I remember in my last weeks of pregnancy I had a difficult time sleeping. No matter what I did, I could not find a comfortable position. I would toss and turn from side to side and re-position my pillows constantly in hopes of a getting a good night’s rest.
If you’re pregnant, it’s recommended that you get at least 8-10 hours of sleep per day.
Why can’t you sleep?
Hormonal and growing body changes can lead to discomforts such as nausea and/or heartburn. Your baby movements, growing belly, body aches, cramping, as well as the frequent need to pee can keep you up at night.
6 tips for a better sleep in pregnancy:
- Have a routine
Wake up at the same time each day and try to get things done at the beginning of the day. Give yourself time to unwind and relax using your bed only for sleeping at night and napping during the day.
- Keep physically active
Research shows that being active for at least 30 minutes four times a week can help your body get a good night’s rest. Choose safe exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga. Always consult with your doctor before beginning to exercise.
- Decrease anxiety and stress
Meditation, guided imagery and progressive relaxation strategies may help you relax enough to induce sleep. Know your circle of support. Sharing your feelings with a loved one can help you feel less stressed. Talk with a health care provider if you are feeling overwhelmed and cannot cope.
- Think about what you eat and when
Limit your caffeine intake to 300mg per day and try not to consume caffeine or water too close to bedtime.
Avoiding spicy and fried foods can help if heartburn is a problem.
- Lie on your side
Lying on your left side allows baby to continue to receive continuous blood flow and oxygen. Using a pillow in between your knees with your knees drawn up can help keep your hips, knees, legs and spine in good alignment and increase your comfort for a better night’s sleep.
- Avoid using electronics in bed.
Research has shown that the blue light from your electronic devices (cell phone, laptop, tablet, TV) can reduce melatonin – a hormone that helps you go to sleep.
Keep these devices away from the bedroom to prevent your body and brain from becoming too alert to unwind which may interfere with your normal sleep rhythm.
Getting enough sleep in your pregnancy can be a challenge
Prolonged lack of sleep can make you feel tired and irritable while getting enough sleep can help you feel like you have more energy. Try different things to see what works for you.
Speak with your health care provider or eChat with a nurse should you have any concerns.