How Are You Sleeping?
If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant this year, I want to help you start the year feeling your absolute best! First thing we’re going to look at is your sleep during pregnancy. How much are you sleeping? Do you wake up in the morning feeling rejuvenated or exhausted? Are you in a comfortable sleeping position or wake often in the middle of the night? When you sleep and how you sleep can have such a profound impact on how you feel and function throughout the day. This is because sleep is a vital part of our life. Our bodies need a restful night to flush out toxins and to repair and restore on a cellular level. A lack of good sleep will eventually affect us or baby’s health on a mental, emotional, and physical level.
So what can you do to create an environment that enables you to get the best sleep possible? Here are my top 5 tips to help your body get the rest it needs at night so you can feel your best during the day:
Optimize Your Sleep Environment
The first step to a good night’s sleep is creating an environment that is conducive to helping your body relax at the end of the day. Look around your room and consider if the area makes you feel comfortable and relaxed or if you feel anxious or unsettled while you are there. You may want to remove items from the space around your bed, such as your computer or your phone, so that you aren’t reminded of your day-time responsibilities while you are trying to settle in to bed at night.
If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend investing in a supportive mattress. Having a comfortable surface to sleep on can make all the difference between a restful night’s sleep or a night of tossing, turning to find the best sleeping position, back pain and trouble sleeping! Another worthwhile investment is a pregnancy pillow. They make all different sizes and shapes to help support your changing body while growing baby. They can be worth their weight in gold for side sleeping or getting into a comfortable sleeping position!
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Once you have your space set up how you’d like it, I cannot overemphasize the importance of having a bedtime routine. Nature tried to create a bedtime routine for us by having the sunset every night, but with phones, laptops, and TVs, not to mention daytime LED lighting, most of us continue to be stimulated by light long after our bedtime. This is why it is often essential to develop a set sleep schedule you do at night when it is time for your body to start relaxing in preparation for bed. These cues help your mind and body wind down at the end of the day and help facilitate a restful night with better sleep.
To craft a soothing bedtime ritual and assist your body in relaxing at night, think of things that help you feel lighter, calmer, or at ease. This could include activities like a warm bath with Epsom salts, gentle yoga or stretching, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music. You may also want to include taking a magnesium supplement in your bedtime routine, as it can help improve sleep quality when taken in the evening. One of the most important parts of your bedtime routine is consistency! Make it a priority to follow the same pattern every night to help regulate your body’s internal clock.
Heartburn and frequent urination are common sleep disruptors during pregnancy. To avoid having them interrupt your evening, try to stay hydrated throughout the day so that you aren’t drinking a lot after dinner. Keep a glass of water by your bed and just sip on it throughout the night. Drinking a lot of fluid at a time can lead to needing to go to the bathroom more since your body isn’t able to use all of that water at once.
As for the heartburn, or acid reflux, avoid fatty, processed, or fried foods. If you still have issues, you can use papaya enzymes (found over-the-counter in the vitamin section of most stores) to help. Some people take them with their meals and others use them only as needed.
If you do get hungry at night, opt for nutritious snacks with protein.
Some so many feelings and emotions come with pregnancy! Not only is it a huge change in your life, but there are also so many hormonal changes coursing through pregnant women’s bodies. This can all lead to an increase in stress or anxiety. Taking care of yourself emotionally needs to be a priority during pregnancy. Make sure you’re taking time every day to do something that is just for you. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or spending time with a friend can help reduce your stress load and flush stress hormones from your body.
Exercise can be another great tool to manage daily stress and thereby improve sleep at night. I recommend all my clients to take a 30-minute walk every day. If you’re having issues with swelling, wearing Motif Medical’s compression socks or back brace will help keep you more comfortable during your daily walk to improve blood flow , leg cramps, and back pain This regular physical movement can help balance blood sugar levels or blood pressure, improve digestion, reduce anxiety, and promote optimal fetal positioning. What’s not to love about that?
Consult your healthcare provider
If you’ve tried all the wellness tips and tricks and you still aren’t able to get a good night’s sleep, definitely talk to your ob/gyn or medical provider for medical advice. They will be able to give you personalized maternal sleep recommendations based on what is going on in your life. Plus, they’re going to ensure that your sleep problems aren’t a symptom of any underlying trimester of pregnancy health issues!
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy pregnancy and using these recommendations can significantly enhance your chances of enjoying a restorative night’s sleep. But remember, every pregnancy is different! Finding what works best for you might take a little trial and error. Be patient and remember to prioritize self-care as you navigate this incredible journey towards parenting.
Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.