The increase in progesterone levels makes pregnancy sleep difficult. The increase can cause your natural sleep rhythms to get out of whack, making you to feel sleepier in the daytime and wide awake at night. Having to constantly get up to use the restroom, leg cramps, and heartburn are other common complaints that make pregnancy sleep difficult.
Sometimes it can be psychological. The new motherhood fears or the seemingly daunting task of juggling your child, relationships, and work at the same time might be overwhelming.
In this article, we take a look at the best pregnancy sleeping positions and share advice on how to get the best sleep possible during pregnancy.
6 Tips for Better Pregnancy Sleep
Try Different Sleep Positions
One very simple thing you can do to really boost the quality of your sleep is to tweak your sleeping position. Some experts recommend pregnant women avoid sleeping on their backs during the second and third trimesters since this position rests the entire weight of the growing uterus and baby on your back, your intestines, and your vena cava (the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body).
If you wake up and find that you’re on your back, there’s no need to worry. Just remember that during your second and third trimesters, sleeping on either side, preferably the left, is considered by some experts to be ideal for you and your baby.
Use a Body Pillow
Drink less water at night
Having to get up to go to the bathroom multiple times a night is another factor that can make sleeping difficult when pregnant. Try drinking less as bedtime gets closer, but be sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated earlier in the day.
Keep your head elevated
Heartburn is another common complaint, and for some pregnant women, it strikes hard at night. As your uterus expands to accommodate a growing baby, it presses against your stomach, which pushes acid up into your esophagus. This results in heartburn. Elevating your head while sleeping can help keep the acid down. It may also help to eliminate fried, spicy, and acidic food while pregnant if these typically make your heartburn worse.
Do gentle exercise during the day
Especially as you get farther along in your pregnancy, intensive exercise is not recommended. But activities like walking, yoga, and stretching can be great exercises, and being more active throughout the day can help you sleep better when pregnant.
Decrease Leg Cramps with Nutrition
Some doctors attribute leg cramps to low levels of calcium and magnesium. Increasing your intake of those minerals in your diet may help. Yogurt and soy are good sources of calcium, and beans are a good source of magnesium. You may also be able to take supplements but talk to your doctor first. Drinking plenty of water, doing leg stretches, and wearing compression socks may also help.