Congratulations on your new bundle of joy. Pregnancy is one of the best things that will happen in a woman’s life. At the same time, the thought of carrying and growing a child inside you is indescribable and surely one of the best feelings you will ever experience.
However, pregnancy comes with many physical and mental issues. There is the growing belly and the weight gain, which could be hard to lose after giving birth. There is also the swollen feet, changes in your skin color, and don’t even get started with the backaches.
Aside from this, one of the issues many pregnant women face during the nine-month journey is difficulty in sleeping. It’s not just a matter of a growing belly. Pregnancy can bring all kinds of sleep disturbances such as heartburn, snoring, nausea and leg cramps. Apparently, you need to get enough hours of sleep, not just for your baby, but also for yourself.
Here are tips to help you visit dreamland.
1. Sleep On Your side
Have you noticed how difficult it is for you to breathe when you are lying on your back? Apparently, that position restricts the proper passage of air, which makes it harder for you to breathe and difficult to sleep.
Therefore, sleep on your side, particularly the left side. According to American Pregnancy Association, sleeping on your left side increases the amount of nutrients and blood flow to your baby. At the same time, it reduces the pressure on your uterus, which helps you breathe better. It also relieves you from back pain, thereby helping you to sleep better.
It’s about finding the right position.
2. Watch What You Drink
Doctors advise you to drink eight or more glasses of water everyday. It keeps you hydrated and at the same time, helps maintain your skin’s elasticity.
However, water can be bland and you can’t help but look for other liquid alternatives such as juice, coffee or soda. It’s okay to drink these alternatives, but make sure to take them in the morning and limit them as much as you can.
You have to be careful on when to take your drinks. It is best to drink more in the morning and lessen it in the evening. Avoid fluids two hours before you sleep to reduce your trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Don’t forget to use the bathroom right before bedtime.
3. Try Relaxation Techniques
If you don’t have relaxation techniques before pregnancy, then now is the right time to do it. Relaxation techniques help relax your muscles and calm your mind. At the same time, it helps you doze off and get that good night sleep.
There are many ways to help you relax before bedtime. It could be taking a warm bath, stretching exercises, deep breathing, or listening to soothing music. The important thing is these techniques must help you forget about your worries and concerns, which prevents you from getting a good sleep.
4. Take Naps
The first three months of pregnancy will make you feel sleepier during the day.
While it’s okay to sleep in the afternoon, you have to make this afternoon nap short but sweet. Otherwise, you will find yourself tossing and turning in the middle of the night.
As much as possible, keep your naps from 30 to 60 minutes, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Anything longer than that allows your body to enter deep sleep and makes it difficult for you to sleep at night. Nap between two to four in the afternoon to make it easier for you to hit the sleep button at night. This is enough to keep you more alert and energized for the rest of the day
5. Be Careful With What You Eat
The old adage, “Eat whatever you want” no longer holds true these days, especially if you have a bun in the oven. It turns out that what you eat affects not just your body and your baby’s health, but also your ability to sleep better at night.
Therefore, choose your foods wisely. Avoid spicy food and heavy meals before bedtime since they can cause indigestion and heartburn. Sugar before bedtime is also a big no-no, because it gives your energy a boost – a situation you want to get rid of at night.
Stay away from late-night snacks as well, although crackers on your bedside table is okay, especially if you suffer from morning sickness. Don’t forget to take it easy on your protein intake at night to prevent hot flashes and headaches.
6. Comfort Is Key
When was the last time your bedroom served its true purpose? Putting everything inside the bedroom is convenient, but did you know this could ruin your good night sleep, too?
Keep in mind that your bedroom is for sleeping and sex only. Get rid of the clutter and turn your bedroom into a cozy retreat.
Make sure that your bed is not only comfortable but also offers ample support for your spine. Having extra pillows could offer support both for your tummy and your back to make it easier for you to doze off.
Check out full-length body pillow or the wedge-shaped pillow for added comfort.
7. Turn Off The Lights
Fact: Any light sources could take you from drowsy to wide-awake. This is because artificial light inhibits melatonin production or the hormone that helps you sleep. The lack of supply of melatonin disturbs your body’s natural sleep cycle and makes it harder for you to visit dreamland.
Therefore, it helps a lot if you turn off the lights inside the bedroom. Close all electronic devices including your phone and tablets. Cover anything that could shed light in the room or make them face away from you.
Make sure that your curtains or blinds are closed. Investing in blackout curtains could also help, especially if there is too much bright light the following day, which disrupts your sleep.
8. Unplug Before Bedtime
Have you ever compared your body to an electronic device? Just like your laptop or smart phone, you need to recharge, so you can be more useful the following day. However and the same with your device, it is not advisable to keep you plugged in the entire night both for security and electronic reasons.
What does this mean?
Unplug. Before you go to sleep, say goodbye to all kinds of external stimulation, such as your phone, books, TV or anything that could bring any form of noise or light inside the bedroom.
Aside from this, stay away from any strenuous activities at least two hours before bedtime. This includes cleaning the house or those late-night workouts.
Unplugging may be difficult at first, especially after what you are used to. It takes time. This will surely help you a lot in ending the sleep deprivation phase.
9. Establish A Bedtime Routine
Aside from relaxation techniques, sticking to a bedtime routine could help you a lot in getting that much-needed rest. Wait, how does it differ from relaxation techniques?
Relaxation techniques are meant to help you relax, especially when your day becomes exhausting. It’s up to you if you want to do these techniques or not. On the other hand, a bedtime routine is a series of activities that encourages your body to sleep. Having a routine at night helps you develop good sleeping hygiene.
Therefore, a bedtime routine means sticking to a sleep schedule where you sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. It also means doing bedtime rituals, such as taking a warm bubble baths 30 minutes before you sleep. This is where the unplugging activities also take place.
10. Make Love
Since you found out you are pregnant, how many times did you make love with your man? It may be challenging or feel awkward to take off your clothes and be naked, considering your growing belly.
However, sex during pregnancy is one of the intimate activities you could do with the love of your life.
Sex during pregnancy can be difficult. At the same time, you need extra care since there is another life inside you. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise the quality of sex. Sex during pregnancy is fine and you won’t hurt your baby. In fact, there are various positions that could work with your belly while accentuating your assets.
That’s not all. Orgasm releases oxytocin or cuddle hormone. It makes you feel relaxed, which eventually helps you fall asleep. Just don’t tire yourself, please.
11. Don’t Force
You tried various relaxation techniques and finished your bedtime ritual. Still, you can’t feel sleep knocking at your door. Instead of tossing and turning in the bed, just get up and go outside of the room.
Walk around the house and find something you can do. You can watch TV, listen to soothing music, read a book, or list down your tasks for the following day. Doing mundane chores such as folding the laundry could be a bore. Take this opportunity to finish chores and cross them off your worry list. Once you feel drowsy, go back to the bedroom and get some sleep.
Having a good night’s sleep can make all the difference in the world during the daytime. You’ll have more energy and a brighter disposition. Make sleep a priority by creating a nighttime ritual. Someday, you’ll teach your good sleeping habits to your new baby.