Getting a good night’s rest is very important, but can seem like a challenge during your pregnancy. Here are some of the challenges that you will face during each trimester of pregnancy and some helpful tips to help you overcome them.
- Sleep problems start in the first trimester with frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.
- With all the changes to your body and upcoming life, the increase in physical and emotional stress can also cause restless sleep.
- The second trimester usually allows for better sleep for most pregnant women, but some women may start experiencing heartburn, hunger, vivid dreams and nightmares, leg cramps, and restless leg syndrome during the night.
- All the challenges from the second trimester will continue into the third, but now your growing belly will make it difficult to find a comfortable position.
- As your uterus compresses your bladder, get ready to visit the bathroom during the night again … did it ever really stop?
Here are some helpful tips to help you sleep through the night:
Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your left side helps improves blood flow to the placenta and reduces the swelling in your hands, feet, and ankles by allowing your kidneys to efficiently get rid of waste products from your body. Be sure to avoid sleeping on your back because the weight of your uterus on the spine, back muscles, major blood vessels, and intestines can cause issues such as impaired circulation, muscle aches and pains, and hemorrhoids.
Use a lot of pillows: Use one or two standard pillows or a full-length body pillow to add support under your belly and on your back. Additionally, placing a pillow between your legs can make it easier for you to sleep on your side.
Pay attention to your nutrition: A warm glass of milk and complex carbohydrates, such as a whole grain muffin and crackers, help promote restful sleep. Protein rich snacks such as cheese are also said to be beneficial by maintaining high blood sugar levels that consequently prevent bad dreams.
Exercise regularly: While exercising within four hours before going to bed may sabotage sleep, maintaining a healthy exercise regiment can help you sleep more deeply.
Do relaxation exercises: Before going to bed, calm your mind and body through stretching, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing before hitting the sack.