Anyone who says you ‘better get that sleep whilst you still can’ to a pregnant mama has clearly never birthed any children of their own. Getting those 8 hours is HARD, despite being exhausted all day when it comes to bedtime, sleep is ever evasive and many women find they can’t sleep during pregnancy. So who are the sleep stealing culprits, why does it happen and what can you do about it?
What Causes It?
Struggling to sleep during pregnancy can be caused by many things. That ever-present pressure on your bladder, aching too much from carrying around your bump all day, indigestion, heartburn, cramps, and snoring ( but that one we’ll deny.) Team all of those with anxieties about your baby, you’ll often find sleep plays hard to get during the nine-month stretch. The best thing to do is to not stress about it more than you already may be and to come up with an action plan on how you can help your body get the extra ‘zeds’ it needs.
Skip Late Night Snacks
We know it’s a hard one but try not to consume food or drink 2 hours before you plan on heading to bed, especially if you’re finding you can’t sleep during pregnancy. This will reduce the chances of reflux or heartburn and reduce the number of midnight toilet breaks. There are some food types that can actually help you sleep but in general, avoid caffeine and chocolate (or just reduce with this one!). If you do consume it, make sure it’s before noon to ensure you can wind down in the evening.
Perhaps an obvious one but keep your bed as comfy as possible to support your sore back and aching muscles. If that means pillows in six different sizes propping you up in all ways then so be it! That being said, you can buy specially designed pillows to help you out. Pregnancy wedges come in various shapes so you can wrap around your body as needed to get into a comfortable position. These will support your bump when you lie on your side and can also help prop you up into a semi recline if you prefer sleeping on your back (this can actually help with that heartburn problem). The best position to lie on is on your left side which allows for maximum blood flow and can reduce the swelling in your legs. Although you can’t control what your body does whilst you sleep so if you wake up on your back or front don’t worry about it.
Try Not To Toss And Turn
If you’re not sleeping, tossing and turning in bed as an attempt to wait it out can actually keep you up even longer. After half an hour if you still can’t sleep, get up and tick small things off your to-do list; fold some laundry, or write your shopping list and then head back to bed. You might just be tired enough to fall asleep. Make sure to stay unplugged – that’s phones, TV, iPad’s, books, or any other potential source of light or noise. These can all contribute to keeping you wired and stopping you from sleeping. Before you head back to sleep, spritz some Liquid Yoga for instant zen vibes; the calming lavender and mint scent will help you drift off to sleep.
DO Check With Your Doctor
Although some people say over the counter prescription pills are fine when used occasionally, if you can’t sleep during pregnancy we always recommend checking with your doctor before you take any medication. If things are really getting unbearable, make an appointment with your physician so you can be positive you are looking after you and your baby in the best possible way.
Relax, Relax, Relax
Do whatever you need to do to be as chilled out as possible. Whether that’s reading a book, taking a long walk through the woods or meditation, finding and exploring activities that you know provoke a sense of calm within you will all help to stop you from having to count sheep every night. Music can really help to transport you to that place of relaxation. Here are a few playlists for you to try:
The Perfect Nighttime Routine For When You Can’t Sleep During Pregnancy
Adopting some evening rituals into your nighttime schedule can help you wind down and prepare better for a good night’s sleep. Take a long hot shower and use the Megamama Shower Milk to experience a wonderful, calming aroma of Orange Oil, Bergamot, Mandarin, May Chang, and Lime. Once you’ve dried yourself off, apply the Megamama Body Lotion to soothe and cool down any sore or swollen areas, and help your body relax. Formulated with Aloe Vera to cool and our Omega Rich Skin Stretch Complex to boost elasticity in your skin and keep it strong and supple as your bump grows.