Pregnancy Sleeplessness & How to Sleep Better during Pregnancy
Being pregnant is an exciting time in life, but it’s also a time of many questions, concerns, and frustrations. Sleeping during these transformational nine months is a major issue for many women, so it’s not uncommon if you’re getting a lack of sleep during pregnancy.
For obvious reasons, pregnant women need to be incredibly cautious about how their bodies are functioning and about everything they put in their bodies. Let’s learn a bit more about pregnancy sleeplessness and how to sleep better for your health and the health of your unborn baby.
Pregnancy Sleeplessness and Other Common Sleep Issues During Pregnancy
There are many reasons that you might not be sleeping well while pregnant, and not all of them have to do with the little one kicking and moving around inside you. Here are some of the most common sleep issues that women experience while pregnant.2
- The need to urinate frequently (mostly first and third trimesters)
- Frequent heartburn (throughout the pregnancy)
- General aches and pains (throughout the pregnancy)
- Anxiety (throughout the pregnancy)
- Hunger and cravings (throughout the pregnancy)
- Leg cramps and restless leg syndrome (mostly second half of pregnancy)
Why Do I Experience Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy?
Your body is going through so many drastic changes during a pregnancy, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that your sleep is affected too. Each trimester feels differently, and you may even experience heightened dreams or cravings during sleep as well as persistent issues of sleeplessness.1 This is all usually very natural and should not be cause for alarm unless pregnancy sleeplessness symptoms worsen and intensify.
Healthy Sleep Positions During Pregnancy
Women who have never been pregnant before often wonder what the safest sleep position is. It’s not as easy to get comfortable in bed as it used to be; however, medical experts typically advise against sleeping on the back while pregnant – at least during the second and third trimesters.
According to What to Expect, this is because of the weight of the uterus and baby can press against the vena cava, which is the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body region and promotes circulation. Good positions for sleeping during pregnancy are lying on either side, although it doesn’t matter too much which side you choose. Use lots of pillows to get yourself comfortable, strategically placing them between your legs, under your back, along your side, or anywhere else to support better sleep.1
What Can I Do To Help Me Sleep During Pregnancy?
Luckily, most pregnancy-related sleeplessness issues go away once the baby is born. But after the birth, you’ll have other forms of sleep disruptions to look forward to!
Tips for Restful Sleeping while Pregnant: Battling Pregnancy Sleeplessness
There are also some easy and natural lifestyle changes that you can make while pregnant to increase your chances of a restful night’s sleep during pregnancy. 5
- Drink at least eight glasses of water per day
- Exercise daily in the morning or afternoon 6
- Avoid caffeine and sugar
- Take soothing warm baths with aromatherapy before bed
- Lower the temperature in your bedroom and use blankets
- What To Expect. Pregnancy. Retrieved on December 23, 2018 from https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/sleep-solutions/pregnancy-sleep-positions/
- America Pregnancy Association. Insomnia During Pregnancy; Snooze or Lose. Retrieved on December 23, 2018 from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/insomnia-during-pregnancy/
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Melatonin for sleep: Does it work? Retrieved December 11, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-science/melatonin-for-sleep-does-it-work
- National Institutes of Health. Melatonin: In Depth. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin
- Sleep Education. Healthy Sleep Habits. (February 9, 2017). Retrieved December 11, 2018 from http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Healthy Sleep: Exercising for Better Sleep. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-better/exercising-for-better-sleep