Guest Post by Charles Riley
The physical discomforts and hormonal changes that come with pregnancy will affect a woman’s ability to fall asleep and hence also decreasing the quality of sleep that she gets.
Sleep is vital for the physical and mental health of both the mother and child which means that it is crucial to get enough of it during pregnancy.
A study by a leading University in the USA shows that sleeping for less than 6 hours will quadruple the likelihood of getting a C-Section and can also prolong labour by up to ten hours.
However, it is possible for a pregnant woman to get enough and high-quality sleep during the three trimesters. To help you with your sleep, here are top 10 tips for sleeping well during pregnancy.
Pregnancy does not mean that you should stop working out and start lazing around. Ladies that workout during pregnancy will have an easier time during childbirth and research also shows that they tend to sleep better than those that are not active.
A regular exercise routine will ensure that you are always tired enough to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.
But, make sure that you do not do it just before bed because the adrenaline that comes with the exercise can keep you awake instead of helping you fall asleep.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of anxiety and stress which is one of the main reasons why moat pregnant women will find it had to sleep.
It is a fact that there are many things to worry about during the nine months and if you add in fear of the unknown and the hormonal imbalances you will have more stress and anxiety than you can handle.
However, it is important to keep them in check if you want a healthy pregnancy and to get some good night’s sleep. There are numerous things that ladies can do to handle them, and they will vary from one woman to the other.
However, doing some yoga, meditation, reading a book and even praying are some of the most useful ones.
Daytime sleepiness in the first trimester is common for almost all pregnancies, but if you decide to take naps, it will be difficult to sleep at night which is the time that you need the rest most.
If you must get some daytime snooze, make them short just to get rid of the sleepiness. Anything longer than thirty minutes will get you feeling groggy and will interfere with your sleep.
Something else that makes long daytime naps terrible is that once you get used to them, you will always have a terrible day any time that you do not get some minutes to spare for your daily naps.
As you plan for pregnancy, it is important to make your bed as comfortable as possible. The first thing should be to buy a new mattress if your old one is worn out.
However, if you do not have ample cash to spend on a new one, there are other alternatives such as buying a topper or pad to make the mattress more comfortable.
You should also invest in some quality silk sheets because there is enough evidence to show that they affect the quality of sleep that you get. Also, you will need something to cover up your body for some extra comfort and to keep you warm.
The baby bump also comes with some sleeping issues because you cannot sleep in the usual positions. But with a maternity pillow, it will be easier for you to get and maintain a comfortable position.
There are many types available, and you can even have more than one in the bed for maximum comfort.
Noise is one of those elements that will affect your sleep during pregnancy because most ladies tend to be more sensitive than in any other time. Even natural sounds like those from the wind outside can make it hard for you to sleep during pregnancy.
And so it will be important to find ways to keep the sounds out of your sleeping chamber. One of the best or most efficient means of doing this will entail wearing sleeping earplugs.
If you choose a pair with a good noise rating, you will never have to worry about any distracting sounds because you will not hear them.
Also, it might be necessary to soundproof your home by covering the gaps in your doors and windows or by arranging your furniture to muffle the noise.
Your body requires a lot of fluid during pregnancy, and it is vital to ensure that you drink as much as possible. But, you have to be keen with your fluid intake if you want to sleep well.
The golden rule should always be to drink as much water during the day but halt or minimise your intake at four o’clock. Taking little water in the evening means that your bladder will not fill up as you sleep and so you will not have to interrupt your sleep to go to the bathroom.
It is important to know that having to wake up at night means that you will interfere with your sleep cycle which in turn results in low quality sleep. Also, switching on the bright bedroom light will make your brain alert and hence making it difficult to fall asleep again.
It is important to make diet changes during pregnancy, and this is not just for the healthy development of your child but also to help you with sleep. You have to be keen with what you eat, and this is more so with the foods that you take before bed.
As a pregnant woman, you should not eat spicy and fatty foods because they will keep you awake. Also, you should avoid large meals before bed because it takes your digestive system several hours to break them down.
The best idea is to go for bedtime snacks that aid with sleep such as cherries, bananas, and whole grain cereals.
The temperature in your bedroom will always have an effect on your sleep, and so you should make sure that it is ideal and conducive. According to experts the best room temperatures for sleep is 65 to 72 degrees (Fahrenheit), but it is important to know that it will vary from one lady to the other.
And so you should always go for something which makes you comfortable by adjusting your conditioning system up to a point where you find the temperature perfect for you. Also, avoid wearing too many layers of clothes or covering up with many blankets because this can cause overheating.
A soothing, comforting and consistent routine will be very helpful as it will help relax your spirit and body so that you can drift to sleep easily.
There are many rituals that you can include in your daily bedtime routine, and they include things like having a small cup of herbal tea, taking a warm shower and reading a few chapters of your favourite book.
Following these rituals or routines will also help to make sure that you fall asleep and awake at the same time each day which is vital for a restful and restorative sleep.
Heartburns and nausea are the two things that tend to keep most pregnant women awake. Although both are hard to avoid or prevent there are some tricks that you can use to deal with them.
For heartburns, you should avoid reclining for at least an hour after eating your dinner, avoid spicy foods and a use a pregnancy pillow to elevate your head as you sleep.
To deal with nausea, you should eat crackers during the day and have some near your bed so that you can bite on them in case you wake up at night feeling nauseated.
Sleep is crucial for the brain and physical development of your fetus and also for ensuring that you remain in good shape during the three trimesters and so you should make sure that you get enough of it.
With the ten tips above this should not be a problem, but it is also important to know that following them will require some willingness and a lot of dedication.
This Blog Post was written by Charles Riley
Charles is a blogger at MomDiscuss and loves providing many useful tips and guides for all parents or to-be parents on pregnancy stages and baby care.