Cool Tips to Improve Sleep While Pregnant: Nine Ways to Sleep Better Those Nine Months
Being pregnant is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with its challenges. One of those challenges is sleeping comfortably through the night, which becomes more difficult as the pregnancy progresses. Nevertheless, there are some things that you can do to sleep more comfortably, which means that you’ll likely be able to sleep for longer periods of time. Below are nine things to keep in mind that may help you sleep better while you’re pregnant.
1. Take a Warm Bath
Taking a warm -- not hot -- bath can help you relax and allows your body to be more prepared for sleep. Remember that pregnant women’s core temperature should never get above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep the water below 100. You can add bath oils or epsom salts to the water and light a few candles to relax even more, and try to take your bath one to two hours before you go to bed. You’ll be surprised at how relaxed you’ll become with this tip.
2. Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea
Most herbal teas are perfectly fine for pregnant women to consume, but make sure that you check with your doctor anyway because there are some herbal teas that you should avoid. Some of these include kava, black or blue cohosh, nettleleaf, rosemary, lemongrass, and dong quai, among others. Stick with herbal teas such as peppermint and ginger tea, and remember that you should never consume any tea with too much caffeine in it.
3. Try to Sleep on Your Side
Discomfort during pregnancy is common, but you will likely be more comfortable if you sleep on your side. Using a pregnancy pillow also helps because it will support your knees and back a lot better. If you’re used to sleeping on your back or your stomach, now is the time to change that. Using a pregnancy or maternity pillow and sleeping on your side goes a long way in keeping you comfortable and helping you sleep when you’re expecting.
4. Consider Taking a Sleep Aid
Some sleep aids are fine for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take, but you’ll still need to check with your doctor first. Melatonin is a common one, and while more studies are needed to determine exactly how safe it is, most doctors agree that taking melatonin as a sleep aid while breastfeeding or pregnant is harmless. Since each pregnant woman is different, make sure that you ask your doctor about taking any sleep aid beforehand.
5. Limit Your Intake of Caffeine and Alcohol
Pregnant women should not have caffeine or alcohol anyway, but if you consume caffeine in very small quantities, you should be fine. And because alcohol is a stimulant just like caffeine, it’s better to avoid it altogether at least in your first trimester. Anything considered a stimulant is best to avoid altogether or consume in very small quantities; otherwise, it could keep you awake at night, sometimes for a very long time.
6. Limit Your Access to Electronics
Electronics, which include watching television, using your smartphone, or playing on your tablet, should be avoided for at least one hour before you go to bed. It stimulates your mind and causes it to be too “busy” for you to fall asleep. Many experts even recommend not having a TV in your bedroom for this reason. If your partner insists on watching television while you sleep, turn the brightness on the TV down so it doesn’t brighten up the entire room.
7. Stay Well Hydrated at All Times
If you’re not well hydrated, it can cause leg cramps during the night, which makes it much more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, any dehydrated muscle in your body can become sore and prevent you from sleeping, and this is a good thing to remember after the baby is born as well. Staying hydrated can reduce muscle pain and help you sleep better, which can help you after the baby arrives when you’re trying to get your newborn sleep schedule aligned with your own.
8. Exercise Regularly
When you’re in good shape and exercise regularly, you’ll be able to get a much better night’s sleep. This is true for everyone, not just pregnant women. It also helps after your child is born and they are cluster feeding, which is frequent feeding that usually occurs every 30 minutes for several hours. This type of feeding can make you even more tired than usual, and since it tends to occur in the evenings, you can handle your lack of sleep better if you’re in good shape.
9. Enjoy a Bedtime Massage First
If your partner is up for it and agrees to give you a good back massage before you go to sleep, this can help you sleep much better. Why? Because it relaxes and softens your muscles, which releases certain endorphins and helps you feel a lot sleepier. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a long massage or a professional one. A light massage for 10 to 15 minutes will work, because a good back rub is a good back rub!
Trying to get a good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant can be difficult, in part because you often experience both physical and emotional changes that may keep you awake at night. Taking good care of yourself and using one or more of the tips mentioned above can help a lot, and finding the one that works best shouldn’t be hard. Once you practice these tips a few times, you should find yourself sleeping much better every night.