How Pregnancy Affects Your Sleep and What You Can Do to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

April 10, 2018

Being pregnant isn’t easy. Obviously. First of all, you’ve to deal with the body changes, the weird cravings, the hormonal rollercoaster and the anxiety that plagues you every time you think of the fact that you’ll be bringing A REAL PERSON into the world very soon.

Then there’s the fact that you’re probably getting at least half the sleep you used to. Whether it’s the discomfort of the bump itself, or heartburn, or back pain, or restless leg syndrome, or that pesky anxiety again, chances are that your nights now are more of the sleepless rather than the dream-filled variety.

When you become a mum, you’ll want to do everything you can to look after your own health, as well as your baby’s. It makes sense. Because if you’re rested, healthy and happy, you’ll be in a better position to be a great mum.

The same thing applies when you’re pregnant. You need to ensure that you eat the right foods, exercise moderately, and in particular, get enough sleep, to create the most nurturing environment for your baby as possible.

Because being sleep-deprived while pregnant can lead to all kinds of negative consequences, in terms of both physical and mental health. Whereas doing your research and taking whatever measures you can to sleep well, every night, will benefit your state of mind and your general wellbeing. (Visit this website for more help). You’ll feel more energised and positive, with the strength to fight off any bugs or viruses that might pass your way. Leading you to a healthier pregnancy, and a safer birth.

So with that in mind, here are a few ways to get a better night’s sleep while pregnant. Enjoy!

Wind down in the evenings

When you’re pregnant, it’s really important to include a “time out” in your day. One that’s away from baby books and shopping lists and well-intentioned but overbearing mother-in-laws. Time that’s just for you.

So before bedtime, make this your golden hour. Turn off any devices that can cause you anxiety or that will overstimulate your mind (like the TV, your laptop and your phone). These screens also block melatonin, which we rely on to keep us calm… and you’re going to want as much peace as you can get right now!

Instead, have a long soak in the tub Or read a book. Or meditate. Whatever works to calm down your mind and body from the stresses of the day. Enjoy this time to yourself, and sleep better as a result.

Keep it consistent

If you go to bed at different times every night, it’s no wonder that your sleep patterns are all over the place. Start by creating an evening routine as outlined above, and follow these steps at the same time, every night. Soon your body will know that it’s almost time to rest and when bedtime does roll around, it’ll be a lot easier to settle down.

Speaking of bedtimes, you should set one that gets you at least 7 hours’ sleep, depending on when you wake up. (This might seem impossible to you right now if you’re existing on only 4 hours of sleep a night, but that evening routine can help!) If you know you wake up at 5am no matter what, go to bed at 9 or 9.30pm so that you’re asleep by 10pm. On the other hand, if you’re a late sleeper, you can probably push your bedtime back a little. Whatever works for you.

Change your position

The American Pregnancy Association recommends sleeping on your side (SOS) as the optimal pregnancy position. While sleeping on your left side increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your baby. Yay!

Another handy pregnancy sleep position is to bend your knees towards your chest (as much as you can, anyway!) and place a pillow between your legs. If you’ve got back pain, try sleeping with a pillow under your abdomen, and if heartburn’s keeping up, try propping up your upper body with…yep, you guessed it…more pillows!

Nap if you need to

If you’ve tried the above tips and you still can’t get enough sleep during the night, don’t be afraid to nap during the day. You’re carrying around some pretty serious extra weight after all; it’s ok to feel exhausted and to need a little snooze in the afternoons! And while napping shouldn’t replace your night-time sleep, it can make up for it a little if you’ve had a restless night.

Hopefully, these tips will help the nights of your pregnancy a little easier…and make the days a little bit easier, too! May you have a restful, healthy and safe pregnancy and wishing you the sweetest of dreams in the meantime.

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