Growing a tiny human is really tiring work, so it’s particularly frustrating that pregnancy often brings obstacles that prevent you from sleeping. Because we’re firm believers that everyone deserves a decent rest, today on the blog we’re bringing you information to help pregnant ladies find their sleeping sweet spot.
Follow our tips and find out how to get a good night’s sleep when pregnant.
Nausea and hormone changes
Morning sickness isn’t restricted to mornings, so nausea can cause you to rise early or spend your night lying awake. Some women swear by having a snack before bedtime to help ward off hunger-induced nausea while others reach for ginger tea.
Hormonal changes throughout your pregnancy can also lead to temperature fluctuations, which means you may find you’re frequently flinging off your duvet or sticking your foot out of the side of the bed. If you do need to cool down quickly, look out for gel pillow inserts that you cool in the fridge, they’re great for slotting into your pillowcase to help you drift off. Summer-weight, 4.5 tog duvets can also help.
As your bump grows you’ll need to start lying on your left side, which helps blood and nutrients to reach the placenta. As baby gets bigger this will also stop you feeling so squashed. You can prop yourself in place with pillows or make use of a special pregnancy pillow that slots between your legs to stop your back from aching, and a mattress topper can provide a little extra comfort for you too.
If you’re one of the unlucky mamas who experiences restless leg syndrome and find you twitch yourself awake, make sure you mention it to your doctor or midwife. Restless legs or twitching may indicate that you need to top up on certain vitamins. Heartburn can also stop you getting comfortable, so make sure you keep appropriate remedies at hand and consider propping your head a little higher if you need to.
Spiralling out of synch
Sometimes you’ll be so tired that taking a daytime nap is an absolute must, which can make falling asleep in the evening even harder. You may struggle to sleep because your mind is preoccupied with baby plans, or a baby pressing on your bladder means it’s time for your umpteenth toilet trip of the day. Later in your pregnancy you can also expect to be regularly woken by your baby moving around, which is perfectly normal since they’re more likely to be active when you stay still.
Don’t lose hope!
Unfortunately, some of these issues are unavoidable but there are things you can do to give yourself a bedtime boost. If you do nap, try and stick to a relaxing bedtime routine at night. Taking a nice bubble bath or reading a book can help, or you could even try some breathing and visualisation techniques. Avoid screens of all kinds for a few hours before bedtime to give your body time to adjust and if you do wake up, don’t reach for your phone or clock watch, as it’ll make it harder for you to nod back off.
It’s important to stay hydrated but you may find you want to limit liquids after your evening meal. Finally, promote relaxation and wellness throughout your pregnancy wherever possible. Introduce suitable levels of exercise and pampering such as pregnancy massage, which can help ease aches and pains and leave you feeling calmer.
Hopefully this post has given you lots of ways to help sleep come a little more easily. Do you have any tips of your own to share?
You may also be interested in our post on mindfulness exercises to help you sleep.