Pregnant women need plenty of quality sleep to support their own health and the health of the baby. Unfortunately, as the pregnancy advances and sleep becomes even more important, it also becomes harder and harder to rest at night. If you are pregnant and struggling to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night, use these tips to get the vital rest you need.
Hydrate the Right Way
You need to drink lots of water (more than normal) throughout your pregnancy, but you don’t want to disturb your sleep for nighttime bathroom visits. Drink as much as possible during the day, making a conscious effort to hydrate often. Then cut down your consumption before bed. It can also help to keep some water on your nightstand so you can refresh yourself without having to get out of bed.
Get Active Often
The further along in the pregnancy you are, the harder it is to stay moving. You need to, though, because regular activity and exercise can help you burn energy so you feel more tired at night. And if you suffer from leg cramps, regular exercise can help the problem by improving your circulation. In general, activity is good for you and good for your baby, which means it’s good for your sleep as well.
Clear Your Head Before Bed
Feeling stressed or anxious makes it harder for anyone to sleep regardless of whether they’re pregnant. Unfortunately, being pregnant can also increase your stress and anxiety. Talking about your feelings with a therapist, partner, friend, or even a journal can all help you clear your head and calm yourself before trying to go to sleep.
Try Something New
Being pregnant requires a lot of adaptation, and your sleep routine might need adjustment too. Figure out what works for you – drinking caffeine-free tea, reading, taking a warm bath, eating a small snack – in each trimester, then make that your routine for as long as it works.
Use Pillows for Support
At the 20-week mark, doctors recommend pregnant women sleep on their left side in order to maximize blood flow to the uterus. If you’re not already a side sleeper, getting comfortable and staying in the right position can both be difficult. Trying putting a pillow under your knees and stomach or using a body pillow. This position takes weight off your hips and shoulders while helping to prevent you from rolling onto your back.
If you’re prone to heartburn, avoid fried, spicy, or highly-acidic foods (like citrus and tomatoes), and don’t recline your body for 1-2 hours after eating. When heartburn does strike at night, use several pillows to elevate your head.
Take Daytime Naps
Sometimes, no matter what you do, sleep won’t come. In that case, sleep whenever you’re able. Taking 20-30 minute catnaps throughout the day isn’t ideal, but it can help you recover the sleep you’re not getting at night. Just remember, this is a short-term solution. If you’re consistently struggling to sleep at night, you should investigate the cause.
Pregnancy elevates your body temperature, which can make it harder to sleep if that heat builds up under the covers. Consider lowering the temperature in your bedroom or sleeping underneath something lighter. It helps to keep a blanket at the foot of the bed if you’re prone to getting hot and cold throughout the night.
Make Yourself Peaceful
When you can’t sleep, worrying about when and how you will doze back off can actually keep you awake. Instead of getting anxious about being up at night, keep calm by breathing deeply, singing softly, and focusing on positive thoughts. If all else fails, get up and do something relaxing or entertaining.
Replace Your Mattress
Sleeping on the wrong mattress – one that is old, worn out, or wrong for your sleep style – can exacerbate all the problems outlined above. Replacing your mattress will improve your sleep during and after pregnancy. It will also provide a comfortable place for you to get off your feet during the third trimester. Think hard about whether your mattress hurts your sleep or is overdue for replacement. If the answer is yes, consider options ideal for pregnant women:
- Firm Mattresses – Pregnant women need more support when they sleep, so a firmer mattress is ideal. Newer mattresses that incorporate innovative materials with the latest development in sleep science provide everything an expecting mother needs – ample support, cool temperatures, and a luxurious sleep surface.
- Adjustable Bases – Doctors recommend that some pregnant women rest with their feet elevated to stimulate blood flow. Lying with the head elevated can also help with heartburn. In both cases, it helps to have an adjustable base that can elevate at either end (and provide heat and massage if you want). When you’re having trouble getting comfortable late in the pregnancy, you won’t regret having an adjustable base.
- Mattress Protectors – Between night sweats and morning nausea, pregnancy can be hard on a mattress. If you purchase something new, invest in a mattress protector too. It will help preserve your mattresses during pregnancy and extend the life of your new mattress in the process.
When you’re pregnant, it’s a great time to shop for a new mattress. After all, you need quality sleep while you’re pregnant, and, arguably, you need it even more when the baby is an infant and toddler. Discover impressive options at accessible price points by visiting one of the 38 Sit ‘n Sleep locations throughout Southern California. You can also explore our inventory on our website, or contact us at 800-908-0354.