Your baby hasn’t arrived yet, so why is it so hard to get enough sleep? Getting up to go to the bathroom, heartburn and having to adjust pillows to find a comfortable sleep position are just a few of the discomforts of pregnancy.
If you’re like me, you may have spent most of your life sleeping on your back. But now that you’re pregnant, you need to adjust to sleeping on your side. The issue with lying on your back during pregnancy is that the weight of your uterus can flatten a major blood vessel that carries blood between your lower body and heart. It is better to lie on your side, especially the left side, which will promote circulation and help reduce swelling in your feet.
So how can you catch up on your sleep?
- Reduce your stress before bedtime – try breathing deeply, closing your eyes or relaxing in your favorite armchair before bed. You can take a warm shower or bath before bedtime too.
- Use pillows: between your legs, to support your back and abdomen, and to lift up your upper body if you suffer from shortness of breath.
- Use your bed only for sleep- don’t watch TV or use your iPad while in bed. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and try using a noise machine to block out other sounds.
- Go to bed earlier – you need as much rest as possible.
- Avoid drinking fluids right before bedtime. If you suffer from heartburn, try to eat your last meal a few hours before going to sleep.
- Exercising during the day can help you get a better night’s sleep, but don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may make it hard for you to fall asleep. Read about our tips to stay active.
Your baby will be here before you know it. Take this time to grab a few extra zzzz’s whenever possible.
Have questions? Email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.