For most women, getting a peaceful night’s sleep may become elusive at some point during their pregnancy. It’s hard to get comfortable. You get painful leg cramps. You struggle to prop yourself up because you’ve got heartburn … again! You need to use the bathroom several times a night. It may seem like everything is conspiring against your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep! There are things you can do to improve the situation.
Here are some of my favorite sleep tips for pregnant women:
- Cut back on fluids a few hours before bedtime. Just be sure to drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated.
- Sleep on your side. At some point, your belly will be too big for you to sleep on your stomach, and sleeping on your back may lead to reduced circulation as well as back pain. Lying on your side will improve your comfort and blood flow.
- Use a body pillow. Many women find that these long pillows offer good support for their belly and knees.
- Keep a homeopathic leg cramp medicine on your nightstand. Leg cramps become more common during pregnancy. Check with your doctor about using Hyland’s Leg Cramps Ointment, recommended by many pharmacists. It provides fast relief without having to ingest medication.
- Avoid spicy, fatty or acidic foods within two hours of bedtime. Saying no to that taco will help protect you from heartburn in the middle of the night. Eat dinner at least an hour before bedtime so that you’re not reclining on a full stomach.
- Turn down the thermostat. Most people sleep better in a cool bedroom. That’s especially true of pregnant women, whose bodies are generating a little extra heat.
- Get regular exercise. As long as your doctor approves, regular exercise will help you relax when you go to bed and improve the quality of your sleep. Just make sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, as it revs up your adrenaline which can keep you awake.
It’s critical to get plenty of rest while you’re pregnant. If your sleep disturbances continue, talk with your doctor about other alternatives to help you get more of the regenerative sleep you need during this exciting time of your life.