It takes hours to get comfortable and just as you are nodding off, you find you need to visit the bathroom. And when you do sleep, you don’t find it restful. If you are having trouble getting and staying asleep, you need this hints and tips.
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. And it makes sense that during pregnancy, you need plenty of rest and sleep.
Raging hormones, temperature, the urgency to visit the bathroom and ‘weird’ dreams all conspire to make sleep even more difficult.
Of course, there will be ‘helpful’ people who tell you that once baby is here, you won’t have a full night’s sleep for years to come.
Banish negative messages by taking positive action to get the rest and sleep you need.
1. STAY HYDRATED
It can be tempting to cut back on your fluid intake during the day, especially if sleep is interrupted by frequent toilet visits.
As well as using good quality incontinence pads, drink plenty of fluids during the day – water especially – but taper off your fluid consumption from early evening onwards.
There are foods and drink that increase urination. Be mindful of caffeinated drinks, citrus flavours and some acidic fruits, such as tomatoes.
2. STAY ACTIVE
When you are tired and lacking in energy, the temptation is to curl up on the sofa with a good book.
There is no denying that you need plenty of rest but balance this against staying active. This way your muscles are stretched and toned, your joints stay in good health and you may also find nighttime leg cramps lessen too.
3. BANISH STRESS & ANXIETY
Everyday life can be stressful – being pregnant magnifies worry and stress, and also introduces some new ones. Talking to a trusted friend or share your worries with your partner can help.
But you may also need to recognise that some of this stress and anxiety needs professional help. Can your midwife help?
4. GET INTO A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Establishing a soothing, comforting and consistent bedtime routine will help you relax. This is a personal choice so what suits you may not be what other pregnant mums do.
A relaxing cool bath, followed by reading for an hour can help, as can taking a warm shower and a cup of camomile tea.
Technology in the bedroom is usually frowned upon but there are some great sleep apps that could help you to drift off. And don’t forget, these kinds of apps can be used for a mid-day nap too!
5. SLEEP ON YOUR LEFT SIDE
The current trend is to advise women from 20 weeks onwards to sleep on their left side. This allows a good blood flow to your growing baby, as well as your uterus and kidneys.
If you can, avoid sleeping on your back although this is probably the least comfortable position, so you will subconsciously avoid it anyway!
6. EAT TWO TO THREE HOURS BEFORE BED
With a growing baby squashing your organs, including your digestive system, you may find that the problem keeping you awake is heartburn.
Avoid eating in the two or three hours before bed and you may find it isn’t such a problem. Avoiding spicy, sugary, and fried foods can also help.
7. HAVE A DAY TIME NAP
When you are over-tired, dropping off at night will be even more impossible. Have a nap during the day to keep your energy levels up and draining fatigue and bay.
8. GET SUPPORT
Pillows, pregnancy pillows, V-shaped pillows… you name it, there has been a pillow invented to offer the body more support in bed. Get your partner to position your pillows at the small of your back, for example, you may also find a pillow between the knees helps too.
9. EAT WELL
If you are suffering badly from insomnia, cut out caffeine completely and generally take stock of your diet – is it balanced and healthy?
If nausea is a problem, snacking on bland biscuits such as crackers can help. Try not to get hungry either. Graze rather than sit down to three big meals a day.
10. GET HELP & MORE ADVICE…
… from your GP or your midwife. Being overly tired and fatigued can lead to other problems but can also be a sign of medical conditions such as anaemia.
For most women, sleep problems happen occasionally during pregnancy, with the final trimester being the most uncomfortable. Getting into a good sleep routine from early pregnancy should help you banish pregnancy insomnia.
A good quality incontinence pad can make a huge difference in managing incontinence during and post pregnancy, something that a trusted online retailer like HARTMANN Direct understand.
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