Article Written by John Breese
Along with the joy and excitement that accompanies pregnancy, many women suffer with difficulty sleeping. Lack of sleep leads to fatigue, putting even more stress on the body. The good news is that some pregnancy-related sleep issues can be easily resolved. Here are some helpful pregnancy sleep tips you need to know about.
Know that your mattress matters.
If your mattress has seen better days, it may not be supporting you properly – and lack of support can lead to serious discomfort and increased insomnia, particularly as your pregnancy progresses. Choosing a supportive mattress with extra cushioning will benefit you during pregnancy and for years to come. If you’re thinking about a new bed, be sure to check out tips for selecting the best mattress for pregnancy on Bedroom Critic.
Change up your pillow game.
We all have our favorite pillows, but during pregnancy, you might find yourself requiring a different level of support as the curvature of your spine changes, or as you try different sleep positions that accommodate your body better. Special pregnancy pillows can make a huge difference, and so can smaller pillows tucked around your body.
Elevation can help with heartburn and more.
Many pregnant women suffer from heartburn, which happens when your growing baby puts additional pressure on your stomach. It may be temporary, but that’s cold comfort when you’re in the midst of a painful acid reflux attack! The good news is that elevating your upper body can help.
Elevation can help with snoring, too. Even though we may not realize it, the temporary airway blockages that accompany snoring cause our sleep quality to suffer, leaving us exhausted even when we’ve spent the entire night in bed.
Recliner Time suggest a couple of ways to treat yourself to better elevation. A wedge-shaped pillow can help, but the best, most supportive way to get comfortable and relax your entire body while keeping your torso slightly elevated is to sleep in a recliner while heartburn is an issue.
Recliners aren’t just a temporary solution for dealing with pregnancy-related sleep issues. They’re the perfect place to put your feet up when your legs feel tired, and they’re ideal for relaxing and resting with your little one once they’ve arrived!
Add a nightlight to the bathroom.
Frequent nighttime bathroom trips are a fact of life during pregnancy, and turning on the lights can prevent you from falling back to sleep quickly when you return to bed. A soothing nightlight is the perfect solution as it’s less stimulating.
Time hydration the right way.
Hydration is essential throughout your pregnancy, but drinking too much during the hours before bedtime can lead to even more trips to the restroom. Time your liquid intake so that you’re drinking more during the first half of the day.
Daytime naps can help you catch up on lost sleep.
Naps aren’t just for toddlers. During pregnancy, daytime naps can help you make up for interrupted nighttime sleep. Building a nap habit now can help you after your baby is born too, as most little ones wake up for nighttime feedings. If you’re able to catch a little bit of extra sleep while your baby naps, you’ll be better off in terms of immunity, vitality, and overall health.
Try sleeping on your left side.
When you’re lying in bed, consider sleeping on your left side as this can improve blood flow to your uterus as well as your kidneys. Sleeping on your left can sometimes help with acid reflux too.
Save spicy foods for after pregnancy.
Many women find that spicy foods lead to increased heartburn during pregnancy. Highly acidic foods can cause similar discomfort, and so can heavy, fried options.
Try eating foods that reduce restless legs syndrome.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) happens more often in women who have low levels of iron and/or folate. While prenatal tabs can help, whole grains, leafy greens, and other foods high in folate and iron are better sources since folate is absorbed better when it’s consumed as a component in food. Cutting back on caffeine and increasing vitamin C intake are two ways to help make sure that you’re absorbing your folate properly.
Don’t lie awake.
If you’re plagued by insomnia, don’t lie in bed wishing you could go to sleep. Sometimes thinking about sleep makes matters worse instead of better, and lying in bed while suffering from insomnia reinforces that sense of wakefulness. Instead of staying in bed, get up and go to your favorite chair. Read a book, work on an afghan for your baby, or write in your journal until you feel sleepy, then go back to bed. This tip may sound counterintuitive, but it can help you fall back to sleep faster than lying there counting sheep.
Last but not least, make sure that you establish a soothing, consistent bedtime routine that centers on relaxation. Taking a warm bath or shower, listening to peaceful music, and indulging in your favorite self-care rituals are a few more tips for sleeping better throughout your pregnancy.
This blog article is written by a third party and does not necessarily represent EPIC’s viewpoint.