Sleep in Pregnancy
During the months of pregnancy, the changes that affect our body can also completely modify the way we sleep.
When the first discomforts characteristic of pregnancy appear, such as nausea, heartburn, cramps, worry about how the baby will be, and even our snoring, sleeping can be a little more difficult than usual. Not to mention the belly!
That’s why let’s look at some tricks on how to sleep during pregnancy.
Sleeping difficulties begin to be much more evident in the last trimester of pregnancy, when the size and weight that our belly has acquired requires a greater effort on our part to mobilize and sleep well all night.
At this stage, the volume of the belly causes us a slower digestion, makes it difficult for us to breathe and prevents us from finding the correct position, among many other discomforts that make us wake up very often.
Sleeping well and having a good night’s sleep during pregnancy can be difficult, but it’s very important!
So that you can sleep and rest as well as possible during these last months, we offer you some tips on how to sleep in pregnancy that you can put into practice, so that falling asleep at night is much easier.
Why does it cost so much to sleep well during pregnancy?
Although during the first trimester of pregnancy tiredness and sleep take hold of us, there comes a point in pregnancy when getting a good night’s sleep costs more than usual. But don’t worry! to a greater or lesser extent, all women will suffer from some sleep disorder during pregnancy.
This situation does not expose us to any danger, but it can cause us tiredness and lack of energy to face the day, as well as impacting our quality of life.
Knowing why it is hard for us to sleep well and following some simple habits of how to sleep in pregnancy will make our bedtime more enjoyable.
Causes of Insomnia in Pregnancy
The hormonal changes that occur in us, are undoubtedly one of the direct causes of insomnia, but the truth is that there are many factors that interfere with why we have trouble sleeping well in pregnancy. The most significant are:
- Increased estrogen and progesterone that decrease deep sleep.
- Increased frequency with which many pregnant women must get up to urinate.
- Low levels of cortisol and melatonin.
- The increased volume of the belly makes it difficult to move around in bed, and prevents finding a comfortable position to sleep through the night.
- Anxiety and our concerns about childbirth and the baby make bedtime long and worrisome.
- Excessive baby movements and positioning can put pressure on the bladder and cause the mother-to-be to have to get up several times during the night.
- The feeling of dizziness when lying on your back in bed.
- Leg cramps and tingling also make it difficult and disrupt sleep.
- The hemorrhoids (typical discomfort in pregnancy) to generate some itching and pain, also does not allow rest.
- Stomach acidity and gastroesophageal reflux cause the digestive system to relax and food to remain longer in the digestive tract.
- The heart rate accelerates and keeps pregnant women in a state of alertness.
- Back pain during the last months of gestation.
- Nausea in the first few months also disrupts sleep.
It should be borne in mind that insomnia in this third quarter is very common.
How to sleep during pregnancy? Tips and advices that will help you to rest better
The months of pregnancy progress and your body will demand more hours of sleep. Sleep well and have a good rest to replenish strength is essential to enjoy a healthy and happy pregnancy.
It is best to rest between 8 and 9 hours a day, and if it is possible to lie down throughout the day for about 20 minutes, but more than time, it is the quality of sleep that can help us feel less tired during pregnancy, but how to sleep in pregnancy?
It is recommended to rest between 8 and 9 hours daily and in the day at least 20 minutes,
Do you want to put an end to long sleepless nights and be rested when you wake up?
There are many things we can do to get a better night’s sleep at this stage, so pay attention and find out what the tips are on how to sleep in pregnancy and rest better without dying trying.
Eating before going to sleep is important. Watch what you eat!
We must keep in mind that what we eat affects sleep, that’s why:
- Avoid heavy and spicy dinners before bed: Meals that contain fried, raw or even boiled tomatoes and are very acidic, as well as those that are very spicy, before bedtime can cause indigestion, as well as upset stomach acidity. The best then is to have dinner earlier and opt for something light that does not generate a heavy digestion. You’ll see how you sleep better.
- Reduce fluid intake: In the hours before you go to rest, drinking as little fluid as possible will prevent you from having to wake up continuously to go to the bathroom.
