Forewarning, I’m currently sleep deprived as I write this, and I’m not even pregnant. If you hear a note of desperation in the words that’s why. 😅
There’s so many reasons you might not be sleeping well in pregnancy. Heartburn, body aches, uncomfortable belly, anxiety, having to pee every 37 minutes… You know what I’m talking about. For some people this starts in the first trimester and for some lucky individuals it doesn’t become a problem until the last couple of weeks. I’ve even been told that there’s a blessed few that never experience sleep issues!! (Frankly I’m convinced they’re lying.)
My first tip for good sleep is to manage your expectations. Even with the best outcomes you’re probably not going to be getting ten straight hours of perfect sleep but we can aim for 3-4 at a stretch. That’s pretty reasonable. As you get later into the pregnancy there’s just not much room in your body and that bladder is getting squished. Combine that with the need to stay hydrated and yea, there’s gonna be a few bathroom breaks in the night.
Setting up your environment in a restful way can make those little wake-ups less annoying. Keep your room cool and dimly lit, with just enough light to make your way around. Clear away any tripping hazards and put a small night light in the bathroom so you don’t burn away your eyeballs by flipping the main switch. Maintaining the soft lighting will keep your mind ready to go right back to sleep.
Invest in a pregnancy pillow! There’s a lot of different styles with various pros and cons so you’ll need to do a little research to find the one that works for you and the way you sleep. Take into account the amount of space in your bed too! If you choose one of the large U-shaped pillows, but you have a queen bed and a partner, it’s going to be quite crowded for sleep. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s supporting you where you need it. I personally used a U-shaped pillow and ran it under my belly then between my knees to be more comfortable as I side-slept but my partner was on active duty at the time and I didn’t have to share my bed most nights.
Setting up a bedtime routine isn’t just for kids, you know. Adults will benefit too! Doing the same things for several nights begins to set up a signal for our brains that it’s time to wind down. Spray a lavender or chamomile scent onto your pillow, brush your hair, wash your face, brush your teeth, turn on the fan or some sleep music, then lay down and focus on your breathing for five minutes. Try this every night for a week and it may become set into your mind, bringing sleep in faster and easier.
These are just a few good tips but by no means is it an expansive list, and some people may not find it helpful. For those that are willing to try, just remember this – manage your expectations, keep a restful and dim environment, make your body comfortable with a pregnancy pillow, and keep a bedtime routine. Let me know if it works for you!