In the first trimester, it seems like all you do is sleep. As your pregnancy progresses, however, it becomes harder and harder to do. This shouldn’t be surprising, considering you’re attempting to get some decent shut-eye while someone throws a dance-party inside you.
As a result, sleep while you’re pregnant – especially in the later stages – may be difficult to come by, no matter what you try. That makes it even more important to work with what you’ve got to get the Sandman back into your life.
Pillows, Pillows Everywhere
You’re carrying two people in one body, so you’re going to need additional support. Pillows, especially firm ones, are the best for this. It allows you to customize your space to whatever you need.
One of the most common complaints for pregnant women is hip and back pain. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll probably find your sleeping positions becoming more and more limited, so don’t be surprised if you are suddenly trying to sleep in a new way. Side-sleeping is often the best option for pregnant women, but it can create pressure spots. Try putting a pillow between your knees to help keep your hips aligned. Add as many pillows around you as needed to create a comfortable position, even if it feels like you’re creating a cocoon.
Change Your Position
Sleeping on your stomach is pretty much out the window once your belly starts to expand. You can sleep on your back through much of the second trimester, but later in pregnancy this position can cause problems with blood flow. Instead, try and train yourself to sleep on your side, if you don’t already. In addition to the hip-pillow position mentioned above, you can also slide a pillow under your belly for additional support.
Also, since pregnancy tends to bring on large amounts of indigestion for many women, you might be happy to know that side-sleeping reduces acid reflux. It might not be enough to completely eliminate Tums from your diet, but it might make them less necessary at night.
If this still doesn’t work as much as you would like, an adjustable bed might be the answer. Adjustable beds allow you to angle your body the way that is most comfortable for you, decrease acid reflux and help with edema – the leg, ankle and foot swelling that pregnant women commonly experience. That way you can knock out three birds with one stone, so to speak.
Try to Minimize Drinks Before Bed
Hauling a big belly around also means a decrease in the volume your bladder can hold. This can be brought to your immediate attention by a well-placed kick from you developing little one. Although you do need to make sure you get plenty of water throughout the day, reducing your intake in the hour or so before bed can help reduce midnight bathroom trips.
Calm the Anxiety
It’s entirely natural for women to experience anxiety during pregnancy, from everything about body changes, relationship changes, work-life balance and a general hormonal upheaval. Although it hasn’t been well studied during pregnancy, early results indicate that simple meditation produces a marked decrease in stress and anxiety in expectant and postpartum mothers. Here is a great 15 minute meditation video to get you started.
Working to reduce the racing thoughts and pounding heart that anxiety often brings, using the time before bed to relax, breath naturally and try to empty your mind can also help you to sleep better, and for longer periods of time.
Remember, pregnancy is uncomfortable. These tips can help, but they can only do so much. Luckily, pregnancy doesn’t last forever, even if it feels like it will.