Sleeping during pregnancy is no mean feat. Firstly, sleeping with your bump is never easy, because you may have previously been used to a sleeping position that you can no longer manage, and in general, it is hard to find a comfortable position. And secondly, there are numerous hormonal factors to consider, as well as aches and pains, all of which make it hard for you to get your forty winks.
1) Don’t take naps!
Pregnant women often feel drowsy, especially in the first trimester. And if taking a nap gives you immediate relief, once night falls, you won’t be able to close an eye. We advise that you go to bed an hour earlier than usual instead.
2) Pillows are your friends
During the final trimester, you will need increased support, regardless of what position you sleep in (on your back or on your side). So experiment with pillows to find a system that suits you. Some people use a pillow as a bolster to stabilise themselves, while others put one between their knees for relief. Still others put more pillows under their head and arms. It’s up to you to find the best way for you (in terms of size and positioning, etc.), depending on your own personal needs.
3) A lavender hot pack
You can buy cushions or bean bags filled with lavender, which go in the microwave and can be placed on any area in which you have pain, to relieve the pain and to relax you. A very welcome aid!
4) Drink less after 4pm
It is true that hydration is imperative for a pregnant woman. However, we recommend that you find the time to drink a bottle of water throughout the day, even if you are very busy, rather than drinking high quantities of liquids in the evenings to catch up on hydration. This is for a very simple physiological reason: it will stop you from having to get up to pee in the night!
5) Take a bath
Take a bath to relax you before going to bed. However, remember to monitor the temperature of the water: if it is too hot, it can cause vasoconstriction which can lead to miscarriage.
6) Eat crackers
Snack on crackers throughout the day to avoid nausea at night.
7) Choose your meals carefully
We recommend against eating large meals, but rather recommend you eat light meals instead, which won’t prevent your body from relaxing. Think about what you are eating as well: foods which are very acidic or spicy could lead to heartburn and indigestion at night.
8) Don’t forget to exercise
Exercise will help when it comes to the birth, because you will be in good physical shape and your body will be stronger. It will also help you feel more inclined to sleep during the pregnancy. There is no need to exercise for too long, it could be just 30 minutes of swimming, fast walking, using an exercise bike or doing a pregnancy aerobics class. Your doctor will be best placed to advise you. And if you are not used to exercising, start small, with 5 minutes of exercise, adding 5 minutes each week, until you reach 30 minutes.
On the other hand, avoid exercise if the weather is very warm, and don’t do back exercises at the end of the first trimester.
9) Clear your bedroom
Taking care of the room you sleep in is taking care of your sleep. Your bedroom should be used only for sleep and sex. Keep computers, televisions, phones and tablets out of the bedroom and arrange the room to make it a calm and peaceful space.