You are tired and want to sleep comfortably in your bed. You settle down in your bed hoping to catch a good night’s rest. But you just can’t get beyond few winks.
Either you want to use the washroom, or you are not able to settle down comfortably with your growing belly,
or you have indigestion, or… the list can go on. Welcome to pregnancy sleep problems. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the greatest challenges as your pregnancy progresses.
There are many reasons why you might not be able to sleep continuously for long hours in pregnancy:
1. Growing belly
3. Leg cramps
6. Leg cramps
7. Baby moving
9. Vivid dreams
10. Restless leg syndrome
If so many things can disturb your sleep, isn’t there any way for you to sleep comfortably for a longer time?
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When a pregnant woman sleeps, her spine is more pressurized than usual. So, your mattress needs to give more support to your spine to prevent you from getting back pain and sore muscles.
Use pillows to elevate your back and head. Never sleep on hard mattresses or bouncy mattresses. If you feel comfortable sleeping on a comfy chair or a sofa, go ahead.
If you have the habit of taking afternoon naps, keep it short and sweet at 30 minutes. If your naps are longer than 30 minutes, your body will go into a state of deep sleep. On waking, you will be tired and groggy.
Also, your body will be confused about the duration of the rest it requires and you might not fall asleep soon at night.
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Switch off your smartphone, television, laptop and all forms of digital devices, at least half an hour before you go to bed. Also stay away from any external stimulation like bright lights, loud music etc.
Also, avoid strenuous activities at night.
Also Read: Importance of folic acid during pregnancy
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A lot of pregnant women feel hungry frequently which often leads to late night snacking. Avoid eating at least 2 hours prior to going to bed. Late night snacking can lead to indigestion and heartburn which can disturb your sleep.
In case, you are really hungry during sleep time then try to drink a glass of warm milk as it can not only fill your tummy but also induce sleep.
Also read: 13 Pregnancy myths and facts
Your growing tummy would have already made you realize that sleeping to the side is the only way possible now. Sleeping on the side will help you breathe better and also relieves the pressure on the uterus.
Many doctors recommend that you sleep on your left side as it is known to increase the amount of blood and nutrient flow to your baby.
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Use pillows to rest your head and upper body a few inches higher. Keeping your head and upper body higher, puts less pressure on the diaphragm and makes your breathing easier. Nowadays, curved pregnancy pillows are available in the market which can be used for this purpose.
Avoid tight clothing altogether. Loose and comfortable cotton gowns are best suited.
Your body heat increases during pregnancy and also your skin might become more sensitive. Avoid synthetic fabrics as they might make you sweat more and also might cause skin rashes and irritation.
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Strictly avoid consuming coffee, tea or any aerated drinks at bedtime.
Coffee and tea contain caffeine which can disturb your sleep. Avoid Aerated drinks like sodas, colas, soft drinks during bedtime, as it contain high sugar and can also cause heartburn and indigestion.
Before sleep time, go for a slow and relaxed walk. Don’t carry any digital devices with you.
Walking, not only relaxes you but also gives a good supply of oxygen which relaxes your brain and helps you fall asleep faster.
Don’t consume spicy and oily foods at dinner as these can cause severe heartburn. Eat a lot of green leafy vegetables and whole grains for dinner.
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You might also like: 8 Things to Consider while Choosing the Right Gynecologist for You
Before sleeping, try to meditate for 15 minutes every day.
It will help in relaxing your mind and body which will result in better sleep. There are some breathing exercises (Pranayama) which can be done at bedtime. Consult a certified yoga teacher to learn them.
Lightly massage your legs before bedtime to avoid leg cramps. Also, try taking a warm bath at least 30 minutes prior to sleep. A warm bath relaxes your muscles and makes you drift to sleep easily.
Only a pregnant woman knows what it really feels to be pregnant! Sleep is one of the essential processes of your body. Going without sleep can make you feel groggy and tired. As your pregnancy progresses, it becomes difficult for you to get longer hours of sleep. Many old and wise people say that it is nature’s way of preparing you to bear sleeplessness after delivery. So Moms, make yourself comfortable and follow the tips for a better night’s rest.
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