During pregnancy there are many reasons that will keep you awake at night. Restless leg, back ache, frequent bathroom trips or feeling hot all of a sudden etc etc. All thanks to your body which is working so hard to create a life, there are a few side effects of pregnancy. Sleep is the best solution to relax your mind and body. But still so many women encounter difficulty sleeping during pregnancy. I was one of them. What did I do to handle this trouble sleeping during pregnancy? What did I do to handle Pregnancy Insomnia?
18 Amazing Tips To Handle Difficulty Sleeping during Pregnancy
A good bedtime routine is key to reduce trouble while sleeping during pregnancy
You might have heard people say “Bedtime Routine is very important for children!”. Yes that’s right. Not only for children, a bedtime routine is amazing for everyone who wants to regulate their body with nature. When we inculcate a relaxing and soothing routine you teach your body to recognize signs that it is time to sleep so start getting ready for sleep. You can have a warm relaxing bath, have dinner, relax and read for an hour or so. Key is to focus on relaxing activities in the same order everyday. creating a same bedtime routine everyday can help you fight pregnancy insomnia in the most effective way.
Have you noticed a mind full of thoughts will never let you fall asleep quickly. So dump your thoughts (smallest and the most stressful ones too) into your journal. If you feel stressed about something at work, express it to your spouse or talk to a friend over the phone and put it out of your mind. You can even talk to your pet (if you have any, it’s a great way to relax. I even talk to my plants as I don;t have any pets!). Journalling(in a physical book, avoid screens before bedtime) is the best thing you can do just before you sleep. Write down your thoughts, feelings, fears and emotions. You can even write about something you don’t want to talk about to anyone. It helps you clear your mind and melt away your stress. Think about your baby and any other happy thoughts.
Going to bed angry, anxious or sad is very bad for your sleep, your brain and you. (A Tip from my grandmother taught to me right from childhood)
Exercise regularly – A special tip for women who find difficulty sleeping during pregnancy
Pregnant women who exercise regularly tend to sleep soundly at night. Exercise gives your body a healthy amount of tiredness enough to rest well in the night. Exercising early in the morning or early evening is best because after exercising you generally feel energetic for a few hours.
Read more about this in our article on “Benefits of Exercising during Pregnancy”
Have early dinner and keep snacks handy
Your tummy too full can keep you awake at night and your tummy too empty can also keep you awake at night. Well played pregnancy!!!
It is important to eat the right amount and at the right time to keep your body healthy and efficiently working during pregnancy. Eating your dinner two hours before bedtime will give you plenty of time for digestion. Also, always keep healthy snacks handy for you near your bedside, so if you wake up hungry you can munch on something and go back to sleep soon. Eating a small and healthy snack (home made crackers or an apple) as soon as you wake up can also help you ease your morning sickness.
Our amazing article on “How to minimize your Morning Sickness during Pregnancy”.
No screens before bedtime to reduce trouble sleeping during pregnancy
The light emitted from phone screens or TV screens or any other digital devices like Kindles etc will cause disturbance in your bodily processes that happen in the evening. Our body releases melatonin, the chemical responsible for inducing sleep and relaxing our body for the night, indicating to our body that it’s sleep time. But the blue light emitting from the screen causes a reduction of melatonin which in turn causes you trouble sleeping during pregnancy. Simplest tips for pregnancy insomnia. I said “pregnancy” because it is crucial to sleep at a proper time and get enough hours of sleep everyday for the baby’s optimal growth. Experts suggest keeping the screens away from at least 2 hours before your sleep time.
No caffeine in the evening
Caffeine and sugar are amazing things that give you instant energy and alertness, right? But it disrupts your sugar levels in the night. It is a good idea to avoid caffeine and sugar intake in the evening time to help you avoid difficulty sleeping during pregnancy.
Meditate to alleviate difficulty sleeping during pregnancy
Meditation is a great tool to calm your mind, relax your body and refresh yourself. Meditation used on a regular basis has great benefits. It improves concentration, enhances your emotional health, boosts your memory, reduces anxiety etc. There are many more health benefits. Meditation can be a really helpful and effective tool for you to tackle pregnancy insomnia.
If you do not meditate on a regular basis until now, it is an amazing idea to start now as it is not only beneficial for you, but your baby as well. If you are unable to quiet your mind, you can listen to a particular music that calms your mind. Something classical like Mozart, Beethoven or something indian like mantras or slokas and bhajans. Saying prayers early in the morning or evening is a great meditative practice for adults and children as well.
