I am currently about to enter my third trimester of my third pregnancy and my body is getting those familiar aches and I am often uncomfortable. It is so hard to sleep while pregnant! Each night as I get ready for bed, I go through my normal routine and as soon as I lay down to sleep, she starts kicking. EVERY NIGHT. Like clockwork.
Perhaps, it’s restless leg, insomnia or your ever full bladder. Whatever it is that keeps you up at night, here are a few strategies that you can use to make the most of your sleep while pregnant.
Pillows are your friend during pregnancy! There are a variety of body pillows made to be used during pregnancy that may be worth investing in. However, I have opted out of this for my pregnancies. I use three (plain old normal) pillows each night. One pillow with good support for my head, one densely packed throw pillow for between my thighs and another soft pillow for hugging.
Generally this combination has allowed me to sleep comfortable on my left side while still keeping my hips aligned. Tip: You can also purchase a basic body pillow from your local home goods store and use it for support between your thighs and for snuggling.5 Tips To Help You Get Better Sleep While Pregnant Click To Tweet
I suffered terribly from Restless Leg Syndrome during my first two pregnancies. While neurologists are still learning a lot about RLS, many believe that there is a link with RLS to magnesium and iron levels in your blood. Ask your OB or midwife about taking an iron or magnesium supplement. During my pregnancies, I used a magnesium lotion, drank a magnesium drink before bed, showered and even did some yoga stretching all in the name of getting some sleep.
Download a guided sleep or guided relaxation to listen to as you fall asleep or just before going to bed. These guided relaxations can help you transition easily into a comfortable restful state. I found this particularly helpful after a day full of chasing a toddler around.
Essential oils are all the rage and the market is full of a variety of oil blends that are intended to assist with relaxation and sleep. The most affordable and basic option is lavender essential oil which you can find at your local Target and even most grocery stores.
This can be diffused, mixed with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, castor oil, shea butter) and applied topically or you can add 10 drops to an 8 ounce spritzer bottle with one part alcohol to 10 parts water. This can be sprayed on your pillow or around your bedroom. One of my favorite blends is Peace and Calming by YoungLiving.
I have found that I always sleep best when I limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine that I drink. My general rule of thumb is no coffee or caffeine after 3pm and only drinking alcohol until two hours before bedtime (Note: Most doctors recommend eliminating alcohol entirely during pregnancy). I also try and be thoughtful about the amount of water I consume before bed. Hydrate well during the day and try limiting your water intake for the last 30 minutes or so before bedtime.