During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. Unfortunately, your regular sleeping positions may no longer work for you during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons for this new discomfort, but there are some sleeping positions that you can try that may help you get your much-needed rest.
During your first trimester, the sleep-inducing hormone progesterone starts surging through your body. All the extra fluid in your body may send you scurrying to the bathroom countless times every single night, and it can be very hard to get comfy. During your second trimester, a good night’s sleep is likely to return, and with it, a welcome energy boost. Enjoy it, because during your third trimester, the quality of your sleep may reach an all-time low.Here’s what you can do to make yourself more comfortable in bed.
- Schedule Sleep
Plan your snooze time just like you do your meals or your day at the office, and nap as often as possible. “It’s best to nap between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; otherwise you’ll have trouble falling asleep at night,” advises Teresa Ann Hoffman, M.D., an OB-GYN at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “And take one or even two 30-minute catnaps rather than one long, two-hour sleep.” Nap on the floor of your office or in your car if you need to.
- Cut Down On Fluids After 6 p.m.
This will help curtail nocturnal bathroom runs. “If you drink caffeinated beverages, do so only in the morning,” says Hoffman.
- Stock Saltines On Your Nightstand
Crackers will quell midnight queasiness—and you won’t have to trudge to the kitchen to get them.
- Stay Upright For Four Hours After Eating
The digestive process takes a lot longer during pregnancy, and sitting up will help keep stomach acids where they belong. “Lying down and watching TV after dinner is not a good idea,” Hoffman says. You may want to start eating bigger breakfasts and lighter dinners if heartburn is keeping you awake.
- Avoid Heartburn-Inducing Foods
These include spicy, fried and acidic foods, including tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices and coffee.
- Limit Or Avoid Carbonated Drinks
“A calcium imbalance can lead to leg cramps,” Lee says. The phosphorous in bubbly beverages decreases the amount of calcium you’re able to metabolize, so stay away from them. In addition, make sure you’re getting enough calcium; good food sources include dairy products; dark-green, leafy vegetables; and canned salmon with bones.
- Baby Your Back
Sleep on your left side; this should take stress off your lower back, help prevent snoring and increase circulation to your baby. Put pillows between your knees, behind your back and under your belly or use a pregnancy pillow. Stretch and do abdominal exercises frequently.
- Cut Back On Liquids In The Evening
And don’t drink for two hours before you go to bed. Whenever you urinate, lift your belly to allow your bladder to empty completely.
- See a Certified Sleep Specalist
If snoring and apnea become severe, you’ll need to have your airflow monitored. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine may be prescribed to keep your airways open and ensure that you and your baby are getting enough oxygen. It will also help you sleep through the night.
You can also try the simple and time-tested techniques to relax your muscles, calm your mind, and sleep easily. Make sure to follow these tips and there’s a high chance that you’ll go through pregnancy with an ease.