No matter how much you long to slip into your nightwear and catch up on some sleep, one of the greatest challenges many women face during pregnancy is getting comfortable, uninterrupted sleep.
A woman’s quality of sleep deteriorates during the first trimester due to a full bladder. You are more likely to go through emotional and physical stress-related to pregnancy during this stage. You might feel very sleepy during the day-time. The second and third trimester bring additional sleep problems as the growing baby adds pressure on the bladder. You might also suffer from heartburn, leg cramps and sinus congestion. The movement of your little one can also wake you up from sound sleep.
How to sleep better
- Reduce the amount of water you drink during the evening. This will help reduce the frequency of the trips to the bathrooms at night.
- Cut down on caffeinated beverages and foods such as chocolates, soda, tea and coffee.
- Use pillows to give your tummy and back extra support. It can also help to place a pillow between your legs and sleep on your side. Some maternity stores sell pillows that are specially designed to enhance sleep in pregnant women.
- You can promote good sleep by drinking a glass of warm milk or eating foods high in carbohydrates.
- Avoid eating spicy foods and very heavy meals just before bedtime. Spicy foods may cause digestive problems like heartburn. If you are suffering from heartburn, eat smaller portions at regular intervals and eat the last meal 3-4 hours before bedtime.
- Take a short nap during the day to avoid feeling very tired during the night. Avoid napping too late in the afternoon as this may interfere with your night-time sleeping routines.
- If you are having a lot of trouble sleeping, try to practice relaxation techniques that help induce sleep. These include meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery or reflexology massages that are safe during pregnancy. If you do not have enough knowledge of these methods enrol for a class that gives specialized classes like Lamaze for pregnant women.
- Sleeping on the left side helps promote blood and nutrient supply to your uterus and baby. It also helps your body eliminate waste and fluids. Make this sleeping posture a habit during early pregnancy as it will help sleep better during the later stages of pregnancy when your belly is bigger.
- If your sleep is interrupted due to shortness of breath, try propping up your body with the help of a pillow.
- Make your bedroom more ‘sleep friendly’. Keep noise and light out of the room. Use bedroom décor that you find most comfortable.
- Follow a proper bedtime routine. Try to sleep during the same time every day to make sure you get enough rest. You can try taking a warm bath, listen to soothing music, or read a light-hearted book a few minutes before your bedtime.
These methods are sure to help you sleep better during pregnancy. If you still find yourself waking up at night once in a while, don’t fret! It’s perfectly natural to have a few nights of interrupted sleep.
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