Sleep is one of those vital things that becomes more difficult once you’re pregnant. Unfortunately, the extra hormone, body changes, and stress can really mess you up when you finally lay down to get your rest at night. What can you do to get the sleep you desperately need?
There are some things you can do while you’re pregnant to make sleep easier. By tackling the individual issues that contribute to your poor sleep, you can start to get better rest every night! The main things to look at are body support, late night bathroom breaks, heartburn (GERD), and stress.
How Can I Get Better Body Support at Night?
Because your body is changing so much during pregnancy, you are going to have to work a lot harder to get comfortable in get. No matter how good your mattress is, it’s common to find your hips, back, or belly aching in the morning or waking you up at night with pain. The solution for this is to find a way to get better support for different parts of your body.
Body pillows are some of the best ways to get the support you need at night. Some body pillows are designed specifically for pregnant women (You can choose the best pregnancy body pillow here), so they offer support for all the problem spots like the belly and hips. They usually have one part that can be tucked between the legs to keep your hips better aligned, as well as a part to tuck under your belly. Larger body pillows also give you back support and a neck pillow all in one!
Adding the support of a good body pillow is going to do a lot to help you relieve pain and aches you develop overnight. Any pregnant woman can tell you how hard it is to get comfortable, so instead of using 5 – 8 small pillows to proper yourself up you can just get a body pillow and make things easier on yourself.
What Can I Do about Frequent Bathroom Breaks?
This part is a little trickier. Babies in the womb don’t care about what they happen to press on as they twirl and twist. Your unfortunate bladder is going to be the target more often than you’d like, and that makes a bathroom break almost unavoidable at night. Also, your bladder is working twice as hard because it also has to help filter waste from the baby!
Despite that, you can help yourself out a little bit. After about 4pm you shouldn’t drink as much liquid. Before 4pm you can drink as much water as you want, but take it easy afterwards. This was your bladder won’t be as full, so even if your baby whacks it a few times you may not need to urgently head to the bathroom. This may not eliminate your bathroom breaks altogether, but it should reduce how many you need per night and help you get longer stretches of sleep.
How Can I Deal with Heartburn in Bed?
One of the worst parts of being pregnant is the heartburn that can happen for many women. Your body won’t be able to digest and break down every part of food as well as it did before, so at night you can experience serious heartburn and discomfort. This is sometimes known as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and it makes sleeping very difficult and uncomfortable.
There are two ways you can help alleviate this issue. The first is to avoid eating acidic things late at night. Things that are sugary, spicy, and oily (fried foods especially) will all increase your chances of heartburn at night because they don’t digest as easily. If you’re going to eat these types of food, have them all in the morning or early afternoon and avoid them in the later afternoon and the evening.
Another way to help yourself out is to sleep a bit propped up. A body pillow can actually help you with this as well, because you can either combine it with another neck pillow or fold it under you to prop yourself up higher at night. Sleeping flat can make heartburn worse, but if you sleep a bit upright you will be less likely to experience heartburn issues.
What to Do about Stress at Night
Stress is something that ruins a lot of peoples’ sleep, not just pregnant women. The reason it’s so bad during pregnancy is because you’re stressing about the child’s birth, your and their health, how to raise them, and a million other uncertain things that you are going to have to deal with once the baby arrives! This won’t help you sleep and will make everything worse.
To help get rid of stress, take a walk during the day or do some light exercise every day. There are low intensity pre-natal yoga routines you might want to try to help you relax and get in a better state of mind every day. If you can’t do exercises of any kind, you can also try meditating for at least 10 minutes each day and keeping a regular sleeping schedule.
Lastly, if you’re having nesting instincts, don’t be afraid to cave into them! It’s natural to want to get ready for the baby, and it can actually help you feel more relaxed if you get some things done before the child finally makes their appearance. There’s no shame in getting ready for your baby early, because they may come earlier than you expected anyway! Instead of stressing over what needs to happen, just allow yourself to get an early start and do a little bit each day to prepare for your little one coming.
Sleeping during pregnancy is a real issue for so many women. Hopefully these suggestions will help you get some relief at night, and more importantly, get some sleep!
Is there anything you do or have done during pregnancy to help you sleep? Have any of these tips helped you get more rest? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!