Ah, sleep. It used to come so easily. That was, until your big ol’ baby bump took over. And here you thought those sleepless nights wouldn’t start until after your baby was born. Don’t stress — we’re here for you. It’s entirely possible to drift off and stay asleep during this sometimes quite uncomfortable time. Before you lose yet another night’s rest (you’ll need to stock up on as many hours of sleep as you can right now), check out how you can make sleep easier during pregnancy.
1. Buy a body pillow. Those pregnancy aches and pains are acting up and won’t let you get a wink in. It seems like you just can’t get comfortable, no matter how you twist, toss, and turn. Your growing belly is making your usual sleep positions completely impossible, and you’re at a loss for what position will actually allow you to sleep. A full-sized body pillow (or pregnancy pillow) provides support where you need it and may lead to a more restful night. Cuddle up with it, sleeping on your side. Putting the pillow between your knees may also help alleviate some of that achy feeling and help you get to sleep.
2. Develop a bedtime routine that you look forward to. You’ve read all about how babies need a predictable bedtime routine. Well, bedtime routines aren’t just for the kiddos. You need time to unwind after your day too. Even though your body feels tired, your brain is going full-force until 10pm. Creating an adult bedtime schedule that starts a bit before you hit the hay will turn this potentially hectic time into a habit. So go ahead and take that relaxing bath, read a book (without a screen), listen to calming music, and drift off to dreamland just like a baby would.
3. Wear the right PJs to bed. Feeling extra hot (and not in the good way) during pregnancy is something that many expectant mamas have to deal with. The over-the-top internal warmth and excessive sweat means that going to bed in your flannel PJs won’t exactly cut it — even if it’s the middle of January. Wear light sleepwear to bed or go au naturel for maximum comfort.
4. Schedule in time to relax before bed. You only have 24 hours in a day, right? From the moment your alarm goes off until the second you step into bed you’re in “go, go, go” mode. When it’s time for bed, you may still feel the same rush of adrenaline that you had during your busy day. Instead of expecting to hop into bed and immediately fall asleep, give yourself some extra wind-down time when you’re pregnant. Turn off the TV, put the laptop away, silence your phone, and just breathe or listen to an audio meditation.
5. Do a lot of day drinking. No, not the alcoholic kind. It’s important to keep yourself completely hydrated during the day. You may feel extra thirsty, especially at the beginning of your pregnancy or if you’re having some serious morning sickness. Drink lots of water, and be sure to spread out your water intake throughout the day. Waiting until you get home from work to catch up on your daily liters will cause a few problems. To start with, you’ll feel dry and a bit gross (in that raisin kind of way) all day long. Second, even though you’ll finally feel hydrated at night, you’ll be up way more than you want to be. Why? Um, because you’ll have to pee every time you close your eyes.
6. Give up super spicy foods. That extra-spicy burrito and those extra hot wings may seem like a good idea when you’re really craving them. But those spicy foods may pop up again later, when you’re laying down in bed ready to pass out (of course), in the form of major heartburn. Skip spicy or fried foods before bedtime and eat something bland for dinner instead.
What’s keeping you from sleeping at night? Share your sleep tips with us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)