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Keep the temperature Low
During pregnancy the body’s temperature increases due to an increase in your hormones and metabolic rate, making you feel hotter than usual. Lower the temperature on the thermostat in your bedroom to a few degrees lower than you would normally have it to make you feel more comfortable. Another way to reduce your body’s temperature at night is to only partially cover yourself while sleeping.
Limit Fluid Intake before Bedtime
As your pregnancy progresses, your baby will grow larger, taking up more space in your abdominal area. During this time the urge to urinate will increase in frequency. This will cause your kidneys to work harder which causes a major disruption to sleep. Limiting your fluid intake at least an hour before bedtime will help reduce night-time visits to the bathroom. During pregnancy you will need plenty of fluids to prevent constipation and swelling so be sure to rehydrate frequently during the day. Just cut back your fluid consumption in the evening so that you can get a better night’s sleep. Caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda should be eliminated or avoided as much as possible from late afternoon to early evening as they can trigger the urge to empty your bladder more frequently.
Darken the Room
Turn off all lights, including night lights, to keep your room as dark as possible. Artificial light mimics natural light which confuses the body into thinking it is still day time, preventing you from falling asleep. Install heavy curtains or black-out blinds to eliminate light shining in from outside. Remove your cellphone from your bedroom or turn it off. Mobile phones with flashing lights and push notifications from an app may disturb your sleep whenever it receives incoming texts or notifications. Use low, downward nightlights to help light your way to the bathroom and avoid turning on the light in the bathroom as it could wake you up fully, making it much harder to go back to sleep.
Take things Easy before Bedtime
During pregnancy, it is more important than ever to unwind and relax. Avoid any rigorous exercise and rather try more relaxing activities like yoga (if our doctor allows it) and meditation. Reading a book with a low light source can help relax you and keep your mind off any problems. Avoid reading from an electronic device as the light emitted from a cell phone or laptop screens can interfere with your natural sleep cycles. Checking social media sites at bedtime will keep your mind alert and may cause unnecessary anxiety that will keep you from going to sleep. If you are suffering from fear and anxiety related to childbirth, you can enroll in childbirth and parenting classes. Obtaining as much knowledge as possible will help ease any fears that may be keeping you awake. Keeping company with other pregnant women who can share their experiences will also help you feel more confident about the impending birth.
Reserve the use of your Bed for One or Two Things
Your bed is meant to be used for one or two things – sleep and sex. If you keep to this rule your body will automatically know when it is time for sleep as soon as you lie down. Keeping it trained that way will make it easier to fall asleep at night. Resist doing things like responding to emails or paying bills while lying in bed.
Your sleeping environment should encourage sleep. Your bed should be comfortable and supportive, this includes your pillows, mattress and bedding. If your mattress is old you may want to consider a replacement, take a look at Tempurpedic mattresses.
Don’t have Late Night Snacks
You may feel that you are eating for two, but you should avoid eating at least two hours before going to bed. Late-night snacks have a tendency to cause spikes in blood sugar that can create wakefulness. Lying down soon after eating will also increase the risk of heartburn and acid reflux that can make you feel extremely uncomfortable and will not only keep you from falling asleep but also from staying asleep.
Eliminate Bed Cramps
Leg cramps are particularly common during the second trimester of pregnancy. Restless Leg Syndrome – an irresistible urge to move the legs – is a condition experienced by pregnant women who are prone to low iron levels or anemia. The only way to get relief from either of these conditions is to stretch your leg muscles by walking around. Getting out of bed and walking around for a while will help you get to sleep faster instead of trying to sleep through the discomfort. If it occurs frequently diet changes may help and you should consult your doctor for advice.
Take Short Naps
During pregnancy, you may feel the need to nap from time to time but you should keep these naps short and sweet. Limit your nap to 20 minutes and no more than 40 minutes to avoid your body from falling into a deep sleep which will cause you to feel groggy after waking up instead of refreshed. A long nap will make it hard for you to wake up and even harder to fall asleep at night. Even if you do feel rested, it will interfere with your body’s internal sleep clock which kicks in naturally at night when it is time to go to sleep.
Remember that sleep problems during pregnancy are normal and common. To make sure you get the rest you need, make it a priority to tweak your sleep time routine and improve your sleep environment.