Tips for Sleeping While Pregnant
May 20, 2018
May is Better Sleep Month, and as many women know firsthand, it’s crucial to sleep well during every phase of pregnancy. Getting quality sleep may prove difficult, though. A lack of sleep at night can also worsen daytime fatigue, which is common in pregnant women and caused by their increased metabolism and elevated progesterone levels.1 To help increase your chances of a good night’s rest, here are a few things to try:
Skip your late-night snack
Eating within a few hours of lying down for the night could increase your chances of experiencing acid reflux or even heartburn. The discomfort these conditions can cause keep many women up at night. Some women find that even water can cause acid reflux, so proceed with caution if you must consume foods and beverages before bedtime.2
Experiment with pillows
Finding the right combination of pillows is a sleep-saver for many pregnant women. Tilting your body so your torso is higher than your hips and legs also may help you breathe easier. A body pillow is long enough to tuck partially under the side of your belly and place between your legs. This takes pressure off your lower back and helps support your stomach.1
Try memory foam
The bed that you’ve slept on comfortably for years may not feel as good as your body changes throughout pregnancy. If you have sore muscles when you wake up, try using a memory foam mattress pad. For neck and upper back pain, you may need a different pillow.
Take short naps
If you find that you need to nap during the day, try to limit yourself to 30 minutes. Taking a longer nap may disrupt your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Waking from a long nap could leave you feeling tired for the rest of the day, too.
Put a fan by your bed
Some women find that they become light sleepers during pregnancy. Sensitivity to noises can make falling asleep difficult, especially if you have a partner who snores or breathes loudly. Try placing a small fan on your nightstand to create a cocoon of soothing white noise.
Limit screen time
Avoid televisions, computers and your smart phone before bed. Take a warm shower or read a book for a few minutes before your turn out the lights to help you wind down. Artificial light isn’t conducive to quality sleep, so look around your bedroom for light sources that may disturb you. Even the tiny power lights on a laptop computer can shine brightly in a dark room.
Take a childbirth or yoga class
If your sleep problems are related to racing thoughts or worries, a childbirth preparation class may be the answer. Even if this isn’t your first pregnancy, no two birth experiences are alike. If you live in a different town or plan to use a hospital that you are unfamiliar with, taking a class is a terrific way to meet other parents-to-be and become more comfortable with the place where you’ll have your baby. Prenatal yoga classes can also help you wind down in the evening and stretch your muscles in preparation for sleep. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin any new exercise regimen, and remember to stay hydrated while exercising.
Talk with your doctor
If you’ve followed the conventional advice about forming good sleep habits and you still experience poor sleep several nights in a row, talk to your doctor. He or she may have insight about your individual pregnancy and suggestions for how best to overcome pregnancy-related insomnia.
Make sure you get enough essential vitamins and minerals
Nutrition also plays a big part in how well you sleep. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Getting all the extra nutrition you need from the foods you eat may seem daunting. Prescription prenatal vitamins can help fill the gaps. Ask your doctor if the Prenate® Vitamin Family is the right choice for you.