I grasped that sleepless nights would be a part of life as a new mom, but one thing that I did not know is that they would start before giving birth. Apart from the cravings the only other thing that I can say I had a hard time coping with was getting sleep during my first pregnancy. However, this is just because I didn’t know that there are many ways to get better sleep during pregnancy.
Once I figured out some of these effective techniques, things became easier for me. And so if you are pregnant with your first child and are having trouble sleeping there is hope. I am a mother of three now, and so from my experience in the 27 months I have been pregnant, I now know what to do and what to avoid for a peaceful sleep, and this is what I will be sharing with you.
1. Avoid The Late Night Snacks
The late-night snacks were a must have during my first pregnancy and this is regardless of what I take for dinner. Most mothers will relate to this because there is always the urge to have one last bite before you go to bed. However, if you want to get enough and comfortable sleep, you should avoid snacking late at night. The reason for this is because the bite will likely cause heartburn or reflux and this will keep you awake and make you feel very uncomfortable.
2. Skip The Naps Or Make Them Short
I can tell you with certainty from my experiences that it is very hard to resist the urge to take a nap when one is pregnant. However, if you are having a difficult time sleeping, you just have to fight and avoid them as much as possible. Napping will take away some of the fatigue and also your sleep, and this means that you will not feel the urge to sleep at night.
If you cannot avoid napping (especially during the first trimester), you should keep them to less than thirty minutes because anything longer than that will lead to a deep sleep and so you will wake up feeling groggy.
3. Make The Bed Comfortable
A comfortable bed plays a vital role in helping you sleep better, and so you have to make yours as comfy as possible.
For instance, during my first pregnancy I had to buy a mattress topper because my old mattress was very uncomfortable. A simple topper made all the difference, and I was able to sleep for more than eight hours without and distractions. Also, make sure that the bed does not make any squeaky sound when you turn and change your sheets as regularly as possible.
In fact, I bought some new pairs of silky bed sheets during my first pregnancy, and I can tell you that they made a huge difference.
4. Use A Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow is a must have at least if you want to sleep comfortably and also alleviate the different pains that come with pregnancy. There are many options available, and so you will first need to identify the problems that you might be having when sleeping. You can have anything from a wedge pillow to a full length as they are all effective in different ways.
For example, the full-length is perfect when you want something to support your tummy when sleeping on the side. Also, make sure that you have lots of other soft pillows on the bed because you will still need support regardless of how you sleep. I have always had so many pillows on the bed during my pregnancies that my husband would always complain that they take up more space on the bed than he does.
5. Take A Warm Bath Before Bed
Showering before bed is a perfect way of ensuring that you sleep better and for long. I started taking a shower before bed when I was pregnant with my first child and many years down the line it is still one of my most important habits because it always makes me sleep well. And so a few minutes on a tab of warm water is perfect for a pregnant woman as it relieves stress and anxiety while also getting rid of dust mites and allergens to give you a good night rest. However, you should avoid scorching water because it can cause vasoconstriction and lead to miscarriage.
6. Maintain A Regular Schedule
Until you give birth, you have no excuse for not keeping a regular sleep schedule. Any sleep expert will always recommend this as one of the most practical things that can help you sleep better and this is more so when pregnant.
Your body has an internal mechanism that uses light to regulate the sleeping cycle, and so if you are not consistent, it will get confused. And this is the reason why you will be turning and tossing for many hours before you can sleep. I was always in bed by 8:30 pm and so I would plan my day to ensure that day I will be in bed by that time every day. Having a routine was very useful in helping me get enough sleep.
7. Work Out For A Few Minutes
Some ladies have a misconception that working out when pregnant is putting the baby in grave danger but this could not be further from the truth. Most experts will recommend workouts because they will get you in good shape and make labor easy for you.
From my experiences, I know that working out for at least 30 minutes every day can be very effective not only when it comes to labor but also helping you sleep better. The tiredness alone that comes with workouts is enough to make you sleep peacefully for many hours. However, it is important to check with your doctor before you start exercising and this is more so if you did not work out before because some activities can be dangerous for the baby.
The seven things above are just a few of those that used to work for me and they will also work for most ladies. There are still many others such as basking in the sun, eating small portions of food instead of one large meal, turning off the lights and turning down the temperature.
However, I did not just wake up one day knowing what works for me, but it was a process that involved trying out different things. And so you also have to try everything from a pregnancy pillow to a warm shower before you find your effective ways to get better sleep during pregnancy.