9 WAYS PREGNANT WOMEN CAN SLEEP BETTER
With these tips, pregnancy sleep doesn't have to be a hassle.
When you have a big bump, your baby is kicking like mad, and of course, you have to pee every 20 or so minutes - catching those precious zzzs can be a challenge. But no worries, we'll send you off to dreamland in no time. Read on!
This may seem absurd but taking in more fluids during the day (before bedtime) does the trick! Drinking water a few hours before you hit the sack lowers your core body temperature which improves sleep. Moreover, it makes you pee more during the day and less at night so you can sleep without any interruptions.
Exercising or working out improves your blood circulation which puts leg cramps at bay and also induces sleepiness. But make sure you finish engaging in any form of physical activity at least two hours before your bedtime. Your workout can increase the hormone adrenaline which can keep you awake.
Stress and anxiety are sleep busters. A common cause of insomnia in pregnant women is worries or fears about their baby, health and labour. It helps to get some meditation apps that can help you to relax. You can also try relaxation techniques like yoga to cut down stress, or you can keep a journal. To top it up, find a relative, friend or colleague you can confide in and talk over the issues with them - it helps to offload.
Change Your Bedtime Routine
Improving sleep while pregnant can be as simple as making a few adjustments to your bedtime routine. A regular and relaxing routine makes it easier to drop off. So how do you swing this?
- Have a cup of warm milk or caffeine-free milk with honey
- Shower with warm water
- Snack on something light like peanuts or crackers
- Have a read or listen to some music
- Massage your shoulders and feet
Pile Up The Pillows
In your second trimester, you'll have to sleep on your left side (per your doctor's advice) to improve blood flow to your baby, uterus and kidneys. But that can be uncomfortable for many pregnant woman. What you can do to make it easier to sleep is to put a pillow under your knee and another under your belly. Better still, you can splurge to get a pregnancy body pillow. Or improvise one by stacking up a bunch of pillows and sleeping on your side with your leg propped up on one of them.
Heartburn can ruin your shuteye, so do all you can to avoid getting one. First off, wait for an hour or two after eating before sleeping. And steer clear of spicy, fried and acidic foods.
20-30 minute catnaps can help make up for the loss of sleep at night. The best times to grab one are on weekends and when you get home early from work. However, do not sleep longer than 30 minutes as oversleeping can leave you feeling more tired.
Your body temperature shoots up during pregnancy which could be a good reason not to have a good night's sleep. There's no harm in turning down the thermostat in your room, even when it's winter. You can put a comforter at the edge of your bed to pull around you when your room gets chilly.
Check Your Diet
Study your baby's movements anytime you eat certain foods like spicy or sweet foods. If they react to these foods, you better avoid them (or your baby will kick up a rhumba while you're asleep!).
As a general rule, avoid caffeine in any form. And to keep nausea at bay, eat snacks like crackers and do not overeat. Do also stick to a balanced or nutrient-rich diet. The more satisfied you are, the better your sleep.
If you try all these and can't sleep a wink, do not fret. Wait it out. While you're at it, take in some deep breaths and imagine your baby sleeping or sing a lullaby to your baby.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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