5 Tips to Help You Sleep While Pregnant

pregnant women sleeping on the couch

Most women, especially in the third trimester, find sleep difficult. You will probably find it hard to get comfortable. The size of your baby alone will cause physical stress on your body. Finding a consistent sleep schedule while pregnant can be difficult due to disturbances such as

  • stress,
  • anxiety, and
  • hormonal fluctuations1.

Here are five tips to help you get better sleep during your pregnancy.

1- Liquids

Stay hydrated all day long. Preferably, drink only water and avoid caffeine at all costs to prevent insomnia1. Staying hydrated each day helps your body

  • maintain its temperature,
  • remove waste, and
  • lubricate your joints3.

However, in the hours before you go to sleep, avoid drinking high amounts of fluids to avoid bathroom breaks during the middle of the night2.

2- Regular Exercise

Regular exercise helps maintain the circulation in your body. This can help reduce the number of leg cramps suffered at night time1. Try to exercise earlier in the day so your body has enough time to wind down before you go to sleep2. Some acceptable exercises to do while pregnant are

  • going for a walk around your neighborhood,
  • doing light yoga, or
  • simple stretches.

3- Have a Routine

Before you go to sleep, come up with a simple routine you can follow every night. Having a routine will help you to relax and fall asleep much easier1. Your pre-sleep routine may include

  • drinking a hot cup of milk,
  • reading a good book,
  • taking a warm shower, or
  • meditating1.

These methods will not only help you relax but will let your body know it is time for sleep.

4- Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Both stress and anxiety have psychological components that directly relate to the lack of sleep4. When you are stressed out and anxious, your muscles grow tired and sore making it difficult to sleep4. The best way to resolve these issues is to talk to a close family member, good friend, or a professional1.

Having a routine, such as the examples mentioned above, can also help you destress before bed. Meditation can help you shut off your mind before bed. Just as stress physically affects your ability to relax, that anxiety makes it difficult to for your brain to power off.

5- Find Time to Relax

Naps have numerous benefits. Taking a 30-60 minute nap helps you relax from feelings of stress and fatigue. Quick naps even help keep your mind alert and your memory sharp during the day2. However, it is important to take naps earlier in the day so they don’t interfere with your sleep schedule at night2.  Meditating in a nice and quiet spot for a half hour is also a good idea to help clear your mind of worries.

Relaxing is essential to sleep. Your body is working overtime to support you and your baby. It needs to recharge during the night. If you can’t fall asleep, you are cutting your needed sleep short. Finding ways to relax will help.

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1- American Baby, P. (2015, June 11). 10 Pregnancy Sleep Tips. Retrieved January 20, 2017, fromhttp://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/sleep/10-pregnancy-sleep-tips/.

2- Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory BoardLast updated: July 2016. (n.d.). The basics of good sleep during pregnancy. Retrieved January 20, 2017, from http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-basics-of-good-sleep-during-pregnancy_7820.bc.

3- Hydration: Why It’s So Important. (2016, December 28). Retrieved January 20, 2017, from https://familydoctor.org/hydration-why-its-so-important/.

4- Best Health. (2009, November 24). 19 ways to sleep better when you’re pregnant | Page 7 of 19. Retrieved January 20, 2017, from http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/sleep/19-ways-to-sleep-better-when-youre-pregnant/7/.

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