For new moms, disruption to sleep starts well before the baby is born. During pregnancy, nearly all women face insomnia, poor quality sleep and/or daytime fatigue. While 100% soundless sleep may not be realistic during pregnancy, women can try to boost their quality of sleep with a few key strategies, which we’ll discuss below.
Why sleep during pregnancy is important
Sleep is a vital part of your baby’s development during pregnancy. By getting good rest, your body will be better able to handle the host of critical development changes happening during this time.
Pregnancy women also need sleep for their own well-being, as energy level and mood can be upset by poor quality sleep. In fact, studies about inadequate sleep during pregnancy show that women may increase their risk for postpartum depression, excess pregnancy weight gain and high blood pressure.
Factors that impact sleep during pregnancy
There may be several good reasons why pregnant women find it difficult to get to bed. Some contributing factors to poor sleep include:
- Back pain
- Baby kicks
- Leg cramps
- Need to urinate more frequently
- Feeling too hot or too cold (due to fluctuating hormones)
- Worry-induced insomnia
Even so, it’s important for women to find ways to get rest despite these uncomfortable factors and interruptions.
Strategies for better sleep during pregnancy
Pregnant women can’t rely on caffeine pick-me-ups or sleep medications. This means strategies for better sleep are based on common sense and creating healthy habits.
It’s essential to find a comfortable sleeping position within a soothing environment. Doctors recommend sleeping on your left side later in pregnancy because it promotes blood flow to key organs. Many women find it comfortable to use extra pillows to support their stomach and lower back, such as a wedge pillow or a full-length body pillow.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine
Sleep will come easier if you feel relaxed. Get your mind and body ready for sleep by creating a bedtime routine that gets you in the right headspace. This may include activities such as yoga or meditation, a warm bath or reading a book. Avoid stress-inducing tech use such as watching TV or scrolling on your phone, as the blue light is a form of “visual caffeine” that can keep you up.
Maintaining an exercise routine is tough. Even if you don’t feel like getting out, taking a walk in the fresh air can do you good. Staying active improves circulation so you won’t get as many leg cramps. It also promotes more restful sleep overall.
Eat right and drink up
Drinking lots of water is great during pregnancy – just be sure to cut down the ounces close to bedtime. Eating right can also help promote digestion during pregnancy. Avoid sugary drinks, spicy foods and oily snacks, as well as caffeine and alcohol. If you’re hungry before bed, try a healthy nighttime snack, such as fruit, nuts/seeds, whole-wheat options or yogurt.
Eliminate new parent stress factors
You may be anxious about becoming a new parent, which can keep you up at night. Try to release your worries before bed by doing yoga poses or gratitude journaling. Talk about your concerns with your partner as well, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you find it difficult to ease your worries, you might try taking a new parent class or seeing a counselor during this stressful time.
Rest up with Polysleep
Pregnancy is a time of transition and hope. If you’re dreaming of sound sleep during pregnancy, try these strategies to create a stress-free environment that promotes rest. Don’t forget about trying some pillows for extra comfort, too. Polysleep offers a variety of pillows and mattresses to make your bedroom a true sleep sanctuary.
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