Sleep problems are not uncommon among pregnant women. The body is undergoing major changes and it can affect your sleep habits.
At the same time: many pregnant women sleep well so don’t worry! It is not guaranteed that your sleep will be affected. Some women even sleep better than usual when they are pregnant.
But, if you are not getting enough sleep – there are many things you can do and should know that will make your life easier!
Sleep problems during pregnancy are often caused by several different things: waking up due to the frequent need to pee, cramps, intense dreams, pain and so on.
- Eat better. A small snack containing carbohydrates before you go to sleep can help. Eating healthy helps many women sleep better. Avoid spicy and strong food as well as fried food to avoid heartburn when you lay down.
- Sleep on the side. It is more comfortable for your body. And it’s also better and safer for the child! Sleeping on the back can have a negative effect on the blood supply to the fetus and should be avoided! Preferably you should sleep on the left side.
- Control the pregnancy nausea. Nausea is something that often results in a lack of sleep among pregnant women. Motion sickness bracelets, prescription-free nausea medicine from the pharmacy and acupuncture can help. In extreme nausea cases, a prescription medicine that can help are available.
- Sleep with your head high. Many pregnant women get a stuffy nose. Sleeping with your head higher than usual can help. A humidifier in the room can also help.
- Relax routine. Creating a relaxing routine every night before going to bed helps the body prepare for sleep and your body is more relaxed after the day’s activities.
- Avoid screen before bedtime. Avoid phones and TV the last hour before it’s time to fall asleep. Intense images and bright light, trigger our brain and instead of relaxing we go up on a mental lap. Many pregnant women dream more and more intensely than usual. It is often due to disturbed sleep (for example, because waking up to pee) but may then interfere with sleep. Relaxing before bedtime and skipping scary TV shows or movies, helps keep the nightmares away – or at least doesn’t encourage them.
- Exercise. 30 to 60 minutes of exercise is enough. Swimming is good for pregnant women as it does not struggle with a body that is heavier than usual. There is a clear association between exercise/motion and better sleep habits.
- Sleep when you can. Take time to sleep during the day. All sleep counts.
- Pregnancy cushions. Special-purpose, long, u-shaped pillows allow you to support your body in different ways and relieve your legs and back.
- Stay hydrated. Last but not least: Drink as usual. It is a myth and a common misconception that one should try to drink less before bedtime. Having to pee often has nothing to do with how much you drink, only the fetus that puts pressure on the bladder. Not drinking can lead to dehydration.