It’s common to hear mum-to-bes complain about poor sleep. Sleep is vital especially during pregnancy, and most doctors recommend that you should actually “sleep for two”. But if you’re facing the following issues, we just might have the solutions for you.
Between 30 and 50 per cent of pregnant women will have some heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux. Heartburn tends to be worse when you lie down to sleep, thanks to gravity. So bedtime can be especially uncomfortable and sleeping is tough.
Needing The Bathroom
Most pregnant women need to pee through the night. It’s a result of a higher blood volume going through the kidneys and a baby pressing on a bladder that gets smaller and can fit less in. If you’re lucky enough to wake, pee and go back to sleep in minutes, you won’t have a problem. But if you struggle to get back to sleep, those annoying trips to the toilet can wreck your night.
Back (And Other) Pain
Especially late in pregnancy, many women get pelvic, leg and back pain.
Once baby starts moving, her nighttime ballet routine can destroy your sleep!
Over a quarter of pregnant women suffer restless legs. This problem is more common in women with insufficient levels of folic acid and iron.
Don’t Sleep On It
Apart from leaving you feeling exhausted, lack of sleep can have serious health repercussions for both you and the baby.
Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco recently found that women who sleep fewer than six hours per night have longer labours (29 hours vs 18 hours) and were four-and-a-half to five times more likely to need a caesarean.
Another study that just looked at sleep for the five nights before labour found that the less sleep you have, the more painful your labour feels.
8 Tips To Sleep Better Tonight:
See Your GP
Get issues like back ache, restless legs, sleeping apnoea and refluxing diagnosed and sorted. Take perinatal vitamins.
Make Time For Sleep
A US study found many women (all women, not just pregnant women) didn’t get enough sleep, as they didn’t have time to sleep! If you’re up till 11pm doing housework and answering emails, it’s time to reprioritise and outsource some of these tasks. Switch off the TV earlier and make sure you hit the sack at an hour that allows you to get enough shut-eye.
Drink Lots Of Water
Drink it early in the day and stop having any fluids from 5pm to minimise midnight shifts on the toilet. Remember, pregnant women need 2.6 litres of fluid a day. Put a small nightlight in the bathroom so you don’t have to turn on bright lights and wake up your brain.
Have A Light, Early Dinner
This will minimise reflux and heartburn. Make lunch your main meal.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Get rid of blankets and make sure to set your fan or air-conditioner to the temperature you enjoy.
Take a simple analgesia like paracetamol (it’s really okay) before bed and use warm pillows and other cushions.
Switch Off Screens Before Bed
The blue light from screens stops your own natural sleep hormone, melatonin from activating. An hour before bed, dim your lights and do a total screen detox.
Stay At A Healthy Weight
Being overweight ups your risk of sleep apnoea, back and other pains, and overheating. Don’t eat for two and do regular exercise.