How to sleep better during your pregnancy
Here are some useful tips to get the best pregnancy sleep, during each trimester.
You need plenty of sleep during your pregnancy as your body is hard at work creating a new life inside you — something that takes a lot of energy! But sleep is a challenge for many pregnant women because of all the changes that their bodies go through. At some point, it seems almost impossible that you'll ever be able to be comfortable while sleeping until the baby comes out. We know — we've been there! Here are some useful tips to sleep better during your pregnancy that helped us out.
The first trimester is a time of many ups-and-downs as the newly pregnant woman has to deal with fluctuating emotions, morning sickness, exhaustion and the stress of worrying about the pregnancy. With a few lifestyle changes, however, you can overcome the discomfort and find a way to sleep better. After all, it's really important for you to relax for the health of you and your baby.
Take naps during the day. Many women encounter extreme exhaustion during the first trimester. Don’t be surprised if you need twice the amount of sleep you used to. If you work, see if you can set aside short breaks to take a 15-minute nap.
Try to relax. It’s natural to worry, but know that worrying can’t solve any problems. You’ll have a much healthier pregnancy if you can relax and allow your emotions a healthy outlet. If you’re under external stress, talk to a friend, a mentor or see a counselor who can help you sort out your feelings. Sleep as you like. During the first trimester, you can sleep in any position you want as your uterus is still tucked safely behind your pelvic bone. If you’re a tummy-sleeper, enjoy this position for as long as you can because you'll have to adjust soon!
Now that you are into your second trimester, you should be feeling more energetic. That doesn’t mean however, that sleep doesn’t pose a few challenges. Your body is starting to change, so you'll go through an adjustment period of trying to figure out what's most comfortable for you.
Keep heartburn away. For many pregnant women, heartburn sets in during the second trimester as your growing uterus pushes your stomach up. If you have heartburn, you should make some changes to your lifestyle and watch what you eat. If all else fails, chew on an antacid tablet as you go to bed.
Start sleeping on your left side. Mid-pregnancy is when you need to start paying attention to your sleeping position. Lying flat on your back to sleep while heavily pregnant can block off the blood flow to your fetus, so avoid this sleep position. Lie on your left side instead to promote the best blood flow to your baby and all your organs. Drink less before bedtime. Drinking plenty of water is good, but as your uterus puts pressure on your bladder, you’ll find that you have to go to the loo a lot. So to minimise night time visits to the bathroom, drink less before going to bed.
In the third trimester, you may find it difficult to fall asleep at all because you find it hard to get comfortable. You're probably feeling large and awkward and having trouble moving around. The extra weight is probably also putting a lot of strain on your muscles, so it's all about finding a way to relieve all the aches and pain at this point.
Get extra support. Your enlarging belly makes it hard for you to feel comfortable as it exerts pressure on all parts of your body. At this time, a pillow or bolster between your legs will feel better. Some women swear by investing in a full-body pillow like the Dreamgenii, which is specially designed for supporting pregnancy and makes sleeping on your side a lot more comfortable.
Aches and pains. If pillows don’t relieve the aches and pains, try a heat pad or a hot rice pack. If the ache is on your back, you can also try a non-medicated heat patch. Look into getting prenatal massages, which are especially designed to address women's aches and pains.
Night-time cramps. You may experience cramps in the night, especially in your legs and feet. Gentle massaging will help, as well as light flexing. Do not point your toes as that will make the cramps worse. Try to walk around a little to improve your blood circulation.