Everyone wants to sleep well, especially when there’s a baby growing in a mother’s belly. Both the mother and the baby need sleep. During pregnancy, there are so many inconveniences that can occur when bedtime arises. A mother can become hungry, uncomfortable, warm or cold, woozy, tired, irritated, dehydrated, and the list goes on and on. No one enjoys having to deal with these inconveniences once it’s time for bedtime. It is also not uncommon for stress and anxiety to occur since the mother is going through many unknown (if it’s her first child) changes that she is not necessarily used to. Also, the pressure of trying to keep the baby safe or to raise a child will definitely arise. Don’t get too worried, though. A baby is a beautiful creature. All of the changes and inconveniences will all be worth it in the end, so fear no more!
There’s a common misconception that once a mother is pregnant, she will no longer sleep well. This myth has been busted with these twenty sleeping tips for pregnant mothers. Keep on reading to have the best sleep possible and to make bedtime enjoyable again. After reading these sleeping tips, make sure to sleep tight!
20 ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED
The first tip to sleeping well at night is to drink plenty of liquids during the day to stay hydrated. Obviously the best liquid to drink is water; however it is best to stay away from caffeine, tea, or other liquids that can get you dehydrated. It is also important to stop drinking liquids a few hours (depending on your body), before you go sleep to minimize frequent nighttime urination. Let’s face it, no one enjoys waking up in the middle of the night or getting comfortable in bed in an extremely comfortable position to have to wake up and go to the washroom!
19 REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY
Most of these tips will come as common sense to most individuals but we all know that it is extremely important to try living a stress and anxiety free life, or to reduce it as much as possible from our lives. Stress and anxiety will not only reduce your happiness and energy, but it will definitely keep you up at night. In order to sleep well at night, we must try to find the stress and anxiety factors of our lives to eventually learn how to coop with them or how to eliminate them completely. If these factors cannot get eliminated, find a way to relax before going to sleep.
18 GET INTO A ROUTINE
An individual will find it very difficult to fall asleep at night if their sleeping schedule is all upside down! Of course sometimes life makes it impossible to keep up with a sleeping routine, but we need to try our hardest to show life who’s really the boss. Get comfortable with a certain amount of hours (usually eight hours of sleep is a healthy amount), that is sufficient to function every day. Also make sure to go to sleep and to wake up at the same time every day of the week. A routine will not only create stability in someone’s day to day life but it will also make them more energized and happy!
17 PILLOWS, PILLOWS, AND MORE PILLOWS
An absurd amount of pillows is needed to sleep comfortably once someone is pregnant. Depending where an individual’s pregnancy has reached during the pregnancy journey, the sleeping position might matter however it is always as important to sleep with the amount of pillows that make them comfortable. Buy as many pillows and also buy long/ banana styled pillows that may or may not replace the husband of the pregnant mother! The large amount of pillows will not only support the baby but it will instantly make a pregnant mother’s bed one hundred times comfier. Even if the bed looks overflowed by pillows, this will instantly make it easier to sleep at night.
16 FIND WAYS TO RELAX BEFORE BEDTIME
Trying to complete a stressful task right before bed is a terrible idea since it will minimize the chances of actually falling asleep. An individual must do something extremely relaxing that would put them in a Zen state of mind right before bedtime since a relaxed mind will make it much easier to doze off into the clouds. Everyone must establish what is relaxing to them however here are some ideas. Read a book, have a nice pamper night which includes a bath, a facial, and a manicure or pedicure, watch a movie, have a conversation with a friend or family member, and the list goes on and on!
15 KEEP MOVING THROUGHOUT THE DAY
If someone sleeps the whole day, they will definitely not be able to fall asleep or sleep at night. Do chores during the day, go for a walk and exercise, and just keep moving to ensure that tiredness hits towards the end of the day to have a full night of sleep. An individual must use the energy they received while sleeping the night before, in the following day! That is what sleep is all about and if someone fails to use up their energy throughout the day, well they will find it very difficult to fall asleep when it’s time for bed.
