A woman’s body changes during pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the pregnant mother suddenly has trouble getting enough sleep. Mothers in their third trimester complain of an inability to fall asleep. Many factors contribute to this, ranging from increasing size to frequent urination due to pressure on the bladder.
When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes dramatic changes that may end up keeping you awake at night. The pressure on your bladder can keep you visiting the washrooms when you should be asleep. If this becomes a recurring issue, consult with your fertility specialist for ways to stop these sleep problems in pregnancy.
In addition, the following eleven techniques can help women stop sleep problems in pregnancy. With the below tips, you can at least get to sleep well at night and get through the nine months with ease.
1. Use Extra Pillows for Sleep
A comfortable pillow is crucial to stopping sleep problems in pregnancy. Add extra pillows to support your stomach and the back. Lie on your side and place a pillow between your legs to support the lower back and help you sleep.
2. Eat Nutritious Meals During Pregnancy
Your diet has a huge impact on any sleep problems in pregnancy. Drink a glass of warm milk. It helps to calm you down and usher in sleep. Foods with high carbohydrate content, such as bread and crackers, promote sleep.
A high protein snack keeps sugar levels up and helps prevent bad dreams, headaches and hot flashes. Bad dreams? Yes, pregnant women have a lot of those, which can keep them awake the whole night.
3. Exercise, but Don’t Overdo It!
Regular exercise will help with sleep problems in pregnancy. Exercise promotes physical and mental health. It also helps you sleep more deeply. However, avoid vigorous exercise four hours before sleep.
4. Adopt Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation helps calm your mind and relax the muscles, which will be helpful for aiding sleep problems in pregnancy. Standard relaxation techniques in pregnancy include stretching, yoga, massage, deep breathing and warm baths and showers before bed. You will be asleep in no time.
5. Use Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication
In an ideal situation, you shouldn’t take any drugs during pregnancy since some drugs can harm the growing baby. There are, however, safe drugs you can take during pregnancy to help you get to sleep.
Your doctor should be able to advise and prescribe these drugs. They include over-the-counter medications, herbs and other recommended dietary supplements.
6. Change your Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your left is the best position for comfortable sleep. It helps with blood circulation and hence optimizes the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Besides, it helps with kidney function, resulting in reduced swelling.
Avoid sleeping on your back throughout the night since this can result in disturbances in blood circulation and dizziness. Sleeping on your back may aggravate conditions such as backaches and hemorrhoids since the womb presses on the intestines and back.
7. Drink Less Water at Night
While you cannot control the baby kicks and the pressure they apply on your bladder, reduce your water intake two hours before sleep time, but remember to stay hydrated. Don’t starve your system of water.
However, drink more water during the day and less at night. Remember, holding your bladder for too long could lead to UTIs and other complications.
8. Write Down Bad Dreams
It is common during pregnancy to have vivid unsettling dreams. This is caused by fluctuations in hormones, over which we have no control.
If you experience these disturbing dreams, try to write them down quickly and, hopefully, you will go back to sleep immediately. Go through your dream book when you wake up and have fun.
9. Get a Pregnancy Pillow
The most common complaint during pregnancy is discomfort at night. Instead of tossing and turning the whole night, why not get a pregnancy pillow. It helps to support the growing stomach. If the pregnancy pillow doesn’t work, try different sleeping positions until you get a comfortable one.
You can also try a different room, bed or couch. Before bed, take a warm bath infused with soothing bath salts to relax your muscles. Your spouse or partner (if you have one) can give you a prenatal massage as well. Let them massage your shoulders, hands, feet and tummy.
10. Use Bedjet to Control Bed Temperature
When you’re pregnant, it feels like someone has lit an oven in your body. Invest in a bedjet, a cooling technology that cools, warms and dries up the sweat from your bed.
A bedjet has been clinically proven by doctors to help you sleep better. It’s a substantial investment, but it’s worth getting you to sleep. It regulates the temperature in your bed.
11. Sleep in an Elevated Position to avoid Heartburn
Heartburn drives pregnant mothers crazy. Your doctor should be able to prescribe safe heartburn drugs during pregnancy. Use a wedge to elevate yourself during sleep and minimize the impacts of heartburn. A bed wedge helps you to sleep at an angle.
There are many causes of acid reflux, including the rapidly changing hormone levels. It changes how the digestive system muscles act and your tolerance to different foods. The growing uterus will sometimes push the stomach acids back up the esophageal sphincter.
When using antacids, make sure you don’t overdose to avoid calcium overdose, which leads to constipation. Mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it (no more than seven doses in 24 hrs). Wear loose clothing and use essential oils such as peppermint to neutralize acid reflux. Try to eat small meals throughout the day instead of three big ones.