Pregnant women may find themselves tossing and turning, wrestling to get a good night’s rest. It’s emphasized that expectant moms get enough sleep and rest. You don’t want to be tired or groggy all day with that affecting your health and the baby’s. But right from the first trimester women struggle to catch enough ZZZs. A pregnant woman’s body goes through a lot of hormonal changes, and the peak in the level of progesterone can lead to insomnia (1). And as the pregnancy progresses, the heartburn, frequent urge to pee, backache, and shortness of breath make insomnia even worse. But is there something you can do? Here we share 9 ways to help you sleep better while pregnant.
1. Sleep When Your Body Tells You To
You might be in the habit of getting to bed at 11 or by midnight. But if you start dozing off at 8 or 9 p.m., don’t fight to stay awake only to find yourself struggling later at night. Listen to your body and head to bed when you feel even a little drowsy.
2. Get Some Sun
Sunlight plays an important part in keeping your internal clock ticking. Let your body soak up the morning sun for 30 minutes every day so that your sleep cycle doesn’t get disrupted. You can do this by reading a book in your backyard or taking a morning walk for half an hour (2).
3. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant that can negatively affect your sleep pattern. It can keep you awake long past your bedtime and throw your sleep routine completely off balance. We know it can be hard to completely avoid caffeine. Everyone needs a dose of coffee to help them get going through the day. But you certainly can limit its intake and avoid having caffeine past your lunchtime (3).
4. Make Your Room Cozy
You need light only during the day. So when it’s time for bed, make your room as dark as possible. Make sure that the windows are covered with dark curtains and avoid any traces of light. Make sure that the bedding is comfortable for you and such that it invites sleep. Also, it’s best to avoid using phones or any gadgets at least half an hour before bedtime.
5. Workout During The Day
Exercising during the day can help you get better sleep at night. Do some sort of physical activity that keeps you active during the day. It can be swimming, walking, yoga, or other safe workouts. Talk to your doctor and confirm that you are not running a high-risk pregnancy before you start working out.
6. Make Sure That The Mattress Is Comfortable
The mattress you sleep in can have a huge influence on your sleep quality. You don’t want one that is too firm or too soft. If your current mattress isn’t comfortable for you, get a new one that provides you the right support.
7. Have A Relaxing Night Time Routine
Taking a warm shower before bed can loosen up the stiff muscles and improve circulation. You can then follow up with your moisturizer while your skin is still damp. Get cozy by reading a book if that helps you relax too. Make it as relaxing as possible.
8. Have A Light Dinner
You don’t want your body working too hard to digest your food when it’s close to bedtime. So make sure you have a light dinner and have it at least a few hours before bedtime. If you feel hungry, have some healthy snacks or salad to keep your cravings under control.
9. Get Comfortable
Use different pillows if that’s what makes you comfortable. You can use wedge pillows or specially designed pregnancy pillows to help you sleep better at night. Most pregnant women find sleeping on their left side the most comfortable position. If you are suffering from heartburn, try propping your upper body to feel more comfortable (4).
There are bound to be times when you don’t get a good night’s sleep even after doing everything right. Try to relax and do breathing exercises to keep you calm.