Pregnant women experience difficulty while sleeping during pregnancy due to all the changes taking place in their bodies.
As pregnancy progresses, it becomes increasingly hard for a woman to sleep as she used to before. She has to look for different comfortable positions to sleep in to accommodate the growing baby and her changing physic.
During pregnancy, sleep disturbances are mostly caused by frequent visits to the bathroom, heart burns, nausea and being restless due to fatigue. Sleep is vital to the growth of the unborn baby and the mother. When a pregnant woman is able to sleep well, she wakes up more relaxed and this reduces tension in her body and inspires growth of the fetus.
What is the secret to sleeping during pregnancy?
Here are a few secrets to help you sleep better.
- Take a nap during the day
Pregnant women tire quickly, especially towards the end of the third trimester. As the baby grows and the weight increases, they feel more tired. It is advisable to take a nap during the day, 30 – 60 minutes nap. This will relieve their body off fatigue, promote alertness, sharp memory and increase blood circulation, hence promote growth of the baby.
This day nap also reduces restlessness at night.
- Choice of mattress
Invest in a good and firm mattress which will support your changing body. The mattress ought to be firm so as to support a pregnant woman’s back and also soft enough to be comfortable. A good mattress will make the sleeping experience of an expectant mother more comfortable and peaceful.
A bad mattress can keep you awake or prevent you from sleeping.
- Invest in a pregnancy pillow
A pregnancy pillow is used to help a pregnant woman adjust to a new sleeping position which is comfortable for her and her growing baby. If you were used to sleeping on your back or on your stomach, you will have a hard time adjusting from this position. Sleeping on your stomach or your back will not do, because of your protruding belly, tenders breasts and constant back aches.
Sleeping on the left side is know n to help maximize the flow of blood and nutrients to the fetus, reduces chances of low blood pressure, indigestion, hemorrhoids and impaired breathing in a pregnant woman. Sleeping on the left side can also help a pregnant woman’s kidneys work better, reducing the swelling of the feet, hands and ankles.
To improve your sleeping position, tack the pregnancy pillow under your body on the left side to increase comfort.
Additional tips on sleeping during pregnancy
- Reduce fluid intake before bedtime
The bladder of a pregnant woman can not hold a lot of fluid because there is pressure exacted on it by the growing fetus. Reducing fluid in take will reduce number of trips the expectant woman will have to make to the bathroom at night. Avoid taking caffeine before bedtime to help you sleep better.
- Eat bland food around bedtime
Majority of pregnant women suffer from nausea and heart burns. These can get so bad at night that you are not able to sleep. Eat bland foods such as crackers or dry toast to reduce such symptoms.
As you progress in pregnancy, take note of what works for you. Listen to your body; eat a healthy pregnancy diet and exercise often to remain in good physical shape while pregnant. Let the points listed above serve as a guideline to help you to enjoy sleeping during pregnancy.