It’s well known that parents can expect sleep loss once baby comes, but many don’t realize that the sleep loss often starts way before baby comes. From discomfort, heartburn, aches and pains, and constant bathroom trips, it can be very hard to get a good night’s sleep while pregnant.
Here are some tips and ideas to help improve your sleep while you’re pregnant.
AVOID LIQUIDS BEFORE BED
Stay hydrated during the day so that you can stop drinking liquids about 3 hours before bed to cut down on those midnight bathroom breaks. Drinking can also excite baby, and a late-night gymnastics session in your uterus also won’t help your efforts to get better sleep.
EMPTY YOUR BLADDER BEFORE BED
On a similar note, don’t forget to go to the bathroom before going to bed. Isn’t it just the worst when you’re so exhausted and fall onto your bed, only to realize you have to pee, like, 10 minutes later? So you just lay there debating whether it’s worth it to get up? Add a third-trimester belly and that decision just got harder, so don’t forget to go to bed with your bladder empty.
FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT
With all of your body changes, you’ll likely need to find a new sleep position than you used before pregnancy. I used to always sleep on my back, but when I was pregnant the only way I could sleep was on my left side with a pillow wedged under my belly and between my legs.
INVEST IN A BODY PILLOW
Body pillows are more than worth the investment. After stealing essentially every pillow from our bed to wedge somewhere around my body, I finally got a body pillow and was immediately angry that I waited so long. That thing wrapped from under my stomach to between my knees and everywhere in between. It was amazing. I even continued to sleep with my body pillow after baby was born. Don’t wait on this one, it’s worth the investment.
TRY THE COUCH
Honestly, some nights my bed just wasn’t comfortable. Maybe I was sore and the mattress wasn’t soft enough, maybe my husband was snoring. Whatever the reason, I ended up on the couch several times and slept amazingly. I would still wedge some pillows all around me but for some reason, the couch was sometimes the remedy. If all of your efforts for comfort and rest don’t seem to work, try the couch.
CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Babies and kids are not the only people who benefit from a bedtime routine. Adults, too, should establish some bedtime practices that help them wind down, physically and mentally. Perhaps a shower or bath, plugging in your phone out of reach, and reading part of a book will help your body prepare for sleep. Consistency with a bedtime routine will help your body create an association with those activities and sleep and help you sleep better.
What helped you get better sleep when you were pregnant?