Pregnancy is a special time in a woman's life. It's amazing to watch your baby grow inside of you, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. There are many symptoms that come with pregnancy, and one of the most common issues women face is not being able to sleep well at night. When you're pregnant, it's important to get enough quality sleep so you can stay healthy and get through each day without feeling tired or groggy. If you've been having trouble sleeping lately or just want some tips for staying comfortable at night when pregnant, then read on! We've compiled this list of tips from experts who specialize in helping expectant mothers get better sleep while pregnant:
Be mindful of your posture.
Being mindful of your posture is important for all pregnant women, but it's especially important if you have a history of back or neck problems. The extra weight makes it hard to maintain good posture, and can even cause pain or discomfort if you're not careful. Here are some tips for improving the way you stand, sit and lie down:
- When sitting in a chair (at home or at work), try to keep your feet flat on the floor with both knees bent at 90-degree angles so they’re level with hips. If this isn’t possible because of limited space under the desk, place pillows under your legs so they're more comfortable. Also try placing one pillow behind your lower back and another between your shoulder blades for additional support if needed when sitting upright for long periods of time such as working at a desk job during pregnancy.
- If lying down is easier than sitting up straight when sleeping at night due to increased body weight during pregnancy then having some extra pillows under head may help provide additional support while sleeping on side instead mattress alone (as long as doctor approves). This will encourage better sleep quality overall too!
Avoid working out three hours before bedtime.
The last thing you want to do is wake up in the middle of the night, feeling tired and unable to fall back asleep. The more tired you are during pregnancy, the more likely you are to have trouble sleeping.
It's true that exercise can help pregnant women sleep better at night—but only if it's done earlier in the day. Doing too much exercise right before bedtime can make it harder for some people, especially those who are sensitive to caffeine or have anxiety disorders like insomnia.
Why would that be? Because exercise increases your heart rate and blood pressure and activates an alerting system in your brain called noradrenaline (NAD). This means that if you're trying to go straight from exercising into bedtime without any downtime or relaxation time beforehand, then it could actually make falling asleep harder than usual!
If this sounds familiar (and not just because I'm experiencing this myself), then consider changing up how you schedule activities throughout your day so there’s enough time between exercising and getting ready for bed each evening—or even incorporating some relaxing downtime into your workout routine itself!
Try sleeping on your side instead of your back.
Another thing you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep is to try sleeping on your side instead of your back. Sleeping on your back can cause a lot of strain and tension in the lower part of your body, which can make it difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep. Sleeping on your side will allow gravity to do its job by gently pulling blood toward the heart, which will help reduce swelling and pain. This is especially important if you have any problems with varicose veins or edema (swelling). It’s also good for baby: lying flat on their backs increases their risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), so lying horizontally reduces this risk while still allowing them plenty of space in which they can move around freely!
Get in the habit of turning off the TV early.
You don't want to watch TV too close to bedtime. If there's an hour between when you turn off the TV and when you go to bed, that's enough time for your body to produce melatonin again.
The blue light from the TV can interfere with melatonin production and make it harder for you to fall asleep. And if a show is stressful or has a lot of noise in it, like sports or reality shows, those things can make it even harder for your body to relax before bedtime.
Relax to unwind.
Relaxing is the key to getting a good night’s sleep. Try these tips:
- Deep breathing: Breathing deeply will help relax your muscles and calm the mind, which can lead to better sleep.
- Relaxing your body: If you are tense, try tensing and relaxing different parts of your body (like facial muscles or hands). This will help you unwind before bedtime.
- Relaxing thoughts: If you have anxiety or worry about something in particular, try writing down what is on your mind so that at least it has been written down somewhere rather than being constantly running through your head!
Don't overdo caffeine and energy drinks.
- Caffeine can be a stimulant and cause insomnia.
- Caffeine can cause headaches.
- Caffeine can make people feel dehydrated, which causes low birth weight in babies when they're born (and sometimes premature birth).
Continue to exercise during pregnancy.
Exercise is important during pregnancy. It helps to create a healthy environment for your baby, and it can help you to stay physically fit and feel good as you go through the changes of pregnancy.
If you want to continue exercising while pregnant, it's important that you do so safely. While there are many activities that are safe during pregnancy (walking, swimming) there are some that should be avoided (horseback riding). Talk with your doctor about what type of exercise would be best for you and how much time per day or week would be okay for working out. Your doctor will also let you know what exercises should not be done if they cause pain in the stomach area or leg cramps.
Try aromatherapy for sleep.
Next, you can use aromatherapy for sleep. Aromatherapy is the use of scents to improve your mood or mental state. If you're pregnant, lavender is an especially soothing scent and is said to be one that can help aid in restful sleep.
A few ways you can incorporate lavender into your bedtime routine include:
- Using a diffuser during bedtime routines (diffusers are devices that disperse water vapor)
- Putting drops of lavender oil on a pillowcase or using a pillow made with the scent of lavender (you could also get some silk sheets if your mattress isn't made out of silk)
- Spraying yourself down with a body wash that has been infused with this fragrance before going to bed
- Lighting up an aromatic candle filled with scented wax
Stay hydrated through the day, but don't drink too much water before bedtime.
So now that you know why you're not sleeping well and what can help you sleep better, it's time to talk about what not to do.
Avoid drinking too much water before bed. Drinking a lot of water will cause your kidneys to have to flush out all that liquid during the night, which means waking up several times in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks. You may have heard this advice before and thought "Wow, I'm going to try this!" but then when it came down to actually doing it, found yourself unable or unwilling to go through with it. This is because we tend not only physically but also mentally resist doing things that are good for us (a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance). So while there is no denying that drinking less water before bedtime is healthier than drinking more (and therefore will lead us naturally towards better sleep), many people find themselves unable or unwilling avoid overhydrating in preparation for bedtime
The key is to make sure you're comfortable in bed at night and forming good habits to reduce those restless nights
The key is to make sure you're comfortable in bed at night and forming good habits to reduce those restless nights.
When it comes to sleep, quality matters more than quantity. It's important for your body, mind and baby that you get enough rest each night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night during pregnancy (1).
Good sleep habits can improve the quality of your rest:
- Start a routine before bedtime: Go through the same steps at the same time each day so they become habit. You could take a bath, read a book or do some light yoga before hitting the hay—just make sure it's something relaxing!
- Avoid napping during daytime hours: This can interfere with nighttime sleep and may leave you feeling drowsy when you should be wide awake.* Avoid caffeine after noon: Caffeine can stay in your system for many hours after drinking coffee, tea or soda.* Relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises help calm down jittery nerves and ease anxiety.* Exercise will also help keep stress levels down—and regular exercise has been shown to improve overall health during pregnancy anyway.* Drink plenty of water throughout the day
We hope this list has given you some ideas for how to get better sleep while pregnant. It’s important to remember that your sleep schedule is not the only thing about pregnancy that can make you feel tired or uncomfortable. The demands of caring for a new baby, adjusting to a busy family life with other children and caring for yourself as well can all contribute to a lack of good quality rest at night. But don't worry! If you follow our advice and implement some simple changes into your routine (we recommend starting with changing how much caffeine you drink), then we're sure that soon enough those headaches will be gone—along with any other pregnancy symptoms plaguing your body right now!