How to Manage Sleep during Pregnancy
A lot of people have troubles in getting the required 7-9 hours of sleep daily. When it comes to pregnant women, things get even more complex. This is because pregnant women tend to feel tired, yet they find it difficult to sleep as a result of the discomfort they experience, in most cases.
Pregnant women commonly come down with certain conditions that affect their sleep at bedtime. These conditions include Restless Leg Syndrome, heart burn, severe cases of nausea, leg cramps and general body discomfort among others. These situations are especially common in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.
The amount of sleep an expecting mother gets has an impact on her and her baby, as well as labor and delivery. Hence, it is advisable that a pregnant woman gets 8-10 hours of sleep daily. However, many pregnant women find it difficult to achieve this feat. This is why it is important for pregnant women to understand how they can regulate their sleep hours and make the most use of their bedtime.
Tips on How to Manage Sleep Hours in Pregnancy
Have a regular sleep/wake cycle
We make out specific times in the day for daily routines that are crucial to us. In pregnancy, good sleep is a huge priority. Hence, prioritize your sleep over any other activity at night. Have a regular time at which you go to bed and get up from bed. As the pregnancy progresses, your routine is bound to make it easier for you to fall asleep.
Engage in Regular Exercise
Except your pregnancy is a peculiar case and your doctor has advised against exercises, you should exercise for about 30 minutes every day.
Exercise helps you use up any excess energy you have stored, improves your blood circulation, enhances your mood and makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
However, avoid doing any strenuous exercise shortly before your bedtime. If you have a preference for evening workouts, light exercises would work better for you. Such exercises include yoga.
So, take off that maternity dress, get in a comfortable workout wear and start exercising!
Reduce Fluid Intake at night
While it is vital to be hydrated at all times during pregnancy, you also want to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom at night. This is the major problem that causes sleep irregularities and disorders for some pregnant women. Hence, it is advisable to reduce the amount of fluid you take in at night.
Stay Away from Spicy Foods and Heavy Meals shortly before bedtime
If you are prone to heartburn, this tip is especially for you. Generally, it is also better to avoid heavy meals before bedtime as their digestion will stress your body out while you are supposed to be sleeping soundly. Spicy foods also have the ability to irritate your digestion pathway and cause heartburns, which would affect your sleep.
If you’re hungry shortly before bedtime, eat something light—perhaps fruits or cereals.
If You Are Having Difficulty Sleeping, Get Involved in Some other activity
If you have tried and tried, but you aren’t still falling asleep, then do another activity. You could read, listen to music or write in your journal. You are more likely to sleep doing one of those other than trying to force yourself to bed.
Make Use of pillows
Pregnancy pillows are a huge source of comfort and sleep facilitator for many pregnant women. You could invest in your sleep by getting a really nice one.
In the absence of that, you can reduce the pain and discomfort in your back by lying on your left side with your knees and hips folded, with pillows placed under your abdomen, between your knees and at your back.
With these tips, you literally have what you need to manage, control and dictate the number of hours for which you get to sleep in pregnancy.
However, if these tips are not making your sleep pattern any better, you should talk to your OBGYN or one of Alaska Sleep Clinic's board-certified sleep specialists . Alaska Sleep works with local OBGYN's at all of our locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Soldotna and Wasilla.
Watch two of our segments from KTUU Channel 2's "Moms Every Day" program about pregnancy and sleep apnea. Just click the videos below.