Most of us have experienced a sleepless night or two, at times an inevitable part of life due to traveling, stress or perhaps health issues. For many women however, becoming pregnant is the beginning of a sleepless night series without end. Like being held hormonally hostage, a good night’s rest is now a distant memory and the magical sleep secret seems to elude, possibly forever.
Whether in the first trimester of pregnancy or in the middle of the 9th month, sleep is no doubt a more challenging experience but there are many things that one can do to make it bearable and more importantly, make sure that sleepless nights do not become a pattern or possibly a chronic sleep problem that will further complicate life once a new baby arrives. Sleep is incredibly important while expecting, for Mom and baby’s health and to set up an essential routine that all new Mother’s need during pregnancy and beyond.
Here are a few secrets to a healthy night’s sleep that you can get started now:
- Eat healthy well-balanced meals (at least 5 servings of Fruits and Veggies daily) in the morning to avoid nausea and several hours before bed so digestion does not interfere with restful sleep
- Prioritize and establish a sleep routine, going to bed and waking at the same time each day to train your body, helpful once baby arrives
- Exercise for about 30 minutes each day – you will sleep better at night
- Sleep on your left side to improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your fetus and to your uterus and kidneys
- Try a pregnancy pillow-When sleeping, lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent. Place pillows between your knees, under your abdomen and behind your back. This may take pressure off your lower back
- If you can’t sleep, try to quietly take your mind off of it by reading, writing, knitting, drinking herb tea or take a warm bath
- Avoid taking medication as it will be shared with your baby and is usually never a solution
*Be sure to tell your Doctor if you are concerned about sleep issues and make sure that exercise is safe for you since all pregnancies are so different