According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 1998 Women and Sleep poll, 78% of women reported more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times. Many women also reported feeling extremely fatigued during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. Pregnancy is both physically and emotionally draining— no wonder expectant mothers feels so tired all of the time! Check out some helpful tips on how to sleep when pregnant below!
How to Sleep When Pregnant: 10 Tips & Tricks
1) Prioritize sleeping by scheduling it out and sticking to that plan.
2) Lightly exercise for 30 minutes a day, unless your doctor has advised against it.
3) Avoid lying on your back, sleeping on your left side to improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your fetus and organs is best.
4) Drink plenty of water but reduce the amount you drink in the hours before bedtime to cut down on trips to the bathroom at night.
5) To fight heartburn, watch your intake of spicy, acidic, and fried foods. Eat frequent small meals throughout the day should also help out.
6) Get screened for sleep apnea if you have pauses in your breathing while snoring. While you’re at it, have your blood pressure and urine protein checked—especially if your ankles become swollen or if you have headaches.
7) If you are having issues with restless legs syndrome, have your iron and folate levels checked for deficiency.
8) To get more comfortable as your belly grows, lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent as you sleep. Place pillows between your knees, under your stomach, and behind your back for more support.
9) Put a nightlight in the bathroom instead of turning on the light to use the bathroom — this will help you return to bed and fall asleep more quickly.
10) If leg cramps are waking you up, press your feet hard against the wall or stand on the leg. Stretching your calf muscles before bed may also help.
Growing a baby means changing hormone levels and rising amounts of progesterone can be linked to excessive daytime sleepiness. Hormone fluctuations may also result in snoring and possibly even the development of sleep apnea. Running to the bathroom, nausea, and heartburn also cause unwelcome sleep disruptions. Insomnia can also come into due to worries about giving birth, balancing motherhood, or changes in their relationship with their partner. Since getting adequate sleep will become even more difficult once baby is born, pregnant women need to prioritize their sleep needs and find ways to address any sleep problems.
Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco discovered that women who slept fewer than 6 hours per night had longer labors and were 4.5 times more likely to have cesarean deliveries. More reasons to put sleep at the top of your ‘to-do’ list!