When you’re pregnant, you have to potentially put up with a lot of unpleasant side effects. Swollen ankles, back pain, morning sickness and frequent urination are just some of the symptoms associated with pregnancy. However, did you know that insomnia is another potentially frustrating symptom you need to worry about?
Many pregnant women develop trouble sleeping. Whether it’s a struggle to fall asleep, or whether you frequently wake up in the night, insomnia can be a really tough side effect to deal with. After all, now is the time you want to be making the most of your sleep, so what can you to deal with this frustrating symptom?
Here, you’ll discover how to deal with the most common sleep troubles during pregnancy.
Ensure You Create The Optimal Sleep Environment
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, it can help to make a few adjustments to your bedroom. Creating the optimal sleep environment can make it easier to not just fall asleep but stay asleep too.
So, what is the optimal sleep environment you should be aiming for? Well, firstly you’ll want to make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature. During pregnancy, your body temperature can rise, so turning the thermostat down a little and sleeping with a window open when it’s hot can really help. You could also try playing relaxing music or sounds which are likely to help you to feel sleepy.
Staying away from technology an hour before bed is also recommended as the blue light emitted can cause the brain to stay awake for longer.
Pay Attention To Your Diet And Exercise Routine
As with everything, diet and exercise can play a big role in the quality of your sleep. When you’re pregnant, there’s a tendency to significantly reduce the amount of exercise you do, and your diet often takes a hit too. It’s easy to snack on unhealthy foods and embrace the “eating for two” theory. However, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet and to partake in regular gentle exercise.
It’s best to exercise during the day, avoiding vigorous exercise, particularly at night. If you tend to prefer exercising in the evenings, stick to something gentle and relaxing such as yoga.
In terms of your diet, you’ll want to avoid spicy and acidic foods close to bedtime as these can contribute towards heartburn. Vitamins and supplements can also help to ensure maximum health and wellbeing, automatically contributing to a better night’s sleep. Just be sure to double check with your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins as some may not be safe to take during pregnancy.
Have A Regular Sleep Routine
It may sound obvious but establishing a regular sleep routine is also key to fighting off sleep troubles. This basically means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. Obviously, there will be days when the routine changes slightly, but provided it’s the same most of the time, you should notice your sleep improves.
Try To Sleep On Your Left Side
Once you reach the third trimester of your pregnancy, you may start to feel more discomfort throughout the night. This is especially problematic for those who like to sleep on their backs or stomachs as sleeping in these positions isn’t advised, or even possible, when you’re in the final stage of pregnancy.
Sleeping on your left side is a good way to ease the discomfort and get a good night’s sleep. It eases the pressure on the circulatory system and is also considered one of the safest sleeping positions for baby. As an additional benefit, it can also help to reduce swelling within hands, feet and ankles due to improvement within kidney function.
If you struggle to sleep on your left-hand side, you can sue pillows to help. Place them underneath the abdomen, between your knees or whichever way works for you.
Invest In Heartburn Remedies
A common cause of sleep troubles during pregnancy is heartburn. Caused by those pesky pregnancy hormones, it can strike at any time, although it does tend to be most uncomfortable at night. The good news is, there are lots of heartburn remedies you can try.
Switching to eating smaller meals and avoiding anything spicy and acidic can really help to reduce heartburn during pregnancy. You could also try using additional pillows to keep the head elevated. If your heartburn is really bad, it’s worth paying a visit to the doctor to see which stronger remedies they recommend.
Prevent Leg Cramping
In the second half of your pregnancy, you may notice your legs start to cramp more. You’ll feel painful spasms within the calf muscles, particularly during the night. You could try to increase your intake of magnesium and calcium as some experts have linked leg cramps to low levels of these minerals.
You could also try wearing a support hose during the day, drinking plenty of fluids to reduce swelling, and stretch your legs as much as possible.
Stock Up On Nasal Sprays
Occasionally, sleep troubles during pregnancy can be related to nasal congestion. This is caused by the progesterone and estrogen hormones, which increase blood volume. The increase in blood volume in the membranes within the nose can lead them to swell up and start to produce more mucus.
Later on in the pregnancy, this can lead to a postnasal drip and a really stuffy nose. The good news is you can invest in nose strips and saline-based nasal sprays to relieve the congestion in order to get a good night’s sleep. If you don’t find these useful, you can talk to your doctor about potential other solutions such as steroid-based nasal sprays.
As you can see, there are a lot of potential sleep troubles you can experience throughout your pregnancy. However, the good news is that whichever problem you experience, there is a solution you can try. If all else fails and your lack of sleep is slowly driving you insane, don’t be afraid to go to the doctor to see if they can help.