Making a sleep routine
One of the most important things you need to do is to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily. Once the internal clock of your body gets used to this, you will be able to have quality sleep.
Sleeping on the left side
The regular sleeping position you had before pregnancy might not work anymore. It is not ideal sleeping on your back because it puts pressure on your spine and intestines (it can even affect the baby). Sleeping on your left side is the best option. It has been shown to help lessen heartburn, which is a common sleep disruptor pregnant women experience, and this position gives your organs and baby enough space. Do not panic when you wake up in the morning and find yourself sleeping on your back or belly. While it might not be ideal, it is way better doing it and getting quality sleep instead of no sleep at all.
Propping with pillows
Pillows can help in taking some pressure when put in the right positions. If you want;
Back and belly support: then prop it under the tummy and between the knees
To relieve heartburn: Put a pillow under your head because it will help in keeping acids away from your oesophagus.
To help with shortness of breath (this is a common thing towards the end of a pregnancy): Place the pillow under the side to raise the chest
If you get a go-ahead from your doctor, you can buy a “pregnancy pillow” because it helps in keeping the body in the ideal position without having to get up at night to properly position a pillow that has slipped.
There is no point investing in pillows and propping yourself up if your mattress has seen better days. Invest in a new Tempurpedic mattress and enjoy comfort and support.
Lowering the temperature
During pregnancy, body temperature increases because of increased hormones and metabolic rate. This will leave you feeling hotter than usual. You will notice that the most comfortable temperature is going to be a few degrees lower than what you are used to. Partially covering yourself with a blanket can also help.
Limiting fluid intake before bedtime
As your baby grows more and takes more space, you will start getting the urge to pee more frequently. Your kidneys go into overdrive because they are working for two, which can cause problems with your sleep. If you want to reduce the visits you make to the bathroom, then you should limit what you drink an hour or so before bedtime. You will need to drink a lot of fluids during the day because it helps in preventing swelling and constipation. Just cut back in the evening if you want to get quality sleep. You should also avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and soda in the late afternoon. This is because they can end up triggering the bladder to work faster.
Turning out the lights
When there is too much light, the body thinks it is daytime. This will make it harder to fall asleep or get back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night. Your room should be dark. Lower the brightness of your clock and also put away tablets and cell phones in bed because they can mess up the body’s natural sleep cycle. Have nightlights to use when going to the bathroom at night so you don’t have to turn on the lights.
Taking it easy before going to bed
It is important to unwind before going to bed, and this is even more important during pregnancy. You should not do rigorous exercise before bedtime. You should choose a relaxing activity like meditation or yoga (make sure you talk to your doctor first). You can also read a book because your mind will be focused on one thing, and it doesn’t require a lot of light. You should not use electronic devices to check out social media or parenting sites before bedtime – this can lead to unnecessary anxiety. If anxiety and fear keep you up, then consider joining a parenting or childbirth class. Learning more and meeting other pregnant women can help in easing your fears, and you can get the sleep you need.
Beds should for only one (or two) things
You should not be responding to emails or paying your bills when in bed. You should let your body associate bed with sleeping and sex. When you get to bed, your brain will know it is time to sleep.
Skipping late-night snacks
While you might be eating for two, try limiting the food you eat two hours before bed. This will help in avoiding spikes in blood sugar which can make you feel more awake. It also reduces the chance of heartburn or reflux, which can end up making you feel uncomfortable.
Kicking leg cramps to the curb
Leg cramps will become more common in the second trimester. Pregnant women who are prone to low iron levels or anemia can start experiencing restless leg syndrome (this is an irresistible urge of moving legs). The solution to either of these problems is getting out of bed and walking around so you can stretch your leg muscles. If you have this problem, then get up for a while then go back to sleep. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor who can advise you on changing your diet.
Keeping your naps short and sweet
During your pregnancy, you will nap from time to time. You should make sure they are short -lasting about 20-40 minutes – because the last thing you want is falling into a deep sleep. If you sleep for longer, you will have a hard time waking up and you will feel groggy, which is the opposite of refreshed. A long nap will have an effect on your evening sleep because it messes up the body’s natural clock.