Sleep Tips During Pregnancy – A Simple Guide for Better Sleep
Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep during pregnancy? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
A recent survey out of the United States found that more than 84.2% of expectant mums reported trouble sleeping during pregnancy.
With so many changes occurring in your body, it is little wonder that sleep gets more difficult throughout a pregnancy. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways that pregnancy impacts sleep and what you can do to get a good, restful nights sleep so that you are ready to go when your little one arrives.
Why does pregnancy affect sleep?
Pregnancy causes a variety of physical and hormonal changes in a woman’s body that can impact sleep. Hormonal changes can lead to fatigue and insomnia – even for women who have never reported any sleeping problems in the past.
In addition to changes in hormone levels, the physical discomfort associated with pregnancy can also make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Finding an ideal sleeping position becomes increasingly difficult as the pregnancy progresses which means that night times can be uncomfortable and tedious as a woman looks to find comfort between the sheets.
As well as the physical and hormonal changes that occur throughout pregnancy, a new mum may experience increased anxiety and worry which can further interfere with sleep. Combined together, all of these factors can make it incredibly difficult for a pregnant woman to get the rest that they need.
What are the most common sleep issues reported during pregnancy?
Some of the most common sleep issues reported during pregnancy include the following:
- Extreme anxiety
- Sleep apnoea
- Night-time gastro or reflux
- Restless leg syndrome
A 2018 study found that the rate of sleep disorders in pregnant women was extremely high at 46–78%, with the quality of sleep declining towards the third trimester.
What can you do to improve your rest during pregnancy?
There is no prefect guide for getting a good night’s sleep during pregnancy, however, there are some steps that can be taken in order to secure your chances of a restful night.
Create a sleep routine – having a routine around bedtime is crucial for creating a regular sleeping pattern – well, the most regular one that you can during your pregnancy. Create a regular bedtime and bedtime routine which includes shower routine, screen time limitations, and wind down so that you have the best chance of settling into a good night’s sleep.
Cut out the coffee – even for the most seasoned coffee drinkers, caffeine consumption can have a big impact on you and your unborn child. Avoiding caffeine and eating a light meal in the hours before bed can dramatically improve the time it takes to fall asleep and the type of sleep that you experience.
Exercise during the day – feel like you’re still full of beans at the end of the day? A regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy is not only great for your baby, but it’s also essential for your rest. Light cardio and weights are a great way to burn through energy throughout the day so that you are ready to rest when the lights go out.
Invest in sleeping aids – pregnancy pillows and comfortable bedding such as bamboo bed sheets are an excellent way to improve the quality of sleep that you have at night. Pregnancy pillows can support your stomach and ensure that you get the most comfortable night of sleep possible in the final stages of your pregnancy.
Which sleeping position is the best for pregnant women?
When it comes to choosing the best sleeping position for pregnant women there is no definitive answer as everyone is different. However, there are a few general tips that you can follow to improve the quality of sleep that you have during pregnancy including:
Try to sleep on your left side: Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of certain complications, such as heaviness in the legs and low blood pressure. Additionally, sleeping on the left side allows for better circulation to the uterus and can help to reduce swelling in the legs.
Avoid sleeping on your back – where possible: Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can put unnecessary strain on the back and spine and can also lead to more frequent bathroom breaks as the enlarged uterus can press on the bladder.
Don’t sleep on your stomach: Perhaps the most obvious one here but sleeping on your stomach can be very uncomfortable as the growing belly can put pressure on the stomach and other organs, while also making it can also make it difficult to breathe.
Getting a good night’s sleep during your pregnancy is so important – but is far from easy. It’s important to know that you are not alone in the discomfort or disruption to sleep that you are feeling. Don’t be fooled by those insta-perfect pregnancies, following the tips in this article can help you to navigate your sleep schedule as you move throughout your pregnancy.