14 NUTRITION MATTERS
Not only must pregnant mothers watch what they eat for the benefit of their baby but they must also watch what they eat for their own benefit. Often times when someone drinks coffee right before bed, they will definitely have issues falling asleep or just sleeping throughout the night. Foods like almonds, turkey, walnuts, fish, and kiwi are great foods to eat for a good night’s sleep since they are foods rich in the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. These foods will also reduce the body’s levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone therefore establishing a better and calming sleep. So, happy eating!
13 PRACTICE BREATHING TECHNIQUES
Usually when someone cannot fall asleep and they toss and turn during the night, they will become very anxious which will raise their blood pressure. When we sleep, our blood pressure and heart rate decreases since we are sleeping. Breathing techniques will calm a pregnant mother before bedtime which will make it much easier to fall asleep. Just by breathing in for three long seconds, and breathing out through the nose will help someone relax. These deep breaths can be done as much as needed to achieve the best calming sleep as possible. If breathing through the nose is not comfortable, breathing through the mouth can be used as well.
12 CUT DOWN ON CAFFEINE
This next sleeping tip is a very obvious one. It’s simple; just cut down on caffeine. This liquid is used to give someone energy and make them feel awake but if they’re drinking it before bed, bye bye bedtime because they will not be falling asleep. If an individual really cannot live without their coffee throughout the day, they can still drink it however make sure to cut it out of the day a couple of hours before bed. Caffeine can also create nightmares and anxiety dreams in someone when they are trying to sleep due to the person’s increased heart rate and pressure. If nightmares are not wanted, and a restful sleep is wanted, cut down on caffeine!
11 STOCK UP ON SALTY FOODS
In the article it was mentioned that nutrition definitely matters when trying to have a good and restful sleep. However, sometimes when mothers are expecting they will have an increase of nausea before bed. Salty foods like crackers for example will definitely help to reduce and eliminate (depending on the individual), the amount of nausea someone feels. These salty foods can be kept on a bedside table or a drawer just in case the pregnant mother wakes up to a certain urge and feeling of nausea. Wake up, eat a cracker(s), and go back to sleep! Just make sure not to go too crazy with the crackers eating.
10 STAY UPRIGHT AFTER EATING
The next sleeping tip is pretty much relevant for all individuals but it is much more relevant for pregnant mothers. If someone eats and they lay down right after eating because they ate too much for example, they might or they will get heartburn. Heartburn for those who don’t know is a painful burning feeling in the chest or throat. They sell medications to relieve heartburn but an easy and simple way to not get heartburn is to stay upright therefore standing or sitting down straight on a chair after eating until digestion begins. The amount of time can differ per person but usually fifteen to thirty minutes after eating is a good amount of time.
9 TAKE A WARM BATH
Warm baths are a great way to relax before bedtime. Depending on where a pregnant mother is in her pregnancy journey, it is recommended to get advised by the doctor following her pregnancy about the recommended temperature of the water. Not only are baths very relaxing but someone can get very creative with them! Rose petals and essential oils can be added, bath bubbles, Epsom salts which are incredible for relieving muscle pain and strain and many other liquids and treatments can be added to make your bath water more exciting and relaxing. Candles can also be added around the bath to achieve a maximum relaxation mode.
8 EAT SMALLER MEALS
Society’s norm of eating is usually to eat three meals a day; one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the late afternoon. These meals are usually very large and make someone very full after eating them almost to the point where they might fall asleep. During a weight loss journey or a pregnancy journey it is much better to eat smaller portioned meals throughout the day. Usually five meals a day is great and basically this way of eating will make someone less prone to snacking during the whole day and it will keep them full for longer. It is great for the baby since they are getting nutrients every few hours and it will help someone sleep because after eating a big and heavy meal, the person either becomes very sleepy or very awake during bedtime. Eating the smaller portioned meal will decrease the energy levels of someone when it is time for bedtime.
