Are you pregnant and having trouble sleeping? If so, you're not alone. Getting good sleep while pregnant is almost like the beginning of a bad joke, and sometimes seems impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. By following these five tips, you'll be well on your way to getting a good night's sleep during your pregnancy.
Top Tips for Sleeping While Pregnant
Tip #1: Check your surroundings
Where you actually lay down and sleep should be a place that feels like a sanctuary: calming, clean, and peaceful. So, prior to falling asleep, throw any clothes on the floor into the closet, take your laptop into the den, and pick up any garbage (food wrappers, anyone?) that is on your night stand.
Then, when you are ready to shut off the lights, do just that. Turn off any lights and make sure there aren’t any unnecessary sounds that distract you from getting your shut eye. If your partner is a noisy sleeper, consider using earplugs or investing in a white noise machine. You want your bedroom to be as dark, quiet, and cool as possible to optimize sleep.
Tip #2: Pillows, Pillows, Pillows
You might not be used to sleeping with pillows, but during pregnancy, they can be your best friend. Use pillows to prop up your head, back, stomach, and legs. You can even use a pillow between your knees to relieve pressure on your lower back. Experiment until you find a comfortable position, and then stick with it.
Do you suffer from heartburn while pregnant? If so, invest in medium to heavy-firm pillows. Prop them behind your shoulders and try to sleep upright, not directly on your back, so the heartburn isn’t so intense at night.
Do you toss from side to side because your hips hurt when sleeping? Time to get a body pillow that you can wrap in between your legs to even out your hips while sleeping. If you can’t afford a body pillow, try using one extra firm pillow propped in between your knees. You can also try and use an egg-crate foam mattress pad on top of your mattress for extra support while sleeping on your side.
Tip #3: Be Mindful of Your DietYou probably realized that what you consume before bed can either keep you wide awake or help you fall asleep a bit faster.
Eating a big meal right before bed is a recipe for indigestion and insomnia. Eat your evening meals at least a few hours before you plan on going to sleep. Also, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening as it can make it difficult to fall asleep. Some say that drinking a warm cup of milk before bed can help you snooze a bit faster. There is an amino acid found in milk that experts say makes the eyelids heavy by raising levels of serotonin in your brain.
On the other hand, if you find you wake up feeling starved in the middle of the night, eat a protein-rich snack before bed. A hard-boiled egg, a scoop of peanut butter, or a handful of almonds can keep you feeling full at night.
And while we're on the topic of food, make sure you're eating healthy during pregnancy. A well-balanced diet will help your body (and mind) feel good and promote better sleep.
Tip #4: Establish a Bedtime Routine
If you go to bed and get up at the same time each day, your body will start to adjust and expect sleep at those times. Try to avoid napping during the day so that you'll be sleepy come nighttime. And, if you’re in the habit of scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest before you fall asleep, consider turning off your phone an hour or two before you want to fall asleep. The light from a screen can counteract your good intentions to get some shut-eye. Once you start feeling sleepy at night, allow yourself to get into bed. Your body needs all the rest it can get right now.
Once you establish a routine, it will be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Tip #5: Learn Relaxation TechniquesThere are a number of relaxation techniques you can try to help you fall asleep. One popular method is progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups throughout your body. Another option is deep breathing exercises, which can help your body relax and prepare for sleep.
Additionally, lavender is supposed to be a calming and relaxing scent, so put on some lavender-infused lotion on your hands and feet to help you relax before crawling into bed.
Getting a good night's sleep during your pregnancy is essential for both you and your baby. By following the five tips we've outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to getting the rest you need. Here’s to happy dreams and nights full of sleep before that bundle of joy gets here