When I was a youngling, my overactive mind was fascinated by pregnant women. I remember inquisitively questioning a pregnant woman about how she slept at night and if she would crush the baby when she slept.
Her response was pretty amazing. She told me she slept with a body pillow, if she even slept at all because the fetus would become very active in the middle of the night. She was convinced her child was going to be a night owl.
This woman wasn't alone because, according to the National Sleep Foundation, more than "78 percent of women experience more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than any other time."
So what is the best position to sleep in when you are pregnant? According to the Nemours Foundation, "some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. Sleeping on the left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys."
If you are pregnant, you may want to experiment with an extra pillow or blanket. Sometimes placing a pillow or blanket between your legs, under your abdomen or the small of your back can make sleep time more relaxing and relieve some of the pressure.
During your first trimester you can count on an average of three sleep disturbances per night but during the second trimester your body finds its rhythm and you will enjoy some quality sleep time.
However, during the third trimester things are a different story and you may need to take naps or go to bed earlier and sleep later.
Here are some things you can do to cope with loss of sleep during your pregnancy:
• Avoid spicy foods before bedtime.
• Avoid caffeine.
• Exercise in the morning instead of the evening.
• Drink plenty of fluids during the morning and afternoon but taper off in the evening hours.
• Snoring is common and may become an issue during your pregnancy. If you have long pauses in your sleep, contact your doctor about being screened for sleep apnea.