You know that sleepless nights await you once your baby arrives, so it seems unkind that getting a good nights’ sleep during pregnancy is so difficult. If it’s not heartburn, sciatica, or a restless, uneasy bump, then it’s your seriously pressured bladder keeping you awake.
The clearest thing women can do to get better sleep is to make it a big part of their routine, and that the three P’s of sleep – planning, prioritizing, and preparing – are essential. To make sleep a priority, which is not always easy, is the solution. It is a vital part of caring for yourself and your growing baby. There are a few things to watch out for when you’re expecting.
Some changes in sleep during pregnancy are expected. However, if you feel worried or concerned about your sleep, you should discuss it with your midwife or healthcare provider. If you begin snoring loudly on most nights of the week, or your partner notices that you sometimes seem to stop breathing during sleep, you must mention it to your midwife.
What Causes Sleep Problems During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy triggers an abundance of changes in a woman’s body that can cause her to lose sleep, like:
- Back pain
- Hormonal changes
- Vivid dreams
- Abdominal discomfort, specifically cramps
- Respiratory disorders
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Anxiety and stress
- Increased body temperature
- Change in sleeping position
- Change in body figure
- A growing belly that is obstructive, feels heavy, or moves at night
Tips for Getting a Good Night Sleep During Pregnancy
If your mood changes during pregnancy and you feel more down, depressed, edgy, and more worried than usual, discuss this with your midwife or healthcare provider. Here are some guidelines for sleep in pregnancy.
Plan your day around getting enough sleep:
Limit what you try to do in the evening. Going to bed and falling asleep earlier than usual can be difficult, but don’t get to bed later than you generally would. If you follow a consistent bedtime routine, you’ll be able to fall asleep quickly. Try these relaxing bedtime rituals to prepare your body for sleep:
- Take a warm shower
- Read a few pages of your favorite book
- Drink a warm cup of milk with honey
- Listen to soothing music
- Ask your partner to give you a shoulder massage
Believe it or not, your body will feel more relaxed after these activities.
Take things easier:
If you feel sleepy during the day and can nap, then do it. A quick 20 to 30 minutes nap during the day makes up for the rest you’re losing at night. But don’t do it if it makes it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
Make getting enough sleep one of your top priorities. Getting adequate sleep while pregnant is a must for the holistic health of both mother and baby.
Check your position:
When sleeping, try to keep away from lying on your back. Instead, lie on your left side. This will help increase the flow of nutrients and blood to the uterus.
Support your body:
Try to use pillows between your knees, under your tummy to support it, and behind your back to make yourself relaxed. A body pillow can provide you with proper support. They are specialty pillows designed to support your belly and back during pregnancy.
Don’t worry about insomnia:
If you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed forcing yourself to sleep or agonizing about not sleeping. Get up and read a book, knit or crochet a little for your baby, write in a diary, or take a warm bath—the more unexciting and calm the activity, the better. Avoid reading on backlit tablets and phones when trying to sleep – don’t be persuaded to check in on social media, emails, or news during the night.
Use a night light in the bathroom:
Put a nightlight in the bathroom instead of turning on the light to use the toilet. This will assist you in returning to sleep more promptly.
Unless you have been told by your midwife or healthcare provider not to, try and do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Walking is great, and yoga or Pilates are excellent too. Exercise and relaxation in the day can help with sleep at night. However, avoid working out too close to bedtime as it can spoil your sleep.
Wear Comfy Maternity Wear:
Staying physically comfortable during sleep is vital for you as a pregnant woman. Therefore, wear loose-fitting, comfortable maternity clothes to enjoy a sound, restful sleep.
During the daytime, consider wearing flowy maternity dresses, easy-breezy kaftans, and loungewear, and for nighttime, you should wear comfy maternity nightwear to sleep comfortably. Also, invest in some non-restrictive maternity pants and lowers to keep your legs cool at night.
Use a belly support belt:
You can also use a belly support belt to lower the risk of back pain and provide ample support to your growing belly. Particularly if you’re carrying twins or a large bump, a belly belt can prove to be a lifesaver.
Wear a sleep bra:
Pregnancy not only changes your body physically but also increases the size of your breasts. Your breasts are often swollen, tender, and heavy during pregnancy. That’s why it’s highly recommended you buy a few supportive maternity sleep bras made of natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo. Opt for non-wired bras as they provide ultimate comfort without restriction.
Drink lots of fluids during the day, especially water, but reduce the amount you drink in the hours before bedtime to lessen getting up at night.
If stress is keeping you up, try yoga or deep breathing for relaxation.
Watch your diet:
To avoid heartburn, do not eat large amounts of spicy, acidic, or fried foods. Also, eat frequent small meals throughout the day.
Take what help you can:
If you’ve already got a child and someone you trust offers to babysit, take them up on it and use the time to relax – get a nap in if you can.