While you may envision being able to sleep like a baby before you little one arrives, often times there are stretches of pregnancy when restful sleep can be difficult to find.
Pregnancy sleep can be tricky to navigate. Like every pregnancy, sleep problems can be unique to each mama. Here are a few of the most common pregnancy sleep problems:
- Vivid dreams or nightmares
- Constant urge to urinate
- Overall discomfort
Many women wonder if they’ll ever find a way to get undisturbed sleep again. Luckily, as you move through each trimester, you learn a bit more about how to get restful pregnancy sleep. Here’s how to have the perfect night of sleep during pregnancy, while avoiding both the physical and emotional sleep problems that accompany it.
Avoiding the Physical Sleep Problems
The majority of pregnancy sleep problems revolve around the physical nature of pregnancies themselves. Pregnancy changes your body so quickly (and so drastically) that it becomes difficult to sleep in any position. Here are the top ways you can avoid your growing belly from getting in the way:
Heartburn Control - Heartburn affects many women, especially towards the end of pregnancy when internal organs are getting shifted and there’s not much room. Try avoiding heavy meals in the evening and skip eating altogether as bedtime approaches. Over-the-counter heartburn medications can also provide some relief; just make sure to check with your doctor before taking any.
Fluid Intake - In early pregnancy and again in the third trimester, you’ll likely have the urge to urinate almost constantly. This need can greatly interrupt your sleep. In order to combat this, adjust your fluid intake for the evening by reducing your liquids several hours before bedtime.
Find the Perfect Position - It’s commonly said that sleeping on your left side throughout pregnancy (especially the third trimester) is important for baby’s health. With this in mind, you’ll want to adjust your sleeping position early in pregnancy. If you wake up in the middle of the night in a different position, try adjusting yourself to return to your left side.
Support Yourself - Supporting your head, your baby bump, your legs, and even your lower back can be a challenge in pregnancy. Pregnancy pillows can be a helpful way to get your positioning comfortable. Or stock up on extra pillows. Your goal is to have a comfortable (and supportive) sleeping location so you can rest easily.
Avoiding the Emotional Sleep Problems
While it’s often assumed that all pregnancy sleep problems can be resolved in a physical manner, many times there’s an emotional component keeping mama awake as well. Here are the top ways you can avoid your emotions from keeping you awake:
Discount Dreams - You may find yourself having vivid dreams (and even nightmares) throughout your pregnancy. Prepare yourself for these unwelcome intruders, knowing that they get worse with inconsistent sleep routines. If they become bothersome, try keeping a dream journal so you don’t feel the need to keep thinking through your dreams.
Build a Routine - Just how you’ll build a nighttime routine for your newborn, you’ll want to have a sleep routine throughout your pregnancy. Begin by going to sleep and waking up at consistent times. Schedule in some time to relax before bed (perhaps reading a good book) and plan to skip screen time right before you snooze.
Pregnancy Insomnia - Pregnancy can cause insomnia for many mamas. Whether it’s a shift in hormones or worries about future life with baby, insomnia quickly becomes frustrating. For restful pregnancy sleep, avoid caffeine (especially after noon), don’t nap during the day, and cover your clock. If insomnia persists chat with your doctor about how to get back to sleep.
Adjusting your routines and planning for restful pregnancy sleep are important steps on the journey to re-energizing during these nine months.
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