Apparently a lack of sleep during pregnancy ups your risk of high blood pressure. Those who get less than five...
Apparently a lack of sleep during pregnancy ups your risk of high blood pressure. Those who get less than five hours of sleep increase their odds of developing preeclampsia. Do you know what else ups your blood pressure? Worrying about your blood pressure. Sleeping While PregnantI'm not telling you to eat lots of salt and ignore warning signs of preeclampsia. In fact, as someone who ended up with pre-e twice, high blood pressure during pregnancy is nothing to be ignored. But every time you turn around, someone is telling you something new to worry about during pregnancy. Do this. Don't do that. Don't gain too much weight. But don't not gain enough weight. It can be maddening. Considering that too much worry and anxiety is apparently supposed to have negative affects on your baby, all the do-this-don't-do-that news can be difficult to manage properly. It makes me laugh, of course, that they're trying to tell expectant mothers to get more sleep. Pregnancy induced insomnia is a real thing. Between the constant trips to the bathroom and the inability to find a comfortable sleeping position, getting any sleep at night is a big enough chore for a pregnant woman. Getting seven to nine hours can seem downright impossible. Worrying about getting sleep is not normally conducive to getting more sleep either. So what can you do? How can you get more sleep?
  • Start trying for sleep at a reasonable hour. It can be tempting to finish the dishes, organizing Little Pipsqueak's future clothing or to read one more chapter in that know-it-all parenting book. But if you wait until it's ridiculously late to start trying to sleep knowing that you will be up at least three times to use the bathroom, you're only digging yourself a hole. Brush your teeth, get in bed and relax at a time that gives you a little padding for that seven to nine hours.
  • Create a bedtime routine. In fact, a bedtime routine is suggested for kids as well, so getting into the practice now can help you in the long run. If a warm bath helps soothe your nerves (and pregnancy aches), soak for awhile before bed. Read a bit of a book, listen to some soothing music or have your partner rub your feet.
  • Avoid caffeine in the evenings if you haven't cut caffeine totally out of your diet. (That's a post for another day, isn't it?)
If you're having trouble getting to sleep, I would encourage you not to worry too much about it. Yes, it's better to get your sleep. No, you really don't want preeclampsia. But if you can't get more sleep than you're currently struggling to get, don't worry too much about it. Consider it training for those sleepless nights when your little one arrives. Photo Credit: Editor B.

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