HOW TO SLEEP LIKE A BABY WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING ONE
Welcoming parenthood also welcomes a world of sleeplessness, but did anyone tell you that your sleep would start to be sapped well before baby even arrives?
With a boulder for a stomach, continual pummels from the inside and an eternal need to pee… it’s a miracle that a pregnant woman catches any shut-eye at all.
So, if you’re currently slogging your tired, pregnant self through the day, take a look at some of the sleep-busters below to help overcome them.
Regurgitating the last meal at bedtime really isn’t a treat. Sorry to be the party police, but before you reach for that late-night chockie or bottle of fizz, think again.
Tip: You can thank your pregnancy hormones for this one – bubbly drinks and caffeinated products consumed near bedtime will not be pleasant. Eat all food 2-3 hours before bed or it will plot to re-visit you.
2. Leg cramps
Leg cramps are most common in the second half of pregnancy; it’s believed low calcium and magnesium levels might be the reason.
Tip: Get stuck into foods rich in calcium/magnesium: milk, yoghurt, cheese, green leafy veggies, figs, avocados, nuts and seeds, legumes, green beans, asparagus and brussel sprouts. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
3. What’s with all this mucous?
With higher oestrogen and progesterone levels and an increase in blood volume everywhere. Your nose my feel engorged (because it is) and you may feel like you have a perpetual cold.
Tip: Saline nasal sprays are good for the nose, are safe and ease congestion through the night.
4. Frequent need to pee
With an increase in hCG (pregnancy hormone), your kidneys will be working overtime to filter a whopping 50% more blood than usual, this means your pee-ing will be at an all-time high.. you’ll be just like the Trevi Fountain 🙂
Tip: Drink plenty of fluids through the day but less in the late afternoon, and remember to take a pee before you jump into bed.
5. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
An estimated 15% of pregnant woman endure this odd one; it’s described as a tingling in your legs which urges you to move them.
Tip: Talk with your doctor about getting some blood tests done; often the results show low iron, magnesium or vitamin D levels, which can be treated with vitamin supplements. You could also try applying heat packs to your legs.
6. Can’t get comfy
Finding a comfy sleep position after 20-30 years of being a tummy/back sleeper can be the ultimate curse against pregnancy.
Doctors recommend lying on your left-hand side during pregnancy as it helps with blood flow and nutrient delivery to your baby. It also helps your own body eliminate waste and fluid – delicious.
Tip: Instead of a multitude of cushions, one firm pillow for your head and a tri-pillow between your knees will do the lot – grab one that’s not going to make you sweat into oblivion and that you can use for breastfeeding once bub arrives.
7. Can’t switch-off / over-tired
Pregnancy can get your mind racing and if this is your first pregnancy there will be many unknowns to add to this.
Tip: Keep to a regular sleep pattern which incorporates a peaceful, dark, room and use your bed for sleepin’ and lovin’ only!
You might like to take a rest in the daytime – a 30 min nap will be perfect and will relieve fatigue without impinging upon your night sleep.
Regular physical activity during the day promotes sleep at night, although vigorous activity right before bedtime can work against it. Keep exercise for 3-4 hours prior to sleep time and if you’re an evening couch potato, enjoy the excuse.
9. Too worried to sleep
Tip: Try to resolve any worries before bedtime if possible; sometimes keeping a notepad and pen beside your bed to jot down concerns, can be helpful.
You might be worried about pregnancy or labour* – if you are, make sure you’re up on all of your LucyLou intel, we’ve got your sorted 🙂
10. Too hot
Your core body temperature increases once you’re pregnant, and you’re probably left feeling like a grease trap.
Tip: A fan for your bedroom or changing to lighter bedding might be helpful.
Pregnancy can be an incredible time if you’re not too exhausted to miss it. I know it can be difficult when that bulge gets large and sleep is at a premium. Making the best choices you can at sleep time and grabbing the top resources around, will help.
Sleepy hugs into the ether…
* Don’t hesitate to seek professional help, if needed.