Pregnancy can be a joyous time, but with it comes all sorts of physical and emotional changes that can disrupt your quality of sleep. As well as nausea, cramps and backache, bad bedtime habits can make getting a good night’s rest difficult. Luckily, there are plenty of ways mums-to-be can stave off nighttime niggles and get that all-important eight hours of slumber - and here are some.
Find a comfortable position
Finding a comfortable sleeping position when you’re carrying a baby isn't always easy. The further along in your pregnancy you are, the more achy and sore you are likely to be from the added pressure of your growing belly. Healthcare experts usually recommend for pregnant women to sleep on their left side as it helps to alleviate pressure on the back and stomach as well as encouraging nutrient-packed blood to flow more easily to the uterus. You’ll also need a supportive mattress and lots of pillows for extra support for your tummy and back.
Avoid napping during the day
Especially in the first trimester, you may start to experience increased feelings of tiredness during the day. While it can be tempting to grab a few minutes of extra shut-eye, try to resist napping altogether or avoid doing it too late in the day as this can hinder your chances of getting a full night’s rest later on. To avoid dozing during the day, try going to bed slightly earlier than usual and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Reduce your stress levels
If you find yourself fretting about your new baby or feeling anxious about the next stage in your life as a parent, you’re not alone. While feelings of anxiety and stress are normal during pregnancy, they can leave you tossing and turning into the early hours. To help you keep your stress levels in check, establish a soothing bedtime routine. In the hour before you turn in, try a variety of relaxation methods, such as yoga, meditation or some gentle stretching. Having a warm bath or doing some light reading can also help to calm your mind and prepare your body for rest.
Staying physically active during the day can make sleeping at night much easier. As well as increasing your chances of drifting off into a deep slumber, low-impact exercise such as going for a walk, swimming or aerobics can be beneficial for the baby’s development and boost physical and mental health. However, avoid doing physical activity too late in the day and always talk to your doctor first before starting a new exercise programme.
Watch what you eat and drink
The food and drink you consume during the day can also affect your sleep patterns. Avoid eating heavy meals late at night as this could cause indigestion during the night. However, if you’re suffering from nausea while in bed, having a few light snacks in the evening can sometimes help to stave off sickness. Cutting down on your fluid intake late in the evening can also help to prevent those tiresome 2am trips to the bathroom, especially in the first and final trimester when there is added pressure on the bladder.
By bearing useful tips like these in mind, you should be able to boost your beauty sleep during pregnancy and beyond.