Pregnancy can be a really exciting time for an expectant mother, but it can also come with some challenging symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and more. Pregnancy can also cause sleep issues and make it more difficult to have the quality sleep you need.
It’s normal to have sleep issues during pregnancy. Hormone changes and an expanding tummy make it hard to get comfortable, and a full bladder makes frequent bathroom trips inevitable.
Getting a good night’s sleep during pregnancy is essential to the well-being of both mother and child.
Here are some tips to help you get the best sleep possible!
Table of Contents
1. Avoid eating large meals before bedtime
Try to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. A heavy meal close to bedtime can cause indigestion, which may awaken you later. Lying down shortly after a meal can make it easier for stomach acid to creep back up your esophagus.
If you have frequent nighttime heartburn, try not to eat within the three-hour period before bedtime. If that’s not possible, try to elevate the head of your bed by about 6 inches. You can do this by putting blocks of wood under the top legs of the bed or using a wedge-shaped pillow under your pillow or mattress.
Try not to eat foods high in fat just before going to bed. Fatty foods weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which makes it easier for stomach acid to flow into your esophagus.
Other strategies to reduce symptoms include:
- Avoiding coffee, tea, alcohol, or carbonated beverages
- Eating slowly and chewing each bite thoroughly
- Quitting smoking
2. Relax your Body position
Don’t cross your legs. This makes it harder for blood to flow through the veins in your legs.
Move your legs when you sit. When you sit, flex and relax your ankles and move your toes up and down to help your leg muscles pump blood back to your heart. You can also lift your heels with your toes while sitting or standing to exercise your calves.
Stay active. Regular physical activity helps prevent leg swelling. Try activities that use large muscle groups such as walking, swimming, and biking. If you can’t do these types of activities, try other exercises that make the muscles of the legs contract.
- Wear loose clothing and avoid tight waistbands or garters around the waist or legs.
- Avoid long periods of standing or sitting, which can make leg swelling worse.
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight gradually if this is recommended by your doctor.”
3. Drink enough fluids during the day,
Drink enough fluids during the day, but cut back on how much you drink before bedtime, so you don’t have to get up at night to use the washroom as often. Drinking plenty of fluids can also help prevent constipation.
It’s important to stay hydrated, but not to overdo it. If you drink too much, your kidneys may not be able to get rid of all the excess fluid. In some cases, symptoms of drinking too much water may become apparent, and a person may even experience fatal consequences.
If you don’t like drinking water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to make it more appealing. You could also try unsweetened ice tea (without milk), coffee (without milk), or other drinks that don’t contain alcohol or caffeine.
Talk to your doctor about your fluid intake if you have heart failure or are on dialysis. Your doctor may tell you not to limit fluids.
4. Sleep on your left side
“Not on your back” because sleeping on your left side improves blood flow to the placenta and fetus, and helps relieve pressure on major blood vessels. Keep your knees slightly bent and place a pillow between your legs for comfortable support.
There are many factors that influence how well you sleep, and one of them may be your sleeping position. While there is no single correct way to sleep, the best position for you is likely one that helps you feel comfortable and well-supported.
- Sleeping on your left side can help improve blood flow to the fetus and reduce acid reflux.
- If you have back pain or severe neck pain, try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees to relieve pressure.
- If you have heartburn, try sleeping on your right side.
It’s important to select a mattress and pillow that provide proper support and cushioning for your sleeping position.
5- Exercise daily
Exercise can help improve your sleep during pregnancy, especially if you exercise regularly.
Exercising at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week helps you get better sleep during pregnancy, according to a 2015 study. The study looked at 449 expectant mothers and found that those who exercised reported less daytime sleepiness and less disturbed sleep at night.
Exercise reduces stress and anxiety, which are common during pregnancy and can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you’re not accustomed to being physically active, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Here are some types of exercise you can do:
- Gentle stretching
The best time of day for a workout depends on your schedule and personal preferences. Regardless of what time is best for you, try to set a consistent schedule so that your body adjusts to the same level of exertion at the same time.
These are all great tips for how to get the best sleep during pregnancy. Some of them seem like they wouldn’t make that big of a difference, but when you’re pregnant, every second counts! To get the most out of your sleep and to feel your best, try all of these tips and see what works best for you.
You will have to consult with your doctor for any guidelines during pregnancy. He or she will be able to guide you in the right direction because every pregnancy is different.