How to sleep well during pregnancy?

The nine months of pregnancy is the most beautiful period in a woman’s life. Nausea, fatigue, back pain, aversion to food, and insomnia are some of the most common manifestations during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body goes through several hormonal and physical changes that affect the quality of sleep. As the pregnancy progresses, some of the natural discomforts make it harder to get a good night’s sleep and have a comfortable sleeping position in general. Many women find it difficult to adjust to their changing bodies during this time. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation about sleep during pregnancy, 78% of pregnant women reported having difficulty falling asleep.

Why is it important to sleep well during pregnancy?

Sleep is an essential factor for all beings. A good night’s sleep helps boost immunity, increase cognitive function, and make one feel better. Sleep is responsible for maintaining a healthy immune system, which is going to protect both the mother and the baby from any harmful infections or illnesses. While sleeping the body secretes hormones involved in the repair, growth, and regeneration of tissues. During sleep, the body works on memory consolidation as well as recovering from the day’s activities. A fixed sleep cycle throughout the week will ensure better rest and will help to reap the benefits of a regimented sleep cycle. The benefits of sleeping well during pregnancy are:

  1. Increased energy
  2. Reduction in leg cramps
  3. Improved mental health
  4. Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes
  5. Reduce labor pain and help in the delivery

Tips to sleep better during pregnancy

Out of 10 pregnant women, 8 have insufficient sleep in the last few months of the third trimester. Here are some workable tips to calm the mind and get better sleep during pregnancy:

Sleep on one side

The best sleeping position for pregnant women is to sleep on the side. This will help to sleep better when the belly grows bigger. Sleeping on one side, especially the left side increases the amount of blood and nutrient flow to the uterus and the baby through the placenta. Sleeping on the left side can. Sleeping in this posture also helps the body eliminate waste and fluids and reduce the amount of pressure on the uterus.

Reduce stress

Keeping physical and emotional stress levels under control helps to achieve a relaxed night’s sleep. Anxiety due to stress hampers a good sleep. Pregnant women must indulge in different relaxation techniques and stress-free activities such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises, which relieve stress and get quality sleep.

Stay active

Regular exercise during pregnancy keeps your circulation going, promotes good health, and also improves sleep. Proper exercise, burns the extra energy prepped for better nighttime sleeping. Brisk walking, swimming, yoga, etc during pregnancy to keep fit and active. Getting lots of fresh air and doing moderate exercise help get rid of the common night disturbances a pregnant woman may experience.

Healthy eating

Avoid eating many spicy and acidic foods before sleep as they lead to indigestion and heartburn during sleep. Eat lighter meals and follow a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Having herbal teas can help unwind in the evening. Peppermint and ginger teas can help to ease morning sickness. Have dinner early and eat small meals at regular intervals. A well-balanced diet nourishes the baby with the necessary nutrients and promotes restful sleep.

Pregnancy pillows

Pregnancy pillows keep the expectant mothers well supported, in a side sleeping position, and well-cushioned. The right pillow helps ease the pressure on hips, back, shoulders, and legs, to promote better sleep and wake up refreshed. Place a pillow between the bent knees to take the pressure off and provide extra comfort to the lower back. Another pillow under the belly to keep your body in a comfortable position. Pillows for the neck keep the spine straight and alleviate pressure on the spine, hips, and surrounding nerves.

Relaxing room ambience

Make sure to create a calm and quiet environment in the bedroom. that is dimly light or dark to help you get to sleep. Avoid screens and cover the windows with curtains. Ensure the temperature in the room is comfortable because if it is too hot, you’re more likely to wake up or have restless sleep.  

Limit caffeine consumption

Cut down excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy, because it is linked to a greater risk of having a low birth weight baby or pregnancy loss. Caffeine is a stimulant and can mess with sleep.  A cup of coffee or tea is fine as long as you stay well within the limit. Avoid having any caffeinated drinks.

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