Everybody loves to sleep, and everybody (unless you are some super-human sub-species) becomes cranky when they are deprived of it.
Sure, if you are pregnant you are, no doubt, anticipating many sleepless nights upon the arrival of your new little bundle of joy – but what a lot of you don’t realize is that pregnancy is just as much a culprit of sleep deprivation as the newborn baby is going to be. If you haven’t realized it yet, we truly are sorry to have to be the one’s to tell you.
By the third trimester you may even have moments where you think to yourself “who said having a baby was a good idea?” (Or think to your partner “why did you do this to me?!”), but don’t fret too much yet – there are still a few things you can try to bring your sleep routine back to the beautiful thing it once was (and counting sheep isn’t one of them).
Check out our list below, featuring the top 6 ways to get a better night’s sleep during pregnancy – we’re sure at least one of these methods will help you be snoring again in no time!
Pregnancy Pillows Are Your Friend
To be honest, we suggest that everyone get a pregnancy pillow – man, woman, or child, old or young – whether you are having problems sleeping or not. Not only are they the most comfortable things in existence, but they also come with their fair share of health benefits.
These pillows promote circulation by removing the some of the pressure felt by your body, can help prevent heartburn by keeping your upper body elevated, help in reducing aches and pains in your neck, back, and legs by keeping you in a comfortable, stable, and relaxed position.
Now, we know, choosing a pregnancy pillow can be overwhelming – they come in a million different shapes, sizes, and materials, some are more stiff and some are super cushiony – how on earth are you supposed to choose?
The pillow that will be right for you will depend on what is causing your sleeplessness. Your first step is to pinpoint the issue: is it back pain? Neck pain? Hip pain? Or perhaps it is just an overall discomfort because of your swollen feet and growing belly?
Once you’ve figured out why you need the pillow, you can find the perfect pillow for you – and hey, they’re even great for after the baby is born!
Routine is Key
If you didn’t go to bed until 2 am last night, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you can’t fall asleep at 10:30pm tonight.
Our bodies have internal clocks, and these clocks require routine if they are going to function properly. If you find yourself staring at the ceiling until the wee hours of the night, try creating a solid routine for yourself. Pick a (reasonable) time – such as 10 or 10:30, and try to be in bed at that time every night.
Not in bed watching TV, not in bed reading, and not getting ready for bed – be in bed ready to sleep at that time. It may take a few nights, but your body will recognize this and adjust its sleeping patterns to match your new schedule.
Ditch the Devices
It’s not news that staring at our TV’s, phones, or tablets right before bed affects our brains in a way that makes it difficult for us to sleep.
Sure, it’s normal for most of us – we crawl into bed and watch last weeks episode of the Bachelor that you recorded, check every single outlet of social media we are a part of (twice), and maybe play a few levels of candy crush – but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
This “routine” could be the exact reason you are struggling to fall asleep. Do yourself a favour and shutoff all of your electronics at least 30 minutes before you are ready to get some sleep.
Talk It Out
Anxiety and sleep are not friends. If you are having troubles sleeping at night because you are busy tossing and turning with ten million thoughts and worries running through your brain – talk to someone.
It’s normal to be anxious about your pregnancy and your upcoming role as a mother, especially if it is your first child.
Pregnancy can bring on anxiety related to many things aside from the pregnancy itself as well, such as finances, your relationship, and even past issues.
By talking to your partner, your parents, your friends, a support group, or even a counselor, you can get your worries off of your chest and find a solution.
Say No to Snacks
Heartburn is no fun – especially when you are trying to sleep.
If you are noticing that heartburn is starting to become a problem for you in the evening or throughout the night, there are a few different things you can try.
First: rather than eating 2 or 3 large meals per day, try smaller portions. Eat 5 or 6 smaller meals per day.
Second: as much as you may be craving whatever it is you’re craving – whether it be sweet or salty treats, greasy junk food, or even a healthy plate of fresh fruit and veg – it’s in your best interests to skip the bedtime snacks all together.
And third: this one may seem like common sense, but if heartburn is an issue for you, try to cutback on greasy, high fat foods (goodbye late night McDonalds) and intensely flavoured/spiced foods (a giant plate of Chicken Tikka may not be your best friend later on, no matter how much you love it right now).
Even in the dead of winter (which we Canadians know all too well) it is very possible for someone who is pregnant to feel overheated. Being overheated is uncomfortable and can make it incredibly difficult to sleep.
The solution for this one is easy – utilize your air conditioner or (if you don’t have one of those) purchase a small fan to place beside the bed. Your partner might need a couple extra blankets, but happy wife, happy life, right?
Being uncomfortable, in pain, and tired can really take a toll on your mood – but it’s important to remember that pregnancy is a blessing. You are on a beautiful journey that many women crave but are unable to achieve – sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.
We hope that the 6 tips we mentioned above will help you get through this rough patch and back into a sleep routine that will have you rested and ready for the arrival of your little one.
If you have any tips for getting a better sleep while pregnant that we failed to mention, feel free to share them below!