Learn how to get MORE sleep during pregnancy
Prioritising sleep during pregnancy is super dooper important. However it’s not always that easy. Learn how you can increase your chances of a good night’s sleep.
“Sleep as much as you can”
“You won’t get any sleep once this baby comes”
“Enjoy it whilst it lasts”
Oh how easy does it sound? But if you’re like the majority of pregnant women who CAN’T sleep well.. then you know how frustrating it is to not be getting proper rest.
There are all sorts of reasons why you might not be sleeping well at night time whilst you’re pregnant.
Mind racing… and the list goes on!
Sleep health is so important during pregnancy to allow for proper rest and recovery overnight, improved energy levels during the day, better mood and emotional coping strategies and SO much more.
Let’s start with the number 1 question every pregnant woman asks…
What sleeping position is best?
Yes you’ve already heard I’m sure but left side lie is the most ideal position.
This is because it helps to improve the blood flow and nutrients to the placenta.
We don’t like women to lie on their backs after the first trimester (or around 16 weeks gestation) because the weight of the uterus can compress an important vein called the inferior vena cava which can then restrict blood flow to the baby and mother.
Sleeping on your right side can cause disruptions in liver function due to extra compression on this organ.
Sleeping on your tummy… well that’s just impossible after the second trimester! Most women will find it too uncomfortable to sleep on their tummy after their bump pops out.
Now we don’t live in a perfect world, and many women find that they either can’t sleep in the ideal position because of pain/discomfort/heartburn/breathlessness etc OR they find themselves changing positions during the night without being aware.
DON’T FREAK OUT. It’s OK.
Ranked in order of most ideal to least ideal, it looks like this.
Left side lie > Right side lie > Lying on your front > Lying on your back.
I find these are the most comfortable positions for women at all stages of pregnancy…
Below are some more tips you can try to help get a better nights sleep!
- between the knees
- under your bump
- behind your back
This will help to support the weight of your growing bump and reduce aches and pains in the tummy, pelvis, hips and legs. Sleeping with a pillow in between the knees prevents the hips from excessively rotating which reduces strain on the pelvic joints (especially when you are suffering with pelvic pain)
Reduce late night fluid intake
With the growing size of your uterus, there is more pressure placed on the bladder. This can increase the frequency of urination and cause you to get up more in the night. Try to avoid consuming large amounts of fluid after dinner, but do ensure you stay well hydrated during the day.
Less screen time
Playing on your phone or watching TV in bed can cause you to become more stimulated and awake, making it harder to fall asleep. Try to keep the bedroom for sleep and sex only!
Some women may feel an increase in body temperature during pregnancy. Our bodies are made to sleep in slightly cooler climates. Think about making your room like a bat cave– keep it cool, quiet and dark. Adjust your heater/fan, blankets and pyjamas to suit your needs to ensure you are at a comfortable temperature.
Stretching your tired, aching muscles can be very relaxing before bed (blog post on stretches will be coming, in the meantime LIKE my Facebook page for exercise ideas). This can also help if pelvic pain or restless legs are keeping you up at night.
Physical activity during the day
Aim to be physically active every day. This will help to keep your back and pelvic muscles stronger which will aid with aches and pains at night time and will also help to tire you out so that you are ready for a full night’s sleep.
Avoid spicy or acidic foods for dinner
Everybody has different triggers for heartburn, but it is well known that spicy or acidic foods can contribute. Also try to avoid eating large meals right before bed as this can cause further indigestion. Instead try to snack regularly throughout the day and if you are nauseous snack on some plain biscuits right before you go to bed.
Breathing and mindfulness
This is important to help relax the mind and body and prepare yourself for a lovely, deep sleep. With your mind racing at a million miles an hour, it is important to be able to unwind at the end of the day. Try 5-10 minutes of belly breathing, body scanning or guided meditation before you fall to sleep. You can add a relaxing soundtrack or just do it in the still, quiet darkness- whatever works for you.
I’m looking forward to you getting a better night’s sleep!
Because you know… You should enjoy it whilst it lasts! 😜