Experiencing sleep issues during pregnancy is common, so here are a few tips and tricks and some handy information to equip you with the right tools and knowledge for successful sleep in pregnancy. This sleep during pregnancy guide answers queries you may have surrounding pregnancy sleep positions and what can help you drift off.
Sleeping Difficulty When Pregnant
When sleeping during pregnancy, it’s common to experience disruptions that keep you up at night — one statistic listed on Medical News Today claimed that 78% of women have trouble sleeping when they are pregnant. A pregnant person will need frequent bathroom breaks throughout the day and night due to increased urination, especially in the latter months of pregnancy. Although there’s no way to stop this natural disruption completely, pregnant women wanting to know how to stop urinating so much during the night might want to try the tip below:
- Skip diuretic beverages — Limit your consumption of coffee, tea and caffeinated fizzy drinks as these are all diuretics, meaning they increase urine production and make you need the bathroom more often.
Should I Eat Before Sleep During Pregnancy?
Another natural disruption during sleep when you are pregnant is heartburn. A good way to avoid this is to watch what you eat close to bedtime. For example, if hunger pangs strike close to when you want to sleep, try eating a light snack, such as a cracker or toast, and avoid rich, spicy or acidic foods. Another top tip for pregnant women trying to sleep is to try not to lay down straight after eating. If heartburn during the night persists, try eating a low-acid or non-spicy dinner, too.
Want to make sure your pregnancy diet is giving you all the nutrients you need? Check out our “what foods to eat when pregnant guide”.
Relaxation Before Bed
As well as ensuring pre-bedtime food and drink don’t cause any extra disturbances in your sleep, you should consider your winding down routine. Ways to relax in the hours before sleep could include yoga, meditation or light stretching. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, but doing just a little bit to calm your body and mind before bed can help you relax enough to get to sleep.
Another way to unwind before your well-deserved rest is to draw yourself a bath or take a refreshing shower — again, this could be incorporated into a routine and is another way to help induce deep sleep.
Sleeping Positions When Pregnant
As your baby grows, it might make certain sleeping positions difficult, which can disrupt sleep. There are ways to fight the inevitable fatigue and sleeping troubles, so you and your baby can get the rest you deserve.
So, what are the best positions for sleeping when pregnant? Doctors recommend the left side for sleeping during pregnancy. 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 your baby.
It is also important to note that sleeping on your front or back, especially after 28 weeks, are sleeping positions that you should not take. There are a few ways you can ensure you stay on your side when sleeping — and this knowledge in itself can also help give peace of mind before bed, helping you drift off into a deep slumber. One way to keep sleeping on your side while pregnant is to use pillows.
Best Pillows for Sleep during Pregnancy
A 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 pain. Body pillows are an excellent way to keep your body from hitting pressure points during sleep. It is also possible to source special pregnancy pillows that help increase comfort levels and support you while you cradle your baby in your womb.
If possible, make sure you have a good mattress, too. Having pillows that support the proper areas and a mattress to relieve pressure points can make all the difference — it could be worth investing in the ultra-precious hours of pregnancy/newborn baby sleep!
Other Aids for Sleeping during Pregnancy
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 pregnant. It is important to always consult with your doctor before taking anything, especially when pregnant. For restless leg syndrome (RLS), another common affliction for pregnant women during sleep, taking folic acid and iron can be helpful, but again, consult your doctor before taking it.
These suggestions should hopefully help you sleep during your pregnancy. We hope you and baby get some rest!