Women who are expecting understand that getting enough sleep can be difficult once the baby is born, but many are unprepared for the difficulty of getting enough sleep during the pregnancy itself. This will not be a problem during the first trimester of the pregnancy, as it will be mostly experienced during the last trimester. The main reason for the sleeping problems is the increasing size of the baby which can make it hard for you to find a sleeping position that is comfortable especially when your only option is to sleep on your side without shifting too much throughout the night.
Common Reasons Why Sleep Is Affected In Pregnant Women
Here are a few common reasons as to why pregnant women have difficulty in sleeping:
Increased Heart Rate – Since most of your blood supply will be sent to your uterus, your heart rate increases in order to pump more blood to meet your entire body’s needs.
Shortness Of Breath – The increase of pregnancy hormones can affect the way you breathe in. When the uterus begins to grow and take up more space, pressure will be felt against your diaphragm.
Constipation And Heartburn – The digestive system will slow down, retaining food in the stomach and intestines longer which can lead to heartburn and constipation. This can worsen as the pregnancy progresses.
The Urge To Urinate – With the increased blood volume, your kidneys will work harder to filter the blood thus resulting in more urine. So when the baby continues to grow and the uterus grows as well, the pressure on the bladder increases making you urinate more than often especially during the night, if your baby is active then.
Backaches And Leg Cramps – Considering the extra weight you are carrying; leg cramps and backaches can be experienced. This also worsens if you are unable to rest or sleep well. Most of the time, this is due to uncomfortable sleeping surfaces and lack of body support.
How You Can Sleep Better During Your Pregnancy
Taking herbal remedies and over the counter sleeping aids is not recommended throughout pregnancy. So, if you are desperate to catch up on some sleep, you can make use of these tips to help you achieve a good night’s sleep.
- Maintain a routine of sleeping and waking up at the same time each day.
- Avoid drinking soda, tea and coffee, most especially during the morning and the early afternoon. More the best natural foods to eat whilst pregnant
- Stick to a diet where you eat larger meals during breakfast and lunch, but smaller meals for dinner. You must also avoid drinking plenty of fluids or consuming a full meal within a few hours of going to bed.
- Drink enough calcium to help reduce leg cramps.
- Take a warm bath before bed time, drink a cup of warm milk with honey and relax before going to bed.
- Invest in a firm and comfortable mattress which can support the pressure points of the entire body. Opt to invest in pregnancy pillows as well to help support your body while you sleep.
- Participate in a parenting or childbirth class to help reduce any form of anxiety and stress. Staying active and enjoying the company of other pregnant women can help ease the fears and allow you to sleep better at night.