It’s nothing unusual to experience trouble sleeping during pregnancy. Many changes, both physical and mental, occur in this period and make it harder to sleep. There are three key things that affect your ability to sleep:
- Hormonal changes which can shift your sleep pattern
- Physical changes such as a larger abdomen and irritable skin
- Higher levels of stress and anxiety
All these things combined can lead to sleepless nights. However, there are several things you can do to ensure that you maximize your chances of sleeping undisturbed during the night. Good Night Maternity has listed a few things on how to sleep better during pregnancy:
- Avoid LED screens on laptops, tablets and phones at bedtime. These screens reduce melatonin production making it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Avoid carb heavy foods right before bedtime. Snacking before bed is very tempting during pregnancy, but the temptation must be resisted. Not only can it make sleep more difficult, it increases the chances of experiencing acid reflux or heartburn during the night.
- Exercise during the day. Although you can feel permanently fatigued during the day, you should still be setting aside time for some exercise. Not only does this benefit your health, but it makes sure you are actually tired when it comes to bedtime. Likewise, don’t nap too much during the day.
- Don’t drink too many liquids before bed. Although you want to be properly hydrated, you equally don’t want to feel the urge to urinate as you try to fall asleep. The urge to go to the toilet can be higher during pregnancy, so don’t drink too much.
- Prepare the bed properly. Feeling restless in bed is made worse if the sheets are crumpled or the duvet is too hot. Also, your skin is extra sensitive, so make sure the sheets aren’t irritating you. Preparing the bed in advance can make you feel at ease when you tuck yourself in.
- Have a warm bath before bed. A bath can help relax you, and as your body cools down you will start to feel sleepier, making it easier you to fall asleep.
If you can’t sleep and find yourself tossing and turning in bed, trying to force yourself to sleep can have the opposite effect. You should instead wake up and walk around a little, maybe doing some household chores that don’t require too much effort for a few minutes. This can help take your mind off things and bring an end to the circle of frustration you find yourself in when you can’t fall asleep.