Tips for Healthy Sleep While Pregnant
By Sara Butler
If you’ve ever been pregnant you know how difficult it can be to sleep all night. Between the constant trips to the bathroom and the baby auditioning for Cirque du Soliel from your uterus, sleep can be elusive for a lot of women, especially in the third trimester. Here are a few tips to help you find some sleep before the baby comes!
Sleep Tip No. 1: Sleep on your Side
From the second trimester on it’s going to be best if you sleep on your left side. This provides the best flow of blood to the fetus as well as your kidneys and uterus. You should avoid lying flat on your back since this can restrict blood flow to you and the baby.
To help you stay more comfortable at night and to keep you from rolling over on your back, try placing a pillow behind your back and between your knees. It may also be beneficial to put a thin pillow under your belly for added support.
Sleep Tip No. 2: Watch What You Eat and Drink Before Bed
All that up and down to the bathroom at night might be helped through limiting how much water you drink before bedtime. You want to stay hydrated, of course, but focus on water throughout the day and cut down before bed.
If you suffer from heartburn that makes sleep challenging, you should steer clear of acidic foods such as tomatoes, spicy foods, and fried foods. If you have to, sleep with your head slightly propped up to help with acid reflux.
Sleep Tip No. 3: Exercise Regularly
In the later months of pregnancy, it can be difficult to find the will to exercise, but it’s still really important. Even if it’s just a walk after dinner, getting exercise can help you to avoid leg cramps at night and improve your circulation.
Sleep Tip No. 4: Utilize Relaxation Techniques
Before bed, it may be a good idea to take a warm shower to help you relax. Once you’re in bed try some deep breathing exercises too. Learning some techniques will help you out now and when you’re breathing through contractions once labor begins.
Finding sleep when you’re pregnant can be difficult, but you have to do what you can to take care of yourself and your baby. Plus, once your newborn arrives you’ll be lamenting the last days of your pregnancy when you were able to rest, so take advantage of it while you can!