Sleep Positions for Better Sleep During Pregnancy
Pregnant women may sleep in whatever position is comfortable to them. You do not have to sleep on your side for your baby to be healthy. Restrictions in sleeping positions cause more sleep disruptions than pregnant women already have just being pregnant. Your body will tell you to move or change positions when circulation is impeded. Think of a foot gone to “sleep”. You will move or shake your foot in response to the sensation of decreased circulation. People naturally move all night long when sleeping. Why would we expect that this would be any different in pregnancy? The more pregnant a woman becomes, the less likely she is to choose to sleep on her back or may need to be propped up a bit. Let your body guide you and the baby to comfort and better sleep during pregnancy.
Insomnia & Tips for Getting Better Sleep During Pregnancy
Many women have difficulty sleeping in pregnancy. This is most disturbing to women expecting their first child because it is likely the first time they have experienced living with sleep deprivation. The exact causes of insomnia in pregnancy are unknown but are likely related to hormonal changes, urinary frequency and general body aches and discomforts. Even the baby moving can wake you out of a sound sleep. Here are some tips for getting better sleep during pregnancy.
- Buy a better mattress, a pregnancy pillow or white noise machine.
- Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Invest in Hypnobabies tapes to listen to – guaranteed to help you fall asleep and go back to sleep if you wake up.
- Change your diet and way of eating. Sometimes the foods you are eating are causing indigestion, heartburn or uncomfortable weight gain. Eat lighter at the end of the day. High protein foods before bed can prevent blood sugar fluctuations that might wake you up hungry in the night.
- Avoid stressful situations and people while pregnant as much as possible. Your baby does not benefit from the constant stress hormones and the stressful situations might cause your mind whirl when you are trying to rest.
- Try to exercise every day but not right before bed.
- A 20-minute power nap is just what you might need to avoid falling asleep too early in the evening. Sometimes women fall asleep at 8:00 or 9:00 pm only to find themselves wide awake at 2 or 3:00 am. Catch a quick rest, set a timer and get up after 20 minutes even if you only actually slept for 5 minutes. These power naps are refreshing without making you feel drowsy for the rest of the day.
- A warm bath, Sleepytime tea with honey, a nice massage and maybe some lovemaking, will often put you into a deep, satisfying sleep.
- A mild sleep aide like Unisom or Benadryl is fine once in a while when you really need a good night’s sleep during pregnancy.
- If you really aren’t sleeping, get up out of bed and do something you plan to do the next day like pack your kids’ lunches. That way when you finally fall back to sleep, you might be able to catch a few more winks because your morning chores are done. It is best to do tasks that don’t require complex thinking as that might wake you up more.
The most important thing to remember is that this is NORMAL. “Angsting” over not sleeping may cause you to not sleep even more. Most people can function pretty well on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. And the frequent waking may just be preparation for the nights with your new baby that are coming soon!