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Getting enough sleep when you’re pregnant can be a real challenge. There are a lot of reasons for this. Sleep disturbances can be caused by physical discomfort – a growing baby puts extra pressure on your joints making movements uncomfortable. They may also be as a result of hormonal fluctuations, stress and anxiety. One further reason for a disturbed night later on in your pregnancy is having to get up to go to the bathroom as the baby presses down on your bladder. All of this can combine to make night time a nightmare for expectant moms.
The good news, however, is that it’s possible to be more comfortable at night and to get a more restful sleep. Here are some top tips.
It might sound counterintuitive to drink more water when you want to avoid going to the toilet at night, however staying hydrated will help your body to rest more effectively. Just make sure you avoid drinking too much before you go to bed so that night time urination can be minimized.
It can be hard to find time to exercise, but when you’re pregnant you still need to stay active to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise will boost your circulation, and that will reduce the number of leg cramps you experience during the night. Avoid exercising late in the evening, however, since it may release adrenaline which could make you more wakeful.
Reduce Anxiety And Stress
Anxiety and stress are two of the main culprits preventing restful sleep, and they are especially common in pregnant women. Although it’s only natural to have concerns, talking to someone you can trust about anything that is bothering you will relieve your worries. Talk to a good friend or family member, or even find a professional who could listen to you and help if you are experiencing troubling issues in your life.
Develop A Routine
Having routine in your life is a great way to promote relaxation. A consistent, comforting and soothing evening routine could be just the thing you need to get to sleep more easily. As the evening draws on, try adopting some soothing rituals such as drinking some hot milk or caffeine free tea, reading your favorite book, and taking a hot bath. You’ll find that this relaxing routine will help to ease you into sleep more gently.
Choose The Right Sleeping Position
Finding a sleeping position that is comfortable once you’re part way through your second trimester can be difficult. However, finding the right sleeping position will help you to get more sleep. Once you’ve reached the 20 week stage, always try to sleep on the left side as this will allow a better flow of blood to your kidneys, uterus and fetus. You should definitely avoid lying down flat on your back – if you’re a back sleeper, try sleeping propped up on pillows to allow better blood circulation. Finding a comfortable way to sleep is often easier with a good quality pregnancy pillow. You can find out more about these helpful sleeping aids explained here.
Heartburn can be a serious problem later in pregnancy, and this can stop you from getting a good night’s sleep. You can prevent heartburn by avoiding lying down for a couple of hours after you eat. You can also use pillows to elevate your head in bed. Avoiding fried, acidic and spicy foods is also a good idea as they could cause worse symptoms.
Sleep When You Can
If you’re finding it hard to sleep at night, don’t worry about taking a nap during the day. This could help you to feel less tired and will be good practice for when baby comes. Find somewhere quiet to relax and close your eyes for a while.
As well as avoiding spicy and fried foods which could cause heartburn, take care to eliminate alcohol and caffeine from your diet. Not only are they bad for your baby’s well-being they can also cause insomnia. If you’re experiencing nausea, try eating bland snacks regularly through the day. If your stomach stays slightly full, nausea will be prevented. Make sure you eat a balanced diet since getting enough of the essential nutrients will ensure you remain satisfied, resulting in a sounder sleep.
If you’re struggling to relax enough to get to sleep, try using a natural remedy like lavender oil. Lavender is known for its relaxing and sleep promoting properties, so try splashing a little onto your pillow or popping a bag of dried lavender by your bed so you can smell the pleasant aroma.
If you try these helpful tips, you’ll find that you will have the best chance of getting a good night’s sleep every night.