Pregnancy & sleep can be a tough combination. We explore how sleep is affected in each trimester & how can you manage sleep during pregnancy
From the moment you announce your happy news to the world, everyone offers the same advice to expectant parents “make sure you get your sleep in now while you can”. However, any mum-to-be will know that it is easier said than done - so here are our top pregnancy sleeping tips.
While you’re readily preparing for the potential sleepless nights when your little one arrives, very little prepares you for the lack of sleep you’ll have in the nine months leading up to birth. Unfortunately, disturbed sleep is common amongst most pregnant women and there are some helpful pregnancy sleeping tips and aids that can help you get a more comfortable night’s sleep.
It is recommended that pregnant women should spend at least eight hours a day in bed so they can get the recommended seven hours of sleep. However, recent research has found mums-to-be are only experiencing around five hours sleep a night with nearly all reporting they suffered from broken sleep.
Pregnancy sleeping tip #1: support
Some of the most common reasons expectant mums aren’t getting the full recommended sleep allowance is due to general feelings of being uncomfortable, the dreaded heartburn, sickness and feeling their little one moving around. One of the most common solutions to help women get a good night’s sleep is getting the right support, this can be through the use of specialised pregnancy pillows or a good old fashioned pillow you would usually use in bed.
Pregnancy sleeping tip #2: pillow between your legs
In the early stages of pregnancy it may be useful to start by sleeping with a pillow between your legs. As you move through your pregnancy your muscles start to relax, putting additional pressure on your hips and back, so by using a pillow between your legs it helps to align your spine correctly, taking pressure from problem areas.
Pregnancy sleeping tip #3: more pillows
As you move through your pregnancy, you may find it comfortable to start introducing additional pillows, many mums-to-be prefer to have a pillow or pregnancy wedge, which can either support the bump or back. Additional full body pillows can help and stop you rolling on to your back, which is specifically important once you reach 28 weeks as guidelines recommend you only lie on your side during your last trimester. If you suffer from reflux during the night a Nursing Pillow, such as the Boppy Pillow, can help you keep propped up, reducing the symptoms while sleeping.
Pregnancy sleeping tip #4: light exercise
Some other ways to help you drift off mirror other relaxation techniques commonly recommended, including staying active during pregnancy. Not only does light exercise have many health benefits for you during pregnancy and even birth. Yoga, swimming or walking are ideal low impact, calming activities, however, with any physical activity in pregnancy, it’s also important to check with your midwife or GP before you take on any new forms of exercise.
Pregnancy sleeping tip #5: meditation
Finally, many women have found meditation helps to relax them before bedtime to provide a more peaceful night’s sleep. Practising meditation can not only help relieve stress and tension but can also be associated with positive labour preparation, especially if combined with hypnobirthing techniques.
Overall, it’s important to recognise your body is experiencing huge changes as you grow a new life and adapt to your new sleeping patterns. Read more about the best sleeping positions in pregnancy here to help you achieve a more comfortable night’s sleep.