Pregnancy is hard work and your body deserves a good night's sleep to recover and prepare for the day ahead. Here are some tips that might help you catch some much deserved sleep, and also improve the health of you and your baby.
1. Stay hydrated. Keeping well-hydrated throughout pregnancy is extremely important, and may have an effect on your sleeping as well. Hydration helps decrease swelling and headaches (even though it might cause for a few extra potty breaks during the night). But it's well worth it!
2. Exercise. Regular exercising will naturally tire you out by the end of the day. If possible, keep the exercises in the morning or afternoons, so your body doesn’t get a boost of energy from the endorphins and keep you awake.
3. Control the temperature. Throughout pregnancy your body is working 24-7. This constant work will increase your body temperature, so when it comes down to falling asleep try using a lighter blanket or turning the thermostat down to make yourself more comfortable.
4. Sleeping positions. This is a big one. As your pregnancy progresses you will notice that certain sleeping positions are no longer possible or no longer recommended. The safest, and most recommended sleeping position by health care providers is sleeping on your side. (Specifically, sleeping on your left side, but either side will work). The American Pregnancy Association says that sleeping on your left side increases the amount of nutrients and blood to reach the placenta. When sleeping on your side, keep your knees slightly bent and prop a pillow between them. You can also prop a pillow in between your belly and the bed for increased comfort. (Avoid sleeping on your back and/or stomach).
5. Avoid certain foods. Spicy and acidic foods may cause heartburn-like symptoms and indigestion when you lay down for sleep. If you do feel heartburn when lying down, try propping a few pillows so your chest will be higher than your stomach. (That is if you possibly have any more pillows available!)
Spending some time trying to relax your mind prior to sleeping may also be a great benefit. Do something you love!