- Avoid caffeine consumption: Reduce the consumption of caffeinated substances or stimulants such as tea, soft drinks (soda) and chocolate. Especially in the afternoons and evenings.
- To avoid nausea eat something light: At first, nausea is very frequent and it is best to avoid having an empty stomach. Enjoy light meals such as crackers, especially before bedtime.
Let two or three hours pass before you go to bed after eating, so you can digest.
How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Learning to Relax is Key
Let’s look at some very important points to be able to sleep during this stage:
- Sleep when you need it: Throughout the day, it is important that you take a moment of rest, so if your body asks you to, do it; don’t go against what your body and therefore you need. A 30 to 60 minute nap will give you more energy, better memory and less fatigue during pregnancy.
- Do some physical activity: Practicing some exercise during the day (depending on the trimester of pregnancy), such as walking about 30 minutes a day, will help you to overcome the feeling of tiredness that you feel the vigil. Try to do it early enough so you can give your body time to relax.
- Look for techniques and ideas to relax: Applying breathing and relaxation techniques such as yoga or simply reading a book, taking a bath, listening to relaxing music and thinking of pleasant memories will relax you in such a way that your body will effortlessly fall into the arms of morpheus.
- Don’t worry about your baby: Thinking about how it affects your baby when you can’t sleep also hurts you and prevents you from sleeping, because the reality is that your baby doesn’t suffer at all.
- Maintain relationships with your partner: Having relationships with your partner will produce endorphins that are the hormones of happiness and will undoubtedly help you fall asleep.
Do relaxing, effortless activities so you can sleep like a baby.
Maintain a routine for sleeping at night
While sleep can be easy, there are many habits and customs that influence sleep time:
- Provide a comfortable environment: Check that the temperature in your room is always adequate, and avoid loud noises and the presence of light. In addition it tries to ventilate well the room before sleeping to purify the air and to avoid bad smells.
- Go to sleep and always get up at the same time: even on weekends! Trying to regulate your hours of sleep by going to bed and getting up at the same time will help you maintain your sleep-wake rhythm.
- Use the bed only to rest or to share with your partner. It is very important that your brain relates the bed to relaxing and pleasurable activities and not to everyday stressful ones.
- Take a relaxing bath: A long bath of warm water with foam and sea salts minutes before you go to rest, is sometimes all you need to rest.
- Avoid sleeping on your back: Although before pregnancy it was the most comfortable place to sleep, this position places the weight of the uterus on your back and increases back pain, as well as can worsen digestive problems, heartburn and hemorrhoids.
- Try sleeping on your side, on your left side: This position improves circulation and makes it flow better to your baby, also reduces swelling of the feet and will help you fall asleep when your belly is much bigger.
- Placing a cushion between your knees will help align your back and avoid hip pain.
This is the best sleeping position
And if you can’t fall asleep… How can you sleep during pregnancy?
Can’t you sleep? Let’s see what you can do in these cases
- If after a while you don’t fall asleep, get up and do something like reading or watching TV. Turning around in bed just makes you more desperate. The idea is that while you’re busy with something else, you’ll feel sleepy again.
- If you are worried or anxious about something, you can try to plan or organize it, for example by creating a list.
- Have a glass of hot milk with honey: It has been shown that hot milk with honey helps you sleep peacefully and rest better.
- Eat a banana to relieve cramps: Sometimes it is the cramps in the legs that prevent us from sleeping and to avoid them there is nothing better than eating a banana before going to sleep, (it contains a lot of potassium, which is beneficial for the muscles) or performing a gentle massage.
- If these remedies don’t work, it’s time to ask your doctor what natural herbal painkillers you can take to help you sleep.
Remember that there will always be nights in which, in spite of following these advices, we will not be able to sleep well or have many sleep interruptions. Don’t despair!
Sleeping little or not as well as before is absolutely normal in pregnancy, especially during the last few weeks. But even if you feel that there is no way to sleep at this stage, it is a matter of time and practice for you to find a good ritual to help you.
You may be interested:
- What is Psychological Pregnancy?
- Pregnancy at menopause
- Symptoms of Pregnancy: The definitive guide organized quarterly