How to Sleep Better When Pregnant

Pregnant women often struggle to get a good night's sleep. Learn how to sleep better during pregnancy by limiting caffeine intake, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or mindful meditation, and sleeping on your side with your knees bent.

How to Sleep Better When Pregnant

Pregnant women often struggle to get a good night's sleep. To help you sleep better during pregnancy, there are several things you can do. Limit your caffeine intake, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or mindful meditation, and sleep on your side with your knees bent. Most doctors recommend sleeping on the left side specifically, as it is believed to protect the liver and increase blood flow to the heart, fetus, uterus and kidneys.

Research has shown that sleeping on your back in the third trimester (after 28 weeks of pregnancy) increases the risk of stillbirth. For more chronic sleep problems, lifestyle changes can help. Avoid television and electronics before bedtime, and try to reduce stress levels. An estimated 10 to 25 percent of pregnant women experience symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), which can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.

Fears about birth or what life will be like with a newborn can also cause anxiety and disrupt sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga before bed can help reduce anxiety and wake up less during the night.Morning sickness affects almost 70% of pregnant women and can occur at any time of the day or night. Early in pregnancy, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses.

It also makes the heart work easier by preventing the baby's weight from putting pressure on the large vein (called the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from the feet and legs.Sleep during the second trimester of pregnancy improves for many women, since night urination becomes less of a problem, since the growing fetus reduces pressure on the bladder by moving above it. There are also other over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills that are considered safe for occasional use during pregnancy, such as Unisom, Tylenol PM, Sominex and Nytol, but always check with your doctor before taking these or any type of herbal preparations.If you fall asleep close to morning time just to have the alarm clock wake you up, see if you can rearrange your day. As the unborn baby grows, the pregnant woman may find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Having trouble sleeping won't hurt you or your baby, but it can make daily life a little more difficult.To help you sleep better at night, there are several strategies you can use to manage and perhaps prevent insomnia during pregnancy.

These include limiting caffeine intake, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga before bedtime, avoiding television and electronics before bedtime, reducing stress levels, and taking over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills if necessary.Any of these results can have a profound effect on the quality and duration of sleep you sleep each night. Keep telling yourself it's the last chance for a long, long time (at least until your baby starts sleeping through the night). But instead of letting this sleep disorder affect you, see your doctor at your next prenatal appointment for help and guidance.

Sue Ashauer
Sue Ashauer

General food junkie. Extreme zombie buff. Extreme coffee trailblazer. Hipster-friendly travel guru. Devoted food trailblazer. Tv buff.

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