Sleeping well during pregnancy is not a simple science - although we wish it was.
I had trouble sleeping during the first trimester due to my all day morning sickness and then huge troubles sleeping during the third trimester due to allover discomfort, hunger and the sheer size of my growing belly (amongst every other body part that seemed to be growing too!)
Getting enough good quality sleep is so important to a woman's overall health and wellbeing whether pregnant or not. However, during pregnancy our body is under a lot more stress and change, and this can take it's toll on us.
Here are a few tips and ideas on how you can get a better night's sleep during pregnancy:
1. Get Comfortable:
I'm usually a tummy sleeper - so once my body started to change and my stomach started to pop, I had to teach myself to sleep on my side. I didn't find this particularly comfortable, and then during the final trimester a pain in my hips and back started to cause a lot of sleeping issues. The best way I treated (and prevented) this was with a pregnancy pillow. At first sight you may think they are quite expensive and unnecessary, but I truly found mine a god-send. They allowed me to sleep comfortably and safely.
Here's a few options worth checking out:
If you can not afford the cost of a specific maternity pillow, use the blankets/cushions/pillows you already to have to re-create a belly and back support that gives you comfort and a more weight-less sleep.
2. Breathe Freely:
Many women start snoring (or snore louder) during pregnancy as the back of their tongue and larynx becomes in contact during the relaxation process of sleep, as well as the increased soft tissue swelling. This causes intermittent brief periods of stopped breathing, creating hypoxia, loud snoring, and daytime somnolence. Once again this can be helped with good neck support (refer to effective pillow support in point one) to keep your airways open and clear throughout the night.
3. There's An App For That:
With technology now a huge part of our everyday life, you can be sure there's an app of some sort to assist you in everyday issues or challenges. This applies to insomnia too. Here are just a few Apps that may help you have a calmer, longer and more solid night's sleep (they may also be useful for settling your new bub into a sleep routine too):
4. Food & Drink Plays A Role:
Be careful not to indulge in really heavy (or spicy) meals right before bedtime. This may cause some major discomfort, digestion pains and/or heartburn, which will rob you of more sleep. Also be mindful of caffeinated drinks and snacks that will ultimately energise you. This is the last thing you need when you're already feeling sleep-deprived and bedtime is looming. You need your body (and stomach) to feel calm and ready for a good night's sleep ahead.
Sounds simple doesn't it - if only! If sleeping is becoming an issue during your pregnancy, you should employ some habits that will relax you before bedtime. You need to clear you mind and calm your energy levels to ensure you have a restful night. Try some simple (pregnancy-safe) yoga or meditation in the early evening. Burn some lavender oil in a burner or diffuser. Read from a book or a magazine - not a Smart Phone or Tablet (the blue light in these technologies can stimulate your brain, not relax it), breathe is some fresh air outside before bed or enjoy a warm shower.
Your Doctor can also provide you with some ideas, assistance and resources for pregnancy insomnia and/or discomfort.
Wishing you some restful nights ahead; in preparation for the arrival of your little one.