Sleep and pregnancy just don’t seem to go together for some people, and there’s a lot of reasons why.
Some people will tell you it’s your body preparing you for the sleepless newborn weeks ahead. Others say it’s the increase in the volume of blood in your body, which leads to an increase in body temperature and more middle of the night trips to the loo.
Then there are the physical changes to your body which can lead to fluid retention and compression of the bladder, and let’s not forget the havoc all those hormonal changes can cause!
Truthfully, it’s usually a combination of a lot of different factors and your reason for being wide awake is also likely to change depending on which trimester you’re in.
Hopefully our helpful tips below will help you catch up on some much needed pre-baby Zzz’s.
Waking with night sweats can be pretty common as your metabolic rate increases - which is why many women find themselves facing pregnancy insomnia, particularly in their third trimester. Many studies have shown that a higher body temperature can keep us awake. So, how can you regulate your body temperature before bed?
A cold shower is a great way to cool down before going to sleep. You might also consider ditching the doona, adjusting the air-con setting or strategically placing some fans around your bed to stay cool. When you’ve got a bun in the oven, it’s all about lowering your temperature!
Every mother-to-be will inevitably find themselves woken up in the middle of the night, needing to use the bathroom. It’s just part of life when you’re trying to sleep while pregnant. So, when you get up in the night to go to the toilet, try doing it with your eyes half closed – and no lights, no checking phones or even the time (it will wake your brain up). Just make sure before you go to bed that there is a clear path to the bathroom so you don’t have to think too much or negotiate a floordrobe on the way!
They will become your comfort cuddle and let’s face it, pretty much replace your partner! An extra pillow under your head can support your neck and shoulders and elevate you (which can help with heartburn). In your second and third trimester placing a pillow between your knees will help even out your distribution of weight and protect your pelvis. A pillow behind you will help to support your back and reduce your movement.
Consider investing in a pregnancy pillow - wedge shaped, U-shaped, S-shaped or other. It will help keep you in the recommended side-sleeping position and prevent movement while you sleep so you’re less likely to roll onto your tummy or back.
It’s recommended that you sleep on your side, rather than on your stomach or back while pregnant. Heartburn is a hormone related condition. It relaxes the muscles of the oesophagus, which allows acid to “reflux” from the stomach. Almost a third of pregnant women report experiencing this symptom and sleeping on your left can help.
Getting in and out of bed isn’t easy when you’re pregnant, especially in the third trimester. So prep everything you might need during the night - water, lip balm, tissues, and some nice lotion - and keep it within easy reach.
Nobody seems to know the exact cause of leg cramps in pregnancy, but there’s a lot you can do to help avoid it, such as stretching your calf muscles, walking, elevating your legs, being active during the day and drinking plenty of fluids.
Magnesium supplements can also help prevent leg cramps and help you switch off and fall asleep faster but make sure to check with your health care provider before taking a supplement. Magnesium-rich foods such as fatty fish, whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and green leafy vegetables can also help – nomnom!
There are plenty of reasons why you lose sleep during pregnancy; partner disturbance doesn’t need to be one of them! If your mattress is due for an update it could be worth investing in one that reduces partner disturbance, for both pregnancy and post pregnancy during those sleepless months ahead. If all else fails, just kick your partner out of bed.
Need help setting up your bedroom for a better night’s sleep while you’re pregnant? Our bedroom experts can offer all the guidance and advice you need, visit them in-store today!
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