Sleep during Pregnancy

Some might imagine that sleepless nights come with a newborn baby, but in reality they can start months earlier. As your pregnancy progresses, sleep can be increasingly difficult to come by. Whether it’s financial worries, anxieties about birth or physical discomfort that’s keeping you awake, pregnancy sleep problems can be tackled.

  • Can’t get comfortable? This is a common problem, especially in the second half of pregnancy. Most pregnant women suffer from some degree of back pain, and for others this pain can spread around the hips and pelvis, making even lying in bed uncomfortable. You may be used to sleeping on your stomach and find the new positioning unnatural. Try to avoid sleeping on your back, as this can increase backache and lower blood pressure as your bump grows. Sleeping on your left side is ideal, as it assists the flow of blood to your baby. You might find it helpful to place pillows between your knees to reduce pressure on your hips, and an added pillow under your bump for extra support.
  • Try a pregnancy pillow. Special maternity support pillows are available that should hopefully increase your comfort and help you sleep.
  • Getting up all night? The pressure on your bladder and hormonal changes may mean that you’re frequenting the bathroom at night; try drinking more of your water earlier in the day and avoiding excess fluids in the evening to reduce your nightly toilet trips.
  • Leg cramps? If pain in your legs is keeping you awake, try stretching the muscles in your legs as often as possible. Try not to stand for too long at a time during the day, and take a warm bath before bed. If your cramps persist, they may be being caused by a magnesium or calcium deficiency, so you could try taking supplements to treat this.
  • De-stress. If a busy mind is keeping you awake at night, try relaxation exercises such as meditation during the day or before you sleep. Baths can also help with this, as can creating a calm and soothing atmosphere in your bedroom.

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