You’re expecting a baby, and counting down the days until your little bundle of joy arrives. You feel like you should be “glowing”, floating through these days as an expectant mother with pride and grace.
But your body is betraying you in ways you didn’t know it could. And it’s all so much harder to deal with when you just can’t seem to get a good night’s rest!
If this is you, there is hope. Sleep won’t be perfect in your last days of pregnancy – your body is just going through too many changes. But you can maximize the sleep you get, and minimize your interruptions.
In my last blog, I looked at some of the most common sleep problems pregnant women can face. Today, we’ll look at ways to remedy your sleep struggles, so you can get a good night’s rest as you prepare to bring a new life into the world. Here’s how.
How to Sleep While Pregnant
- Stick to a schedule. Set an evening alarm if you have to, but make sure you’re in bed at the same time every night. Your body will adjust to falling asleep at a particular hour, so you’ll be more able to fall asleep quickly. Waking up at the same time each day is just as important for feeling alert during the day.
- Get plenty of moderate exercise. Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy for many reasons. Follow your doctor’s instructions, and ignore this advice if you’re on bed rest… but for most healthy women, exercise in the morning or early afternoon translates to a better night’s sleep.
- Treat your particular symptoms. If you have heartburn or feel short of breath, propping up (on your side) on a few pillows can help. If you wake up because of the need to urinate use the bathroom right before you go to bed and avoid drinks (especially caffeine) in the few hours leading up to bedtime.
- Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your left side helps ensure that the uterus gets proper blood flow. Sleeping on your back in the second and third trimester can hamper blood flow and increase weight on the digestive system and major arteries, leading to everything from hemorrhoids to low blood pressure. Slide a thin pillow between your legs and another under your belly to help align your spine and support your body while you sleep.
Most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s a lot to think about when you know you’re bringing a new little person into the world. Don’t like awake worrying about whether you’re going to roll onto your back when you fall asleep… your baby will be ok. Remember, all things in moderation. Take care of yourself, practice good sleep hygiene, and let the little worries go. You’ll sleep better and be more able to make good decisions for your little one when the big day comes.