You know that you’re going to try to catch sleep when you can with a newborn, but you might be surprised how much you struggle to sleep during pregnancy. You are not alone. Read on to learn some tips that will help you find restful sleep in all three trimesters.
- Quit snacking before you sleep – We know the baby’s hungry, but eat a light meal for supper at least two hours before bedtime. Otherwise, spicy, acidic or heavy food increase the likelihood of heartburn, which makes you uncomfortable and keeps you awake. That said, if nausea and morning sickness is a problem, nibble on some bland foods, like crackers, to settle your stomach before you go to bed.
- Make your bed comfortable and use pillows. Your spine is feeling more pressure than normal so get various sized pillows and arrange them to relieve back pain. Prop your head up a few more inches on a firm pillow, and strategically place pillows to support your stomach. Many women find a full-body pillow works best. A comfortable mattress is vital to a good night’s rest. Think about adding a mattress pad if you’re waking up with sore muscles.
- Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side reduces pressure on your uterus and helps your breathing. One side actually has more benefits. The American Pregnancy Association recommends sleeping on your left side to increase the amount of blood and nutrients to baby. Getting used to this position early in pregnancy will help you sleep better when your belly is bigger.
- Turn down the temp and turn off the lights. You might be feeling hot all the time, which is normal because your body heat increases during pregnancy. Try setting your thermostat a few degrees lower than you usually set it. The low 60s (Fahrenheit) are ideal for a lot of people. Artificial light can disturb your sleep cycle by decreasing your body’s natural production of melatonin. Close your blinds or curtains (you might want to invest in blackout curtains. Your eyelids still let in light so if you use electronics or a lit alarm clock, cover them with a cloth or turn them away from you so the brightness isn’t shining on you.
- If you just can’t sleep. First, don’t worry. It’s normal for pregnancy symptoms to interrupt sleep. If you are lying awake thinking about things that are troubling you, try writing down your thoughts or making a list of questions and tomorrow’s to do list. Simply writing your thoughts down can get the anxieties out of your head. If you’re still awake after 30 minutes, get up. Listen to relaxing music, fold laundry, or read a magazine. When you feel drowsy again, go back to bed.
Have a good night, mama!
If you have other tips on how to get a good night’s rest during pregnancy, please comment below! Or read more tips for good prenatal care.