Are you pregnant and finding it hard to sleep? You're not alone! Make sure you read our post on how to get a good night's sleep during pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time but it can also be exhausting; you are likely to find yourself needing a lot more sleep. It's a time when you go from burning the midnight oil to struggling to stay awake after dinner, and needing to have an afternoon nap whenever you can get one.
When you’re pregnant, one thing that lots of people say to you is: 'Get lots of sleep… while you can!' This is usually accompanied by a knowing smile and a wink, because they know that you have sleepless nights ahead of you, once the baby is here. However, it's also a time when a myriad of reasons mean you don't sleep at all well. It can be tiring and incredibly frustrating.
Why do women struggle to sleep in pregnancy?
As your baby grows inside your uterus, you might find that as soon as you relax in the evenings, it’s like the baby is having a midnight disco - and as a result, you're up too.
It's because when you sleep, your muscles are relaxed, which encourages the baby to move around more. And as your pregnancy progresses, the baby becomes very heavy so there’s a lot of pressure being put on the bladder and often the stomach too. The baby’s increased movement – and the need to wee, thanks to the pressure on your bladder – are all likely to keep you awake when you want to be asleep.
You are also likely to be plagued by lots of pregnancy symptoms that can stop you sleeping well - from pregnancy insomnia through to restless legs...sound familiar?
As well as all of this, rising hormone levels can lead to vivid dreams and also back aches, brought on by your pelvic joints relaxing, ahead of labour. Add to this the possibility of Braxton Hicks – weak ‘warm up’ contractions – and heart burn, you’ve got yourself a body that isn’t geared up for a restful sleep.
How can you get a good night's sleep in pregnancy?
Thankfully, there are some really easy things you can do to help. Here are our tips on how to get a good night's sleep during pregnancy.
Having a bath before bed is a great way to relax you and take away all the aches and pains from the day. It's also a great time to clear your mind of any worries. Listen to some relaxing music and stock up on your favourite bath oil.
Try doing hypnobirthing exercises before bed – there are lots of CDs available.
Popping some lavender oil on your pillow works wonders. You can also burn a relaxing candle in the bedroom before you go to sleep.
Make sure your bed is comfortable; invest in a good mattress, buy a pregnancy pillow if you think it will offer support and treat yourself to some cosy pyjamas.
Ditch the phone from your bedroom and instead, read a book to relax your mind.
If you’re trying all of those things and you’re still waking up lots during the night, try and have naps during the day to keep your energy levels up.