Being pregnant is magical…at least that is how the media says you should feel. But, when you reach those last few months, getting comfortable at night and actually sleeping all the way through can become next to impossible. When you wake in the morning you are likely to feel anything but magical.
There a few things that you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. Other than making sure that you have bought the right mattress to lull you to a blissful night, there are a few other things to consider when you are in need of a good night sleep.
A few things you can do to get better sleep
- Keep your body propped up
A firm pillow or two, perhaps even a proper pregnancy pillow, is all you need to make sure that your body is properly supported when you are trying to get to sleep. Not only can you use your pillows to support your belly, but you can also consider propping up your upper body to make breathing easier.
When we asked a mother what her sleep advice would be her answer was a humorous, “Do a lot of it while you can! On a serious note, wedge pillows to keep your body comfortable and also be sure to avoid eating too much sugar late in the day. Your baby might start kicking like crazy just when you are trying to fall asleep!”
- Develop a habit of sleeping on your left
The most difficult sleeping challenge that many expectant mothers have to contend with is changing their sleeping position. Sleeping on your back can make breathing difficult while sleeping on your stomach is, of course, out of the question. Sleeping on your left side is the answer for many women. In fact, research has shown that sleeping on your left can increase the number of nutrients and blood going to the baby.
- Now is the time to nap
While many sleep guides would encourage you to swear off napping, when you are pregnant you should seriously consider breaking the rules. Although you now have a great reason to nap, you should limit your nap to 30 minutes to avoid that unpleasant groggy feeling.
Speaking to an expectant mother about how is coping, sleep wise, she said, “I’ve been battling for four days now. My piece of advice is to take an hour nap when you get back from work and two hours on weekends. Plus try and take long walks or some form of exercise. You’re sleeping with a soccer ball that moves and is taking up lung space, it’s very hard. Also, something that helps is putting a flat pillow under your stomach when you sleeping on your side, takes a bit of the pressure off.”
- This one is for the dads
Fathers might feel a little left out of the whole pregnancy thing, after all, it can be difficult to feel involved when it is not your body going through the changes. But helping your partner to rest is something that you do have control over. Foot and back rubs won’t go amiss when your partner is expecting, and it will help her be relaxed enough to sleep well.
- Prevent nightly heartburn
Heartburn is very common throughout a pregnancy, and when that radiating chest pain strikes during the night, being unable to sleep comfortably is not uncommon. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to minimise the amount of discomfort you will experience. Try not to recline in an hour or two before going to bed. Sleeping with your head elevated can also help as will avoiding acidic, spicy or even fried food.
- Lessen the amount of water you drink at night
Drinking water before bed is a big no. Getting up many times during the night will, of course, impact your sleep quality as well as the amount of sleep that you will get.
Chatting to a mother who knows this all too well she said, “Not drinking water an hour before bed helps too because a full bladder is the most uncomfortable feeling when you’re pregnant…”
She also mentioned that eating foods which retain water is not a great idea in the morning as you are likely to hold that fluid in until you go to bed. This makes for a really uncomfortable day!
- Watch your diet
Pregnancy will bring on strange cravings. Your diet is more than likely to change, but it is best to make sure that the changes are for the better and not for the worse. Talk to your doctor about what would be best to eat while pregnant and keep in mind that what you eat could upset your sleep later on.
- Take control over your stress and anxiety
Some researchers have found that there is a link between sleep, stress and a difficult birth. It is understandable that a mother to be is anxious about the new life she is bringing into the world. But when this stress and anxiety begins to affect her sleep, it can affect how easy or how difficult her pregnancy will be. If you are being kept awake at night with anxiety, it is best to talk to someone about it; share your concerns and overcome the anxiety before it becomes a massive issue.
Talking to the expectant mother, she also said, “I battled in the beginning three months because of raging hormones and growing pains. Now I’m battling again because of lack of oxygen, being uncomfortable and experiencing heat flushes.”