Are you looking for ways to sleep better during pregnancy? We all expect to lose sleep when we’ve got a newborn, but for first time expectant moms, it might be surprising how much sleep you lose because you’re pregnant.
But the changes that run through your body when you’re pregnant also affect how you’re sleeping, and the sheer range of different issues that you can face are mind boggling. Thankfully, we’re here to take the strain, so sit back and read this article to find out exactly how to sleep better when pregnant.
Women sleep worse than men anyway, and pregnancy definitely doesn’t help! There’s an awful lot that happens to you whilst you’re pregnant, and bear in mind that you might not face all, or even any of these symptoms. (If that happens to you, please don’t let us know, because we’d all be so damn jealous.)
As your belly gets bigger, it gets harder and harder to sleep comfortably. In fact, in your third trimester, sleeping on your back becomes all but impossible, so get used to sleeping on your side. This is because the increased weight puts pressure on your intestines and a bunch of major blood vessels.
Sleeping on your side can be hard, especially if you’re not used to it, and it gets even harder with a huge belly putting pressure on everything else. That’s why you should use pillows to support your growing belly, and the rest of your body.
I would recommend purchasing a pregnancy pillow. Not only are they specifically designed to work around you and your needs, supporting you entire body without the need for any other pillows, but they’re adaptable as you go through every stage of pregnancy, as well as after, so it’s a long term investment.
If you can, it’s also best to sleep on your left side, because it increases blood flow, and therefore nutrients and oxygen, to your growing children.
In terms of positions, the best way to sleep is with your legs and knees slightly bent, with a pillow between your legs, and if you’re regularly waking up with back pain, with a pillow under your back as well.
A lot of women wake up with heartburn. If this is the case, the best thing to do is elevate your upper body slightly, and sleep a little bit propped up, in a semi sitting position.
You might also find that you start snoring. Snoring is a consequence of weight gain anyway, so it’s not unexpected to think that you might start. If you’re wondering, trust me, don’t ask your partner. They probably already know, and they might not be saying anything to save your feelings.
Get a bedtime routine, and stick to out. Our routines are a major contributor to what we do, especially when you’re frazzled and out of sync. Choose something that relaxes you, like sitting with a good book or having a nice warm bath, and do it at the same time every night to relax yourself and get your mind in the frame to sleep.
Experiment with positions and support. Try moving pillows around, or sleeping slightly sat up with your whole back and head supported.
Sleep with a pillow between your knees. It’s an old wives tale, but it really does work. It puts your spine, hips and legs back into alignment, which takes pressure off of the sciatic nerve, a huge contributor to back pain.
To stop a whirring mind, make sure that you make a to do list. Even if you’re the most hyper organised person in the world, the hormonal changes running through your body will make you more anxious and controlling. Writing everything down lets you brain know with absolute certainty that you’ve sorted everything that needs to be done.
Stay hydrated, but try not to drink too much in the two or three hours before bed to keep your bladder as empty as possible. If you do have to pee, then don’t turn any lights on, or get a night light to lead you to your bathroom. Normal lights, or worse, your phone’s torch, are blue shifted light, which is fancy science talk for the sort of light that will pretty much instantly wake you up again.
If you’re really struggling during the day, it’s okay to have a nap. A 30 minute nap will do far more to refresh you rather than forcing yourself to struggle on. Don’t feel bad, because it’s not just you. More than half of women take weekday naps, with the number rising to almost two thirds of women on the weekend. Just make sure you don’t nap too late. Napping late might stop you from getting to bed.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re getting enough rest, however you’re getting it, then it doesn’t matter about anything else. If you’re worried, as we always say, the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor. Whatever is happening to you, they can give you specific, targeted advice. But in the meantime, follow our tips and you’ll probably find yourself sleeping much better either way.
Are you having trouble finding the best ways to sleep better during pregnancy? Or maybe you found the one foolproof way for getting to sleep whilst you were pregnant. (If so, please, tell us!) Whatever your pregnancy stories, we love hearing about them, so make sure to share in the comments below!