Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but unfortunately, sometimes it can be hard to fall asleep. Many women face sleep problems in pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. In fact, a poll carried out by the National Sleep Foundation reported that 78% of women find their sleep is disturbed more during pregnancy than at any other time.
Your body changes so much when you’re pregnant. Insomnia is very common and can be brought on by a range of problems, such as back pain, leg cramps, vivid dreams and the need to go to the loo a lot. Physical and mental exhaustion can catch up with you too.
If you’re looking for pregnancy sleeping tips, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of our favourite ways to prevent sleep problems in pregnancy – hopefully they’ll help you to catch those much needed zzz’s and make the most of your sleep each night.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Try regulating your body clock by getting up and going to sleep at the same time every day. It's always tempting to grab those lie-ins or stay up late when you’re fatigued but you may find it more difficult to sleep at night if you do. That said, if you're already struggling to get some shut-eye then it's fine to grab the extra sleep when you can get it.
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience. It's natural that thoughts about what’s to come might keep you up at night. It is very common to feel anxious and stressed during pregnancy, but try to remember that it’s perfectly normal and you’re not alone!
A good way to express worries is to write them down in a journal. Even better, talk to someone about them. Your partner might be having the same thoughts, or your parents might be able to shed some light on your concerns. Getting these anxious thoughts off your chest can help you put your mind at ease.
Avoid spicy foods and too much fluid at night
It’s good to drink plenty of water throughout the day but try to limit the amount of fluid you drink after 7pm – it’ll make a difference to the number of times you need the loo at night. Many pregnant women crave spicy food when they’re pregnant and it’s perfectly safe to eat, but this can give you indigestion and heartburn so it’s best to avoid too much spicy food in the evenings.
Maintain a night-time routine
Another one of our pregnancy sleeping tips is to establish a night-time routine. It's a good thing to pamper yourself a little before going to bed. You can do this by having a warm bath, listening to music and massaging our Secret Saviours Night Cream into your skin. Not only will this leave your bump feeling soft and supple, but it will provide some special bonding time with your baby. This pregnancy sleeping tip is the best way to relax you and get you in the mood for sleep. Remember to wind down an hour before bed so your mind and body are relaxed and ready for sleep.
Sleep on your side
A big sleep problem in pregnancy is getting comfortable. It can be hard to find the right position to lie in when your bump is in the way. That’s why it’s recommended to sleep on your side. (left side is best)
During your third trimester sleeping on your back can increase your risk of stillbirth, so side sleeping is the best position in these last few weeks. Plus, lying on your side will be more comfortable, as your bump continues to grow. If side-sleeping doesn’t help we recommend you invest in a pregnancy pillow – this will take some of the stress off your bump and help relieve back pain too.
We all know about the benefits of exercise, especially during pregnancy. It helps alleviate many common problems, such as constipation, leg cramps, swelling of the ankles, as well as enhance your mood and improve circulation. But did you know that exercise will help you with sleep problems in pregnancy (make sure you finish three hours before bedtime)? You’ll find regular exercise helps you work off excess energy and tires you enough that you’ll fall into a deeper, more restful sleep.
Use your bed only for sleep
You’re lying in bed, just waking up from sleep. Before you know it, you’ve been watching TV, working on your laptop, or reading from bed. While this kind of setup is cosy, it also means that our beds are no longer just for sleeping. This convinces your brain that your bed isn’t a place to rest and relax.
Since technology is more accessible now than ever, we use our phones and computers everywhere. The artificial light from these screens helps keep us awake, so it’s recommended to turn off your screens at least an hour before bed. If you use your bed just for sleeping, it helps your brain recognise that your bedroom is a place to slow down, unwind, and most importantly, rest.
We hope these pregnancy sleep tips help you tackle your sleep problems in pregnancy and get some more much-needed shut-eye.
And if it’s the idea of stretch marks that keeps you up at night, there’s always our fantastic Stretch Mark Prevention Kit. 82% of women who use our 3-step system will come out of pregnancy stretch mark free making this your best insurance against those pesky scars.