Mommy Wants Her Beauty Sleep

You might be trying to stock up on all the sleep you can before baby is born, but unfortunately your body (and baby) might have other ideas in mind. Here’s how to survive the sleepless pregnancy nights.

Pregnant woman sleeping

Oh, the good old days when you could get cozy in bed and fall asleep for eight hours of blissful slumber. If you’re pregnant, chances are those nights of getting much-coveted beauty sleep are long gone. Between the midnight bathroom trips, backaches, and jumping jelly bean in your tummy, a peaceful night of sleep is likely a distant memory.

Don’t lose all hope just yet. We’re here to help you get the ever elusive good night’s sleep.

The culprits

Full bladder: As baby continues to grow, your shifting uterus may place additional pressure on your bladder, increasing your need to pee.

Aching back: Your growing uterus also causes your back to shift, causing muscle strain.

Leg cramps: Changes in weight along and circulation can cause cramps, which often flair up at night.

Baby moving: Some babies are more active in the middle of the night and expecting moms are more sensitive to movement when trying to rest.

Snoring: Nasal congestion is a common problem during pregnancy causing snoring that could compare with a thunderstorm.

Overall feeling of discomfort: Blame those pesky pregnancy hormones for keeping you from getting comfy.

Anxiety: You’re about to expand your family so it’s no wonder that worrisome thoughts are keeping you up at night!

Sleep solutions:

Empty your bladder: Make sure to go to the restroom right before bedtime. Try emptying your bladder as much as possible by slightly leaning forward to help your bladder drain. Lay off on the liquids a few hours before bedtime. Use a nightlight in the restroom so you don’t have to turn on the full bright light when you do have to get up for midnight potty runs.

Adjust your position: If you haven’t already, switch from sleeping on your back to your left side to allow for better circulation. Lying with your knees bent can also be more comfortable.

Use pillows: Put some of those decorative pillows you have piled up on the bed to use or splurge on a special maternity pillow or body pillow to help prop up your tummy and relieve pressure from your back and joints.

Establish a bedtime ritual: The standard advice for a good night’s sleep holds true for pregnant women too. Take a warm bath, drink a glass of warm milk or caffeine-free tea and dim the lights to get your body ready for rest.

Make sure to exercise: Getting in some daily exercise can do wonders both for overall pregnancy well-being and easing any anxiety you are feeling. Gentle activities like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga can also be good, calming activities. Just make sure to exercise at least four hours before bedtime so your body has plenty of time to release any energy built up.

Watch what you eat: Avoid spicy foods before bedtime to minimize heartburn. Avoid indulging in that late night ice cream craving since sweets can sometimes cause baby to move around.

Finally, if you just can’t seem to stay asleep, try keeping a book and reading light near your bed so you have something to turn to if you need to get your mind off things. Although it’s best to avoid electronics when trying to sleep, sometimes an iPad comes in handy when you’re up in the middle of the night and want to catch up on some old Netflix episodes before drifting off to sleep again.

And never underestimate the power of a good afternoon nap if you need to fit in a quick snooze.

More on pregnancy health

Avoid the flu during your pregnancy
Feeling sad during your pregnancy
Dealing with pregnancy headaches

Tags: insomnia

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