Pregnancy can be a time of great joy, but it can also be a time of sleepless nights. As your body changes and your baby grows, it can be difficult to get the restful sleep you need. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can help you get the restful sleep you need during pregnancy. First and foremost, avoid sleeping on your back.
This position can put the weight of the uterus on your spine and back muscles, which can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. If you do wake up on your back, use pillows to make yourself more comfortable. Place a pillow between your bent knees or under your abdomen for extra support. For more chronic sleep problems, lifestyle changes can help.
Try giving up television and electronics before going to bed, as these can interfere with your body's natural sleep rhythms. Additionally, research has shown that in the third trimester (after 28 weeks of pregnancy) sleeping on your back increases the risk of stillbirth, so it is best to go to sleep on your side in the third trimester. It is estimated that between 10 and 25 percent of women report symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy. This is when you feel an overwhelming need to move your legs, which can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
While it may be tempting to look for a pharmaceutical or herbal supplement to combat insomnia, these products are generally not recommended for pregnant women. After 20 weeks, doctors recommend sleeping on your left side only to allow the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. A hot shower can also loosen stiffness in your neck and shoulders and improve circulation, making it easier to sleep. When lying on your side, it may be more comfortable to sleep with a pillow that supports your tummy and a pillow between your knees.
In addition to physical comfort, temperature plays an important role in getting a good night's sleep. Temperatures below and above the 60-67 degree range make it more difficult to fall asleep, cause restlessness during the night, and affect the quality of sleep you experience. Finally, aromatherapy can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. As you practice deep breathing before going to sleep, add a little aromatherapy to help you sleep better and more deeply during the night.
Getting enough restful sleep during pregnancy is essential for both you and your baby's health. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that you get the restful sleep you need during this special time.