How to Improve Your Sleep When Pregnant
By Sara Butler
Any woman who has ever been pregnant can tell you that trying to sleep in the latter stages of pregnancy is a big challenge. It’s important to figure out how to get a better night’s rest before your baby comes along to put you through the sleep ringer. Here are some suggestions to help expectant moms get better sleep so they can be rested and ready for their new baby to arrive.
The Different Stages of Pregnancy-Induced Sleep Disturbance
It’s not just when you’re in the late stages of pregnancy that your sleep patterns change. In the first trimester women often sleep for longer periods. They feel sleepy a lot of the time and find themselves going to bed early or taking naps during the day. Don’t feel like you have to fight this urge – give into it and give your body the rest it needs.
In the second trimester, your sleep needs return to what they were before you were pregnant, perhaps your body is just trying to get you prepared for what’s coming in the final trimester of pregnancy, which is a lot of discomfort and trouble sleeping at night. Women in the third-trimester experience back pain, active babies that kick all hours of the night, leg cramps, frequent urination, weight gain, and even stuffy heads and noses courtesy of the hormones in late pregnancy.
Getting Better Sleep
You can’t avoid a lot of the more unsavory side effects of being pregnant, but you can give yourself a better chance to minimize or eliminate some of them by doing a few things. First, create a bedtime routine. It will help you to relax at night and fall asleep easier. Plus, you need to get used to routines in anticipation of your new baby – babies love routines!
Try to not use electronic devices such as tablets or cell phones for a couple of hours before bed. If you can’t do that, turn down the brightness of the screen as much as possible. The blue light from these devices will not allow your brain to relax and will make sleep hard to come by.
Use pillows to support your belly, back and legs when you sleep. This will help to alleviate some of the discomfort that can come from being a bit bulkier with all that baby!
You can battle leg cramps by making sure you stay well hydrated throughout the day. You have a lot of extra fluid in your body and, believe it or not, drinking more water can help to push the fluid through your system so you don’t hold onto extra water weight, which will make you a whole lot more comfortable!
Try these tips to see if they help you get some sleep – while you still can!