7 CREATE A RELAXING ENVIRONMENT
No one has their best sleep in a cluttered and messy environment. To get the best sleep possible, make sure to clean the bedroom and to decorate it the way that increases the relaxing mood to the room. A new paint job is not necessarily needed however wash and change the sheets or buy a calm colour of sheets like light grey or light blue. Clean and organize the top of dressers and bedside tables to minimize the amount of stuff that are on them. The cleaner, the better; the less stuff that are present in the room and the more minimalist the room is will increase the relaxing mood of the room. Changing the lighting around by adding lamps, or candles and essential oil diffusers will make the room smell good and it will also create a calming atmosphere. Happy decorating!
6 ADD CALMING SCENTS
The next sleeping tip is to add any type of relaxing scents to the room whether it’s from a candle, incense or an essential oil diffuser. A scent that is widely used and associated with sleeping is lavender. Researchers have found that lavender increases slow-wave sleep, which is the part of the sleep cycle in which the heartbeat slows down and muscles relax. Another relaxing scent is cedarwood. This scent supports the healthy function of the pineal gland which releases the body’s natural sleep hormones. Both of these scents are great for sleeping and relax the mind however, make sure to test out whatever scent adds a calming atmosphere to the bedroom since every individual is different.
5 PRACTICE BEDTIME YOGA AND STRETCHING
If nothing has worked on this list yet, another option to get a relaxed mind before bedtime is to do calming yoga poses and stretches. Yoga is great for blood flow and circulation, muscle and joint movement, energy, and it is amazing for a calm and positive mind. The first pose is called the functional squat. This pose lengthens the spine, and realigns the pelvis and hips. If someone feels discomfort in these places before bedtime, the functional squat will diminish the discomfort. The next pose is the warrior with one side bend pose which lengthens the calves, hip flexors, and the side waist muscles. More night time yoga poses can be found for free online! After completing the yoga poses and stretches, it is great to finish off with some deep breathing to attain a sleepy and relaxed state of mind.
4 STAY AWAY FROM LATE NIGHT SNACKS
We are always tempted to munch our faces out on our favorite foods at night while watching a movie or television! Don’t blame the late night snack temptation on the baby. Eating in bed or right before bedtime will definitely keep someone awake for at least an hour until they’re finally able to fall asleep. The late night snacks might even cause anxiety dreams and nightmares which are unbearable and no one enjoys those types of nights. Foods that will usually cause nightmares are chocolate, candies and sugary foods, as well as any salty foods like chips. Try avoiding late night snacking or definitely diminish it to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
3 TURN DOWN THE ROOM TEMPERATURE
The next sleeping tip involves room temperature. Always lower the temperature in the bedroom to keep the room fresh and somewhat cold. If a mother does this and gets cold during the night, she can simply keep blankets near the bed to add some to warm her up. It’s great to sleep in a colder room since the heat will not wake you up during the night, and the cold, fresh room lowers the blood pressure of whoever is sleeping in the room to make them drowsier and sleep much, much better. Don’t put the temperature extremely cold but make sure to test it out to conclude what works best.
2 STAY AWAY FROM DEVICES
We are all tempted to check our phones or check our emails before bedtime. However, when it actually happens that we check our phones, we stay on them for a long period of time and time just flies by as we scroll through our social media feeds. Don’t do this! The light from a device whether it’s a cellphone or a laptop will keep an individual awake for much longer even though they’re tired. Basically, the brain gets tricked by the light of the device since it thinks that the light is the sun so the brain keeps the individual awake. No one should do this especially if they want to sleep peacefully. So stay awake from devices, especially in bed.
1 DRESS COMFORTABLY
The last sleeping tip is to dress as comfortably as possible. Some people find that the most comfortable way to sleep is naked, while others find that the most comfortable way to sleep is with big joggers and socks. It really depends what is more comfortable per individual, so just test out different scenarios. Making sure to wear comfortable clothing during bedtime will not only make someone sleep much better but it will also decrease if not eliminate the amount of times somewhat wakes up from their peaceful sleep because they are not comfortable with what they are wearing. Sleep tight!