As an expectant mother, you are anticipating the sleepless nights and exhaustion that come with having a newborn. Unfortunately, many women have trouble sleeping throughout their pregnancy, as well. The discomfort of a growing belly and surge of hormones can be the reason many women can't achieve restful sleep. Here are a few simple tips to help pregnant women get the good night's sleep they need.
Understand the Causes of Pregnancy-Related Insomnia
Throughout your pregnancy, there will be several reasons why you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up several times during the night, including:
- Higher body temperature
- Nausea and vomiting
- Leg cramps
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
Another common reason pregnant women wake up throughout the night is because of an increased need to urinate. Pregnant women urinate more often because the growing baby is pressing on their bladder and because the increased blood volume during pregnancy causes the kidneys to work harder, which in turn produces more urine.
Prepare For a Good Night's Rest Throughout the Day
Making sleep a priority starts with preparing for a restful night's sleep throughout the day. Exercising and remaining active can help drain your energy, which can help you fall asleep faster. Additionally, staying active can help prevent some of the aches, pains, and cramps that are keeping you awake at night.
Avoid caffeine throughout the day, especially in the hours before bedtime. Eat a small snack before bedtime, such as crackers, to help curb nausea and prevent heartburn.
Develop a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Start your bedtime routine about an hour before you are ready to lie down for sleep. Take a relaxing bath or ask a partner or loved one to rub your shoulders or feet. Avoid drinking water before bed, as this can fill your bladder and lead to another trip to the bathroom. Read a book instead of watching television.
The flickering lights of television can stimulate your brain, which makes it more difficult to sleep. When you are ready for bed, make sure the room is completely dark and cool, which will help if you are hormonal fluctuations, which can lead to hot flashes.
Find a Comfortable Position
Finally, one of the most difficult aspects of sleeping during pregnancy is finding a comfortable position. An easy way to solve this is to invest in a few extra pillows. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow tucked between your legs, a pillow behind your back, and place a pillow under your growing belly to provide extra support.
Pregnancy-related sleep issues are a common problem with many solutions. If your pregnancy insomnia is making it difficult to perform everyday tasks, talk to your doctor.
For more information on maternity care, contact a company like Ob-Gyne Associates of Libertyville.