01 Aug Sleeping Comfortably for Two
One of the biggest struggles of pregnancy is undoubtedly trying to sleep comfortably, especially later in pregnancy. It’s no secret pregnancy wears you out and all you’re craving (besides that chocolate cake) is to sleep soundly. Having a growing baby puts a strain on your body and can affect your sleeping. The pressure from your growing bump, heartburn, and frequent urination may be some of the challenges you are currently facing when it comes to getting your sleep. Or maybe you have the case of the nocturnal baby, who loves to kick and be active at night when you’re trying to catch some ZZZs. Here are some tips that may help you to get some more restful sleep:
Sleep on Your Side
It is recommended pregnant women sleep on their side to ensure adequate blood flow. If you lay on your back, the pressure from your bump may push on your major blood vessels and impair blood flow. Sleeping on your left side is preferred and may help with heartburn and backaches.
Pillows are Your Friend
Pillows are key when it comes to getting sleep. When sleeping on your side, put a pillow between your legs for comfort, or get a body pillow. If you have back pain or frequent heartburn you may want to sleep in a more seated position with the pillows behind you, which brings us to the next tip: prop yourself up!
Prop, lock, and drop it
Many women find sleeping propped up to be the most comfortable.Sleeping upright can help you breathe more easily as the pressure from your abdomen is slightly relieved thanks to gravity, and your lungs and diaphragm are more open. This position can also aid in helping to prevent heartburn.
Stay Away from Food and Drinks Before Bed
Drinking in the two hours leading up to when you want to fall asleep may lead to frequent trips to the bathroom. During pregnancy your growing uterus exerts pressure on your bladder causing frequent trips. Limiting your fluid intake before bed can help combat those bathroom trips. Drinking herbal tea is recommended to help fall asleep, but try drinking the tea at least an hour or two before bed so you can empty your bladder. However, if you are having trouble falling asleep, herbal tea may help, just make sure to drink it several hours before bedtime!
Eating food before bed can cause heartburn that may disrupt your sleep. Progesterone released during pregnancy relaxes the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach leading to that uncomfortable heartburn. In addition, heartburn may be caused by your uterus pressing on your on your stomach.
You’re hot, your feet are swollen, you feel like you can’t breathe and exercise might be the last thing on your mind, but it shouldn’t! Moderate exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. Try getting some fresh air and taking a relaxing walk.
Keep it Cool
Often keeping the bedroom cool can help with sleep. There’s nothing worse than waking up in a puddle of your own sweat because you were too hot, which is more likely during pregnancy because your body temperature is already slightly elevated. During pregnancy your core body temperature may increase 0.5-1.0 degree Fahrenheit due to progesterone and an increased metabolism.
REFERENCES: 1. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/sleeping-positions-during- pregnancy/ 2. http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/sleep-soundly-during-pregnancy#1 3. http:// americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/heartburn-during-pregnancy/ 4. http:// www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-blog/heat-during- pregnancy/bgp-20055759 5. https://www.thebump.com/a/10-ways-to-sleep-better
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