Lack of sleep often comes with the newborn phase, but many women experience sleep difficulties long before the baby is born. Frequent urination, heartburn, aches and other discomforts are responsible for some pregnant women losing sleep at night. Getting comfortable at bed time becomes more of a challenge as your belly grows and limits your sleeping options.
Monitor Your Fluid Intake
Pregnancy means more frequent visits to the bathroom for many women. All those middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom interrupt your sleep or leave you feeling uncomfortable when you wake up during the night. You can reduce your need to urinate at least a little by limiting your fluids in the evening. Try to stop or slow down your drinking for the last few hours you are awake. Limit caffeinated beverages all day, particularly in the afternoon and evening hours. Eating a big meal close to bedtime can also cause digestive discomfort, which can make sleeping uncomfortable.
Regular exercise benefits pregnant women in many ways, including sleep. Exercising during the day might make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. Exercise is also known to relieve some of the aches and pains of pregnancy, which could make you more comfortable as you drift off to sleep. Prenatal yoga is a gentle form of exercise that helps reduce stress. Less stress means easier and more comfortable sleep for most people. Avoid exercising too close to bedtime, especially if you are doing intense exercise. This can make it more difficult to sleep.
Get Into a Routine
A regular and calming bedtime routine helps many pregnant women ease into slumber. If you choose relaxing activities, you’re more likely to be calm and relaxed when you climb into bed. This makes it easier for you to get comfortable and fall asleep. Going to bed at the same time each night also gets your body used to the routine, possibly making it easier to sleep.
Add Soft Touches
A comfortable bed is key to sleeping comfortably during pregnancy. A foam egg-crate pad on the bed adds a layer of cushion that some pregnant women find comfortable. Pillows are another factor that can make a big difference in the comfort level of your bed. Try different pillows under your head if you can’t seem to get comfy. Body pillows or special maternity pillows add more comfort and support as you sleep. These large pillows help support your stomach. You might also feel more comfortable with the bottom portion of the pillow between your knees for side sleeping. The pillow between the knees sometimes eases hip discomfort as you sleep.
Try Different Positions
Sleeping positions are limited, especially later in pregnancy. You can no longer sleep on your stomach, and back sleeping isn’t recommended. Lying on your back for extended periods of time can slow blood flow and oxygen supply to your baby. Experiment with different side positions, both with and without a body pillow. A more upright sleeping position is comfortable for some pregnant women, particularly those with heartburn or breathing difficulties. The upright position can ease those symptoms. If you simply cannot get comfortable in your own bed, try other locations. A comfortable recliner, air mattress, sofa or spare bed that allows you to spread out more might be a more comfortable spot to sleep.