When you are pregnant, all that you want to do is fall into bed and drift off to sleep after a long day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. We consulted a number of experts to discover some of the reasons why women who are pregnant sometimes have difficulty sleeping. We have compiled their tips and suggestions below to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Avoid Snacking Right Before Bed
Being hungry is a natural part of being pregnant. After all, you are responsible for supporting an additional life, which is why it makes sense that you would be a lot hungrier. Unfortunately, that hunger sometimes leads to late-night snacking. Eating right before bed can cause problems with heartburn or acid reflux. That can make it more difficult to sleep. No matter how hungry you are, try to avoid snacking during the two hours directly before bed.
Try Sleeping On Your Side
If you sleep on your back when you are pregnant, it can put extra pressure on your pelvic region. Shifting to your side can help relieve this pressure, making lying down more comfortable while at the same time making it easier to breathe. Sleeping on your side can also help minimize back pain. Researchers at the American Pregnancy Association encourage pregnant women to sleep on their left sides, simply because it improves blood flow to the baby, helping to deliver extra nutrients.
Use A Pillow To Raise Your Upper Body
Try raising your upper body and head up off of the bed by several inches with the help of a pillow. Sleeping like this helps ease pressure on the diaphragm, making breathing a lot easier. You may also find it beneficial to sleep with a full body pillow since it can provide extra support for the stomach area.
Try Getting Up For A Little While
Instead of laying in bed staring at the ceiling or worrying about not being able to fall asleep, try getting up and doing something that makes you feel bored or sleepy. Try doing a chore that normally bores you such as putting away the laundry. This will give your mind a chance to calm down and relax, making it easier to fall asleep when you do go back to bed.
Experiment With Pillows Or Mattress Pads
It is a lot easier to sleep when you are comfortable. During pregnancy, there is a lot of extra pressure on the spine, which can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Try experimenting with pillows to see if you can use them to help you find a comfortable position. If your mattress is too hard or if it doesn’t provide enough support, a mattress pad may help or even one of these types of Nectar mattress.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time Napping
Taking naps during the day is perfectly fine. However, you should try to limit them to less than half an hour. Napping longer than that gives your body a chance to fall into the deeper levels of sleep. That can make it harder to feel alert when you wake up. It can also make it more difficult to sleep at night. It is perfectly fine to take more than one nap a day – just be sure to limit them to 30 minutes each. Short naps can be a great way to deal with pregnancy-related exhaustion.
Keep Your Room Cool
Most women find that they feel a lot warmer during pregnancy. When you feel too hot, it can be hard to sleep. Try turning down the temperature in your room until you find a level that you are comfortable with. In most cases, this will be at least a few degrees cooler than you are used to. Many pregnant women find that they are the most comfortable when the temperature is set somewhere between 60 and 65° while sleeping.
Avoid Stimulation Right Before Bed
In order to help your mind relax, try to avoid anything that stimulates you directly before going to bed. Put away all of your electronic devices. This includes your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You should also shut off the TV. Avoid reading the newspaper or any other content that may leave you feeling agitated or disturbed. Finally, don’t perform any activities like exercising or vigorous cleaning right before bed since it is harder for your body to relax if you have recently been active.
Make Your Bedroom A Retreat
Train your body that your bedroom is a place for relaxation by avoiding doing any other activities in bed. When you are in bed, you should avoid doing things like eating, doing work, answering emails, sending text messages, or reading the news. Instead, only use your bed for sleeping.
Create A Dark Environment
Having even a small amount of light in your room can make it more difficult to sleep. Turn off all of the lights in the room. If you have an alarm clock that lights up, turn it away from you so that it is facing the wall. Turn off notifications on your phone or tablet to keep them from lighting up during the night. Even a small amount of light can interfere with your body’s ability to produce melatonin. This, in turn, can make it harder to sleep. If you have trouble keeping light from the outside from getting in, consider investing in room-darkening curtains or shades.