Another sleepless night! You got up to use the bathroom and when you got back into bed, there was not a wink of sleep. You tried to shut your eyes tight. You rolled, twisted and turned trying to get comfortable. But, sleep continued to remain elusive. Mounting the troubles is an aching back.
You’re having a hard time coping with sleepless nights. It leaves you sluggish, tired and lazy the next morning. And though you make up it with an afternoon nap, you’re desperate to have a good night’s sleep- deep and uninterrupted. How can you?
We will tell you “HOW” with a few tips on sound sleep while pregnant.
Why do pregnant women find hard to sleep?
There are several factors that interfere with sleep. They are as follows:
- A burgeoning belly – It is the first to blame for your sleep problems. The increasing size of the fetus causes the stomach to expand. It becomes difficult to find a comfortable sleep position. Sleeping on the side is not comfortable for all women especially those used to sleeping on their back and stomach.
- Frequent urination – The increased functioning of the kidneys coupled with the pressure exerted on the bladder increases the number of trips you make to the bathroom. Besides, the urge to use the bathroom is greater at night because babies tend to be more active then.
- Backaches and leg cramps – The extra weight exerts strain on the back and leg muscles. Additionally, as the body prepares for labor and delivery it releases a hormone called relaxin. It loosens the joints in the body. Thus, women experience back and leg pain making it difficult to sleep.
- Dreams – Pregnant women may also have trouble sleeping because of the strange pregnancy dreams they see.
- Constipation and heartburn – Heartburn and constipation are common problems in pregnancy as the digestive system automatically slows down. Both heartburn and constipation interfere with sleep.
- Hormonal changes also affect the quality of sleep in pregnant women.
- Stress and anxiety are also factors that keep you and your spouse up all night.
Tips to catch up sleep during pregnancy
Sleep aids are an absolute no during pregnancy. You can improve the quality of sleep in the following ways:
- A comfortable sleep position – The best sleep position during pregnancy is the side position. You can sleep on either side (doctors recommend the left) with the knees slightly bent. It relives pressure off the back and aids with proper blood circulation. If you are not a side sleeper, start sleeping in this position early in order to get used to it.
- Play with Pillows – Pillows are a great sleeping aid during pregnancy. A pillow helps support the tummy and the back. A pillow can be placed between the legs or under the abdomen or the lower back to increase comfort. There are full length body pillows and wedge shaped maternity pillows available in mother and child stores too.
- Limit Intake of Fluids before Bedtime – Reducing the fluid intake at nighttime will reduce the number of trips you make to the bathroom at night.
- Eat Small Meals – Eat a small, light yet nutritious meal for dinner. Heavy meals will take longer to digest and may cause heartburn.
- Early to Bed and Early to Rise – Establish a sleeping routine. Try your best to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
- Cut back on Caffeine – Reduce your intake of coffee, soda or tea. They contain caffeine a stimulant that will keep you up all night. Besides, caffeine is not good for the growing fetus.
- Relaxation Techniques – Do not exercise before going to bed. Instead opt for a warm bath. Practice realization techniques such as breathing, yoga and meditation.
If despite all this, you find it hard to sleep, don’t force yourself to sleep. Get up and walk around. Read a book, watch TV, listen to soothing music and check your mails. When you feel tired and sleepy, get back to bed and go to sleep.