It’s not uncommon to contend with sleep disturbances during pregnancy. These are usually due to anxiety, stress, hormonal fluctuations, and physical discomfort. As your pregnancy progresses you may find it more difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position and you may have to get up several times during the night to empty your increasingly cramped bladder.
Here are a few tips to get a better and more comfortable night’s sleep along with the critical rest your body and mind need during a pregnancy.
1. Drink up
Drink plenty of fluids during the day, but cut down before bedtime to minimize frequent nighttime urination.
2. Keep moving
Exercise regularly (after consulting with your doctor) for optimum health, and to improve blood circulation which helps in reducing nighttime leg cramps. Avoid exercising late in the day as exercise releases adrenaline that can keep you awake at night.
3. Reduce stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are key facts that prevent a good night’s sleep. Remember that worrying won’t help you, but talking about your problems will. Find a friend or a professional who can listen and help you if there are issues in your life that are causing you to worry or feel upset.
4. Get into a routine
If you establish a consistent, soothing, and comforting evening routine, you’ll be able to relax and drift off to sleep with more ease. As bedtime approaches, try a few soothing rituals like drinking a cup of caffeine-free tea or hot milk, reading a chapter of a pleasant book, taking a warm shower.
5. Get into position
After 20 weeks, sleep on your left side to allow for the best blood flow to the fetus , your uterus and kidneys. Avoid lying flat on your back.
6. Keep heartburn at minimum
To prevent heartburn, don’t recline for an hour or two after a meal. If heartburn is a problem, sleep with your head elevated on pillows. Avoid spicy, fried, or acidic foods.
7. Nap during the day
If you’re not getting enough rest at night, take a nap to help reduce fatigue. Find a quiet spot and relax, even if’s only for a half-hour.
8. Support your body
Use a special pregnancy body pillow or a regular pillow to support your body. For comfort, try sleeping on your side with one pillow under your knee and another under your belly.
9. Watch your diet
Completely eliminate caffeine and alcohol to prevent insomnia. If nausea is a problem for you, try eating frequent bland snacks (like crackers) throughout the day. Keeping your stomach slightly full helps keep nausea at minimum. Eat a well-balanced diet. Not only is this crucial for your health and that of your baby, but getting the necessary nutrients will help keep you feeling satisfied which will help you sleep more soundly.