Getting a sufficient sound sleep during the night can be difficult for some people, let alone pregnant women. According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 78% of women are reported to have a harder time sleeping during pregnancy.
If you are an expecting mother who’s also having disturbed nights of sleep, these tips might be helpful for you.
1. Set a regular sleeping and waking time.
“Establishing a routine sleeping and waking time is by far the most effective way to help you sleep better during your pregnancy. This helps keep you more alert and awake during the day and drowsier during the night,” says Dr Weldon, a gynecologist at Doctorspring.
When your set sleeping time approaches, you can try these relaxing rituals to help you snooze off:
- Drink a cup of warm milk or caffeine-free tea.
- Read a light-hearted book. Avoid reading something exciting as you might have a hard time putting it down.
- Take a warm bath.
- Get a massage.
2. Limit nap times during the day.
Naps during the day are important to lessen fatigue especially when you have trouble sleeping during the night. Try dozing off for 20 to 30 minutes and set the alarm to make sure you don’t sleep in.
When you take long naps, you’re more likely to feel exhausted and you’ll find it extremely difficult to sleep when your bedtime comes.
3. Exercise during the day.
When you are active during the day, you are more likely to get sounder sleep compared to when you just lay on your couch. Although exercising can be challenging during pregnancy, walking is actually a good way to help improve one’s blood circulation.
Furthermore, walking exercise is also proven to help minimize leg cramps among pregnant women.
4. Keep a food diary.
Aside from caffeine, there are also other foods that can affect your sleep during pregnancy. If you noticed that your baby reacts to certain foods by becoming more lively, then you should avoid taking those foods for dinner.
On the other hand, spicy foods can also increase the risk for heartburn, thus you should avoid it as you might feel extremely uncomfortable.
5. Cool off.
Pregnant women typically have a higher body temperature. The boiling feel is another big factor as to why most pregnant women have a hard time falling asleep. The best solution for this is to lower down the temperature in the room.
6. Reduce fluid intake during the night.
Drinking fluids during the day is strongly advised for pregnant women. However, you must cut it back during the night if you don’t want late-night bathroom trips to disturb your sleep.
7. Sleep on your left side.
When you are already on your third trimester, your doctor will recommend you to sleep on your left side. This is because doing this helps increase the flow of blood to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys.
On that note, getting comfortable in this position can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to sleeping on your left side. Thankfully, there are plenty of pregnancy pillows available that you can use to get comfortable.
8. Ease heartburn before going to bed.
Aside from leg cramps, heartburn is one of the most dreaded experiences of pregnant women. In order to prevent heartburn, avoid lying down a couple of hours after meals. Moreover, when experiencing heartburn during bedtime, keep your upper body elevated with pillows.
Fried, spicy, and acidic foods can worsen heartburn symptoms, thus, you must also avoid them.
9. Clear your mind before going to bed.
When your head is full of worries and stress, falling asleep at night can be troublesome. Keeping your worries to yourself won’t help, thus, talk to your partner, a family member, or call a friend about the things that bother you.
However, if you are not comfortable sharing your problems with someone you know, talking to a professional is the best possible alternative.
10. Still can’t sleep? Get out of your bed.
When you think you tried everything but still can’t manage to fall asleep, get out of bed and do other relaxing activities. Staying in bed and forcing yourself to sleep may only leave you feeling even more sleepless. If the problem persists for more than a few weeks, you should consult a doctor.
Getting enough restful sleep is vital for everyone, especially expecting mothers. If you think you’ve tried everything, including the tips mentioned above but you still failed to fall and stay asleep at night, then it might be best to consult your attending physician for help.