Many women find that sleep evades them during pregnancy. Each trimester brings its own difficulties, from nausea and vomiting to physical discomfort and restless leg syndrome. Read on to discover why sleep is difficult for pregnant women and what you can do to improve your chances of a good night’s sleep.
Why You Can’t Sleep
There are many reasons why it can be difficult for pregnant women to sleep well. In the first trimester, your body is going through some incredible changes, and your hormones are running wild. This can make you feel nauseated, emotional and, most of all, exhausted. The NHS recommends getting as much rest as possible to counter this, but it’s not always that easy.
As your pregnancy progresses, your body will change shape, and it can be hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in. It’s also common to experience heartburn, bladder problems, overheating and restless leg syndrome, all of which can keep you up at night.
Perhaps you’re also feeling worried or anxious about the birth or the changes to your life that will soon be upon you. These feelings are perfectly natural, but talk to your partner, a family member or a doctor if you want some peace of mind.
Tips for Sleeping Better
There are many steps you can take to try to sleep better during pregnancy:
If you’re struggling to get comfortable when pregnant, simply using a pregnancy pillow could make a world of difference. Visit kallysleep.com to browse their range of high-quality pillows.
Remember to avoid sleeping on your back once you reach the third trimester – this could put dangerous levels of pressure on your blood vessels and it actually increases the risk of stillbirth.
Do Some Exercise
While it’s important to rest enough during pregnancy, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep if you’ve done some gentle exercise. Try a pregnancy exercise class a few times a week, or do some gentle yoga stretches before bed.
If your mind is racing, try establishing a relaxing night-time routine to help you switch off and wind down. A warm bath (not too hot!) can work wonders, as can a cup of caffeine-free tea (chamomile is renowned for its relaxing properties) or even just reading a book.
Do whatever works to relax your mind and body.
Wear Light Clothing
Sleeping when you’re too hot is very difficult, and pregnant bodies tend to run hotter than most. The hormonal changes taking place can cause your body temperature to rise by a couple of degrees – it may not sound like much, but it can make a big difference.
Sleep in light, loose clothing to help you feel cooler, and swap out your winter quilt for a lighter duvet or a thinner blanket.
Don’t Drink Water Before Bed
At all stages of pregnancy, you’ll probably notice that you have to pee more often. As your baby grows, it can press on your bladder and make you need the bathroom. A good way to prevent this from waking you up is to avoid having anything to drink for an hour before bed. That way, your final trip to the bathroom before you turn off the light is more likely to last the night! Just make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluids during the day to prevent dehydration.
Sleeping during pregnancy can be difficult, but following these tips should help you to drift off more easily.