Growing another human is exhausting, but even getting the sleep you need isn’t as easy as it used to be. You’re carrying around extra weight, all your internal organs are fighting for space, and you need to pee all the time. None of these changes are going to make getting a good night’s rest easy, which is annoying because not getting enough sleep can cause complications for you and your baby, including increasing your chances of developing pre-eclampsia.
You’ll be glad to hear however that here are some ways you can help your body get the rest it needs. Here are our top tips for getting a good night’s sleep while pregnant.
Make Sure You’re Well-Supported
Just getting comfortable in bed can be awkward, especially in the third trimester as your growing bump gets in the way. It can be worth investing in a good quality pregnancy pillow which is specially designed to support your aching joints. They come in different shapes and sizes which are designed to support different parts of your body. If you are really suffering with back pain you might want to invest in a U-shaped pillow which goes between your legs, under your bump, and up your back.
There are also smaller, wedge pillows designed to alleviate pain in one area. Put them under your bump, between your knees, or under your other pillows to raise your head and help with heartburn.
Get the Base Right
You don’t only need your sleep while you’re pregnant, it’s important to get good quality rest when baby is here too. Making sure you have a good quality bed and mattress, like these from Divan Bed Centre, will ensure that you always have somewhere comfortable to grab forty winks, whenever the situation allows. Remember that your sleeping positions when pregnant will change – sleeping on your left side is recommended to improve blood flow to the uterus – so make sure you have a mattress which is supporting from all sides.
As you gain weight, you will need a harder mattress. One that is sagging or too soft won’t offer you the right support and will exacerbate any aches and pains you already suffer from. Remember, you can always add a soft topper later, but you can’t add support that isn’t there.
Exercise for Sleep
I know, you’re already exhausted, the last thing you want to be told is to hit the gym. But 10 minutes a day of gentle aerobic exercise can help with so many things. Not only will it help tire you out physically, making it easier to fall asleep, but raising your heart rate will increase blood flow around your body; a good way to help prevent night-time leg cramps.
Yoga is another great way to get some exercise, but make sure that you focus on positions which are safe to do during pregnancy. Stretching out tired muscles and gently massaging and manipulating areas of the body which are being bent out of shape by a growing bump can help to reduce the aches and pain which would wake you up in the night.
The Importance of Water
One of the biggest hindrances to pregnant sleep is needing to get up throughout the night to pee. With less room in your stomach, your bladder is getting squashed and can’t hold as much as it needs. But cutting down on water can cause other problems, like muscles cramps and headaches. Instead of hoping to get through the night by drinking less, it’s important to think about what time you drink instead. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids in the morning, and slowly reduce your intake in the run up to bed. Make a bathroom stop the last thing you do before tucking in for the night; this should maximize the time you spend asleep before needing to go again.
We can’t guarantee you a perfect night’s sleep throughout your pregnancy, but there are always tips and tricks which might help alleviate some niggle along the way.