The hormonal and physical changes that the human body goes through during pregnancy can bring a lot of challenges into your life. As a mother to be, you have a lot of exciting experiences to look forward to. Unfortunately, learning how to sleep soundly when you’re pregnant is one of the tougher things you’ll have to address.
During pregnancy, each trimester brings with it a unique set of sleeping issues. For instance, during the first trimester of pregnancy, most of your time in bed will likely get disrupted. In the early days of your pregnancy, you’ll need to go to the bathroom a lot, and even when you’re not rushing to the toilet, your body might wake you up with feelings of panic or general discomfort.
During the second and third trimesters, bathroom trips might become less common, but you’ll also encounter other issues like heartburn, leg cramps, or just the general inability to get comfortable. Here are 3 important tips you can keep in mind if you’re worried about getting the sleep you need when you’re expecting.
1. Invest in Comfort
The kind of mattress, covers, and pillows you need when you’re pregnant are likely to be very different from what you usually need. If you find that you’re somehow warmer during the night than before your pregnancy, consider folding away your thick duvet in favour of something lighter. You could even consider sleeping mostly naked.
Extra pillows are often crucial during pregnancy because you can use them to support your stomach and your back. More importantly, keeping a pillow between your knees when you sleep helps to support the lower back and makes sleeping on your side more comfortable. There are even pillows out there that are specifically designed for comfort during pregnancy.
Additionally, while you might not want to change your entire mattress during your pregnancy, you could consider making a firmer bed more comfortable by adding a memory foam mattress topper.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Diet
Knowing what to eat at the right times during pregnancy can be complicated, particularly when you’re body is throwing you random bouts of nausea and sickness. If you’re hungry before you go to bed, the best thing you can do is snack on something. Otherwise, your hunger will keep you awake. However, make sure that you’re careful about what you eat.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates, like plain crackers or bread, can help to promote a more restful evening of sleep. Additionally, high-protein snacks can help to keep your blood sugar levels up, reducing the risk of hot flashes and nightmares.
Ask your doctors what kind of foods you can consider eating before bed to keep your stomach settled when you’re drifting off each night. Bananas and cherries are good options, particularly if you opt for tart cherries that are rich in melatonin.
3. Learn How to Relax and Banish Stress
When you’re pregnant, it’s not just the physical discomfort of a growing belly that has the potential to keep you awake. You might have nerves and anxiety to deal with too. Learning how to relax before bed is one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. Speak to your doctor about doing some simple, soothing exercises to help you eliminate stress during the day.
Doing gentle regular exercises could promote positive physical and mental health while boosting your chances of sleeping more soundly. However, avoid anything too vigorous, particularly as you get into the later stages of your pregnancy. A little light jogging or Pilates through the day could be a good idea, followed by meditation and guided relaxation at night.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, you can download an app on your phone that will guide you through the process with some calm music or visualisation techniques. Don’t be afraid to talk your worries through with your partner too. Letting your anxieties out can make a huge difference.
Sleeping Well During Pregnancy
Sleeping properly when you’re pregnant isn’t always easy. You’re likely to struggle with problems like finding the right position, overheating, and even stress. Fortunately, the three tips above will help you to regain control of your sleeping patterns so that you can rest as much as possible up to your due date.