Pregnancy and Sleeping

Mar 25

Pregnancy and Sleeping

Have you been spending your days walking about like a Zombie because you are so tired, followed by nights which are spent tossing and turning just trying to get comfortable and fall asleep? Many women struggle to sleep when they are pregnant; some just feel uncomfortable, some experience strange dreams or nightmares and so are reluctant to let themselves go to sleep, this usually ends up with them feeling totally exhausted during the day. They are often so tired that they find themselves falling asleep on the sofa just before bedtime and so when they do finally drag themselves off to bed they are no longer sleepy and so spend another restless night tossing and turning, this pattern can easily become a vicious circle.  This general feeling of exhaustion can cause further distress and concern for the mum-to-be as she now starts to worry that she maybe harming her baby by not getting enough rest.  So let’s start here by ending that worry once and for all; feeling tired will not harm your baby one bit. Being tired may make your life more difficult but it certainly won’t harm your baby so relax!

OK so what can you do to tackle this general feeling of being tired;

  • Take naps or rests throughout the day, make sure you programme rest times into your day;  if you are working rest at lunchtime and in your break periods, rest when you first come home from work and by rest I mean put your feet up even if you don’t manage a nap.
  • Don’t be proud – accept help from friends and family and if they don’t offer ask, they are usually only too happy to help after all they want to be involved.
  • Make sure that you are eating healthily and cut out caffeine drinks such as coffee, cola and tea. Sometimes if you overeat during the evening you can’t sleep because your body is busy digesting all the food that you have consumed.
  • Gentle exercise during the day will also help you sleep at bedtime, look for a yoga or Pilates class specially for  pregnant women, or have a gentle swim, walking is also a good exercise so long as you temper the pace and distance with your pregnancy.
  • Have a regular bedtime and getting up routine and time.
  • Try not watching television before bed, instead have a warm bath and read a book.
  • Do some relaxation exercises – these are usually taught at antenatal classes, or listen to a relaxation CD whilst in bed.

Some women have bad dreams about their baby or the labour and birth of their baby.  This is normal and 99.9% of times these dreams are unfounded, if you are being troubled by strange dreams or nightmares talk to your doctor or midwife and let them reassure you.

As your bump gets bigger you may find it more difficult to get into a  comfortable sleeping position, this usually happens after about sixteen weeks. Try sleeping on your left side, with a pillow propping up your top leg which is bent at the knee – you can buy lovely long pillows designed for pregnancy which really help make this position comfortable.  If you really can’t get used to sleeping on your side don’t sleep flat on your back but prop yourself up with lots of pillows, play around to find the best position for you. If you are suffering from heartburn then use so many pillows that you are almost sitting up which will help reduce the discomfort.

Please remember: this along with all my other advice is general advice and you should always consult with your medical provider if you have concerns about your health and the health of your baby. Having said that I wish you a good night’s sleep tonight, so sleep tight and mind the bed bugs don’t bite – as the old saying goes.