So, you’re pregnant, you’re tired, you aren’t getting any sleep. A good night’s rest is one of the first things to fly out the window when you get pregnant, but it is oh so important for you and baby! Throughout your pregnancy, you will probably experience different things that disrupt your slumber, and they can sometimes get progressively worse.
Don’t worry, we are here to help! You might have a lot of questions. How much should I be sleeping? Should I sleep in a certain position? Are there remedies I can use for sleep disruption? We’ve got your back with explanations and suggestions to get you through this.
Baby isn’t out and about yet, but there can be internal disruptions to keep you up at night. It’s common knowledge that a pregnant person will be in the bathroom often due to increased urination. Unfortunately, this won’t stop when you go to bed. Neither will the stress you may be feeling.
As baby grows in your belly, you will most likely grow in your belly area, making sleeping positions difficult. A statistic listed on Medical News Today says that 78% of women have trouble sleeping when they are pregnant. Many pregnant women also develop restless leg syndrome, or RLS which is very disruptive to sleep. It’s not all bad, we promise. There are ways to fight the inevitable fatigue and sleeping troubles so you and baby can get the rest you deserve.
As your body is changing, the way you would normally sleep might not work for you during some of your pregnancy stages. A very common suggestion is to use a lot of pillows to support your body to prevent aches and pains. Using pillows to raise your upper body, or lifting your legs with them is a good way to alleviate some of the pain.
Body pillows are an excellent way to keep your body from hitting pressure points during sleep. They even make special pregnancy pillows that look incredibly comfortable, and will cradle you while you cradle baby in your womb. Neither of you should be feeling an ounce of discomfort. Although, we know you definitely will be experiencing some. Anything to get rid of some of it, right?
Make sure you also have a good mattress, of course. Having pillows that support the proper areas and a mattress to relieve pressure points make all the difference. There should be no skimping during pregnancy sleep. You are sleeping for two now!
Even though we are discussing what you SHOULD do while pregnant trying to sleep, when we are talking about sleeping positions there are some that should for sure be avoided. These include back and stomach sleeping. As you approach your third trimester, these most likely won’t be available to you anyways, but using pillows to make sure you don’t risk them happening is another suggestion. Sleeping on your back and stomach can put pressure in areas you want to avoid.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the best position for sleeping. Doctors recommend the left side for sleeping during pregnancy. Why? This side is supposed to be the best for blood flow. This side also keeps pressure off your liver and kidneys, so it’s a good sleeping position for you and baby.
Eating Before Sleeping
A common pregnancy symptom you may experience is heartburn. Pregnant or not, trying to sleep with heartburn is awful. A good way to avoid this issue it to keep an eye on what you are eating close to bed time to keep the chances of heartburn to a minimum.
If you are hungry right before bed, eat something light as a snack like a cracker or some toast. Don’t lay down right away, and you should be good. This laying down rule applies for all foods before bed. Spicy food, the main culprit of heartburn should be avoided at night entirely.
Eating a light dinner is recommended especially if you eat close to the time you will be going to sleep. Otherwise, sticking to your pregnancy diet plan should be fine. Caffeine should be avoided during pregnancy, but if you are allowing some in your diet, make sure it isn’t close to bed time, as well.
Winding down and relaxing before bed is very important. Combined with all of these other recommendations, you will be sleeping soundly in no time. Ways to wind down include doing yoga, meditation or light stretching. It doesn’t need to be much, we know you’re tired. Doing just a little bit to calm your body and mind before bed can help you relax enough to get to sleep.
If you are feeling like you are in pain, don’t put it. Meditation is a low movement way to clear your mind before bed. Another way to unwind is to draw yourself a nice bath and have a soak. If that is not available, a warm shower is also helpful in relaxing the mind.
You have a lot going on! Pretty soon you will be bringing a new human into the world. It would make sense for you to have a lot on your mind. All of the things you have to prepare for baby can be stressful. During this exciting time, it is important to take time for yourself and relax. Take care of yourself, and do not neglect sleep!
Another question many pregnant women have is whether or not they can use over the counter sleep aids. It is not recommended that you take anything like this when you are pregnant. ALWAYS consult with your doctor before taking anything, especially when pregnant. For Restless Leg Syndrome, taking folic acid and iron can be helpful, but again consult with your doctor before taking it.
To sum it up, these suggestions should hopefully help you get some sleep during your pregnancy. Maybe try a combination of 1 or 2 as a start, and go from there. We hope you and baby get some rest!