When you are pregnant, getting a good night’s sleep is more important than ever. However, finding a comfortable sleeping position is often easier said than done. In fact, insomnia is a common problem among pregnant women, especially during the final trimester. Luckily, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of getting the rest you crave.
Why is sleeping more difficult?
One of the main reasons why women experience sleep troubles during pregnancy is the increasing size of the foetus. The larger your bump becomes, the more difficult it can be to find a comfortable position in bed. If you normally sleep on your back or front, you may find it difficult to change to a different position, and moving around often becomes more challenging as the pregnancy progresses.
There are also a number of other physical changes that can interfere with your sleep. For example, swelling, especially in the lower leg area, leg cramps and backache that is caused by the additional weight you are carrying can make sleeping more uncomfortable. Shortness of breath, increased heart rate and heartburn are also common side effects of pregnancy and can have a detrimental impact on your slumber.
Many pregnant women also find that they need to urinate more often during the night due to the pressure that the baby is putting on their bladder, which can disrupt sleeping patterns further.
If you feel anxious, nervous or stressed, this can also prevent you from getting the shuteye you need. While these sorts of feelings are completely normal when you are expecting, they can make it much harder for you to drift off at night.
How to get a good night’s sleep
To increase your chances of getting a decent night’s rest, there are a few simple lifestyle changes you can make. For example, try to avoid drinking too many fluids before you got to bed as this will help to reduce the number of toilet trips you need to make. It is also a good idea to avoid eating a large meal before bedtime as this can keep your digestive system working into the early hours and disrupt your rest. However, it is important to get plenty of nutrients and stay hydrated during the day, and eating lots of foods that are high in calcium can prevent leg cramps. If you feel nauseous before bed, eating a few dry crackers may help to settle your stomach.
You should also avoid doing exercise late in the evening. Instead, try to adopt a soothing wind down routine in the hour before bed, such as taking a bath, reading a book or having a warm drink. Doing gentle yoga and practicing breathing techniques can also help you to relax and ease away stresses and strains that may be keeping you awake at night.
What is the correct sleeping position?
Health experts usually advise pregnant women to avoid sleeping on their backs during the last two trimesters. This is because the weight of the growing baby can put added pressure on the large vein (vena cava) that carries blood to your heart and interfere with the circulatory system, and it can also cause back pain.
The best sleeping position is on your side with your knees slightly bent. While it doesn’t necessarily matter which side, the left side is generally considered best because it improves blood flow to the placenta and helps your kidneys get rid of waste products and fluids more efficiently. In turn, this can reduce swelling in your hands, feet and ankles. If you usually sleep on your back or on your stomach, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side early on in the pregnancy to get your body used to it. Placing pillows in between your legs and under your stomach while lying on your side can also help to ease pressure and provide additional support. Wedge-shaped pillows or full-length body pillows are best for this.
However, the most important thing is to find a position that provides you with the greatest level of comfort. There is no one set rule and what works for some pregnant women is not suitable for others. For more advice on which sleeping positions are best for pregnancy, you can consult your doctor or nurse.
How can adjustable beds help?
Having an adjustable bed can help you tackle some of the common sleeping problems you may experience when pregnant. The bed can be adjusted into a range of positions so you can find your optimum sleeping position and alleviate pressure from troublesome areas like the spine and legs to reduce pain.
If you want to find out more about how our products can help with sleep during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Our experts are available to answer your questions.