When you are pregnant, you may find yourself struggling to get adequate sleep and rest as your bump continues to grow. The following are a few helpful tips to help get you the well-deserved rest you need.
It’s important to remember that over-the-counter sleep aids, including herbal remedies, are not recommended for pregnant women. Instead, these tips may safely improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep:
- Cut out caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, and tea from your diet as much as possible. Restrict any intake of them to the morning or early afternoon.
- Avoid drinking a lot of fluids or eating a full meal within a few hours of going to bed. (But make sure that you also get plenty of nutrients and liquids throughout the day.) Some women find it helpful to eat more at breakfast and lunch and then have a smaller dinner. If nausea is keeping you up, try eating a few crackers before you go to bed.
- Get into a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
- Avoid rigorous exercise right before you go to bed. Instead, do something relaxing, like reading a book or having a warm, caffeine-free drink, such as milk with honey or a cup of herbal tea.
- If a leg cramp awakens you, it may help to press your feet hard against the wall or to stand on the leg. Some women find that stretching their calf muscles before bed helps. Also, make sure that you’re getting enough calcium and magnesium in your diet, which can help reduce leg cramps. But don’t take any supplements without checking with your doctor.
- Take a yoga class or learn other relaxation techniques to help you unwind after a busy day. (Be sure to discuss any new activity or fitness regimen with your doctor first.)
- If fear and anxiety are keeping you awake, consider enrolling in a childbirth class or parenting class. More knowledge and the company of other pregnant women may help to ease the fears that are keeping you awake at night.
No matter if it’s your baby bump, heartburn, or frequent bathroom trips keeping you up at night, there are options for sleeping when you’re pregnant. If possible, take short naps (30 to 60 minutes) during the day to make up for lost sleep. Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.
(Some information provided by Kids Health).