Mothers-to-be understandably have concerns about getting enough sleep after the baby has arrived. However, getting enough sleep during pregnancy can be equally challenging, especially during the first and last trimesters. Whether it’s finding creative ways to help you fall asleep faster or new strategies for staying asleep longer, you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time with these tips!
During the first trimester, the desire to get comfortable and nap can make newly pregnant women wonder if they will ever be able to stay up long enough to watch their favorite evening show. Early on in pregnancy, the sleep-inducing hormone progesterone e tends to kick in and cause a sudden craving to nap. To weather the effects of fatigue during the first trimester and ensure you are getting quality sleep at night, here are a few easy ways to feel more rested.
- Put sleep on the top of your priority list and schedule some time to take a catnap during the day. Getting those extra zzzs during the day can keep you from developing a sleep debt.
- Stay hydrated during the day but limit the amount of liquids you consume before bedtime to avoid unnecessary trips to the bathroom.
- When you have to use the restroom at night, make sure to have a nightlight on in the bathroom – exposure to its dim light instead of bright light in the bathroom will help you get back to sleep quicker. Pro tip: purchase a nightlight with motion detection, so the light will turn on only when you need it and then will automatically turn off to keep your room dark for sleep.
The second trimester is usually the most restful, but sleep can become a distant memory when the third trimester begins. During pregnancy the bladder is often under pressure, making it difficult to get comfortable. Other sleep stealers like heartburn, restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, and even snoring can become real issues too. Fortunately, there are a few techniques to help improve the quality of your sleep:
- Place a pillow between your legs to help support your lower back and make it easier (and more comfortable) to sleep on your side.
- If it’s comfortable for you, sleep on your left side with your legs slightly curled. Try to avoid lying on your back for extended periods of time.
- Run a humidifier in the bedroom to help combat dry mouth and swollen nasal passages that can lead to snoring and restlessness.
While you may be experiencing sleep difficulties due to pregnancy, it’s important to lay the foundations for sleep. These tips can help you achieve a healthy night of sleep any time.
- Decide what bedtime and wake up time will allow you to get plenty of sleep, and then do your best to stick to that sleep schedule. Your body will appreciate the routine.
- Implement relaxation techniques into your nighttime routine to get ready for sleep. This might include taking a warm bath or shower before bed, reading or writing in a journal, or other practices that help you feel calm.
- Cut out the caffeine. Although your doctor may say it’s okay to indulge in a cup of tea or coffee occasionally, avoiding caffeinated beverages might help you to wind down more quickly in the evening.
- Try not to check email or social media before bed to help keep your mind clear and relaxed.
- Limit your use of electronics such as desktop computers, laptops, and tablets in the evening. This will reduce your exposure to blue light, which can interfere with sleep.
- If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from loved ones or from health professionals.
If you still experience issues after trying these tips, there’s a chance you could be experiencing an underlying sleep issue. Be sure to talk to your OB/GYN or primary care doctor about your sleep health. You need all the quality sleep you can get before your little one enters the big world!