this causes discomfort in their back. Many of them may develop leg cramps, itching, and the tendency to urinate also increases during this period. All these may inhibit them from sleeping comfortably.
#Sleep on Your Left Side
Try stretching out or curling up on your left side with a pillow between your legs. If you wake up at night and find yourself on your back or stomach, keep returning to that position. No matter what trimester of pregnancy you are in, always wear ultra-soft and stretchable cotton maternity nighties to stay comfortable while sleeping.
While lying down for sleep, make sure that you are not exerting any pressure on your abdomen and relaxed enough to sleep. Any stress on the body will make you uncomfortable while sleeping. The most recommended position for pregnant women is lying on their left side as it increases the blood circulation to the uterus. But if you are comfortable on your right side, then you can choose that position. Avoid sleeping on your back as it may block the blood flow as this position compresses the inferior vena cava.
Nowadays, different pregnancy pillows are available in shapes like ‘U,’ ‘J,’ etc. These pillows can be used for supporting your back, knees, belly, etc. Some women prefer to have support under their arms, and if so, you can use different pillows to get a position comfortable for you.
You can purchase several different pregnancy pillows, or you can try your regular pillows that work just as well. To get good pregnancy sleep, stuck up them between your legs, behind your back, and under your bump for additional support and comfort.
#Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption
Eliminate alcohol and caffeine completely to minimize the risk of insomnia and get a good pregnancy sleep. If you’re suffering from nausea, consider eating bland snacks like crackers frequently throughout the day. Eat a well-balanced pregnancy diet. Keep your stomach slightly full to keep the sick feelings at bay. Not only is this vital for your and your baby’s health, but getting all the essential nutrients will keep you full for longer and make you less prone to late-night snack attacks that often lead to insomnia and restlessness after you go to sleep.
#Limit Your Liquid Intake in the Evening
Also, try to avoid the intake of more liquid during the evening time, and this will help you reduce the urge for urination while sleeping. Before going to bed, you have to empty the bladder. To avoid leg cramps, stretch your legs as possible during the daytime and wiggle your toes too. Doing so will impart an exercise to your leg muscles and relieve you from leg cramps at night.
#Indulge in Low-impact Activities
Taking some gentle exercise during the day will improve blood flow, make you feel more relaxed, and help you enjoy a deeper sleep. Yoga is a good option, especially as the relaxation techniques learned can wind your mind down after a busy day and get pregnancy sleep.
Regular exercise, but not close to bedtime, will help you sleep and help with energy levels for pregnancy sleep. However, although it sounds simple, a brisk walk in the fresh air will do wonders too. It is essential to consult your doctor before trying any new type of physical exercise during pregnancy.
#Take a Lukewarm Shower
Before going to bed, take a bath in warm water, and this will help you to relax. Try to wear the most comfortable maternity nightwear while sleeping. Try to keep your mind quiet without any thoughts, and if you feel hard to do so, read a book or write whatever comes to your mind. This will help you to fall asleep.
A Quick Checklist to Sleep Better During Pregnancy
On the subject of pregnancy sleep, many people think that sleep deprivation in pregnancy is nature’s way of preparing you for the inevitable disturbed nights after your baby is born. Others think it’s just a double dose of bad planning in the make-up of humankind. Whichever way you look at it, though, following the simple tips below could help improve your chances of getting some decent shut-eye before your baby arrives!
- Avoid meals close to the bed, particularly if heartburn is a problem for you.
- Pillows! Use them wherever you need them between your knees for aching hips, under your belly for support, behind your back, and under your head.
- Nap when you can, though this can be difficult with other children around.
- Enlist the help of family if needed.
- Sleep in or head to bed early.
- Try relaxation techniques before bed.
- A warm bath or a warm glass of milk is good for sound sleep.
- Take short naps of 20-30 minutes during the day.
- Avoid sugary treats before bedtime.
- Sleep in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating.
- Follow a consistent sleeping pattern every night.
Follow these tips to get a better and more comfortable sleep and the critical rest your mind and body need during pregnancy.