Read more about our article on Pregnancy music “Best Music To Listen While Being Pregnant”.
Your body is doing a great job of carrying and nurturing your baby. Being pregnant certainly is not an easy job. It is physically tiring and mentally exhausting at times. Expressing gratitude to yourself and your body will help you appreciate the efforts you are taking. When we express gratitude our focus shifts from our problems to our blessings.Expressing gratitude towards anything that helped you and eased your day helps your mind relax a little. It can be simple as somebody helping you in the office to carry a few things or someone who gave you a seat while going to work etc. This eases your mind and helps you relax and fall asleep sooner. Easing your mind and relaxing yourself is a great remedy for pregnancy insomnia.
Drinking less water before sleep means less bathroom visits
Pregnant moms know that they have to pee a lot more than they did before. Bathroom visits are considerably more, thanks to the baby dancing on your uterus. 🙂 If you drink a lot of water just before you sleep, you might have to wake up too many times. So avoid drinking a lot of water just before sleeping. Taking small sips of water when you are thirsty from two hours before your sleep time helps a great deal is avoiding frequent all night bathroom trips. No waking up much for peeing means less difficulty sleeping during pregnancy.
Use lavender essential oil or lavender fragrance sachets to reduce trouble sleeping during pregnancy
Using lavender essential oil on your pillow helps you sleep better. Lavender has been seen to improve quality of sleep. It has an amazing fragrance. Hanging lavender flavoured room fragrance sachet might help if you don’t prefer essential oils.
Sleeping in a well ventilated room
Your room where you sleep should be well ventilated. This helps you avoid suffocation. If the weather is pleasant, cracking open a window or using a fan can help circulate the air. The temperature of the room should be pleasant for you. It should not be too cold or too hot. Environment in the room should be refreshing. Use fresh flowers, scented candles of your favorite flavors. This will help create a relaxing atmosphere for you. It can work wonders if your have pregnancy insomnia. Please make sure you are not allergic to any scents or flavors.
Bed is for sleeping, cuddling and sex only
Decide that bed is for sleeping. Training your mind that bed is for sleep, cuddles and sex only. Reserve other alertness requiring activities like reading or working for recliners, desks etc. This associates your brain and differentiates the level of relaxation and alertness with the bed and other places.
Cuddle with your partner before you sleep to reduce difficulty sleeping during pregnancy
Most women feel light and happy after they talk to someone. Cuddling with your partner and talking to him might help you relax and sleep better. Yes, there are studies which show cuddling improves sleep quality. This is because when you cuddle, your brain releases a chemical called oxytocin. Cuddling is great for your immunity, it also reduces your body’s stress levels. So enjoy this beautiful journey by including your partner during your pregnancy.
Not sleepy? Read or do something that you enjoy
If you are not able to sleep even after trying, there is no point in forcing yourself to sleep. Get up and do something that relaxes you like reading a book or listening to music, cuddling with your partner etc. Relax and go to bed when you feel sleepy again. This will help you avoid being stressed about difficulty sleeping during pregnancy.
Stressing over losing sleep causes trouble sleeping during pregnancy
Stressing is not good during pregnancy. Moreover, stressing about sleep will only push it a little further. Judge your sleep not on hours but how you feel the morning after. If you feel energized even after reduced sleep it should be fine. But if you feel tired, exhausted and lethargic all the time it would be a good idea to check with your doctor. You can also try a few of these tips and see if it helps you relax and avoid pregnancy insomnia.
Buy yourself all kinds of pillows that can make you comfortable.
Pillows are a pregnant mother’s best friend while relaxing her body while sleeping. There are days when you can’t find one single position in which you can fall asleep restfully. At such times propping yourself up with a lot of pillows might help. There are a wide range of pillows available for pregnant moms. Get as many pillows as you need to make yourself comfortable while sleeping and avoid difficulty sleeping during pregnancy. I have used a few and it worked wonders for me. I recommend it to every pregnant mom I come across.
Foot massage works wonders when you have trouble sleeping during pregnancy
I experienced a lot of difficulty sleeping during pregnancy. Smallest of sounds or any temperature variation and I would be awake. But one thing I was grateful for every single day is the foot rub my husband gave me just before I slept off. Even before he completed a few minutes I would be deep in sleep.
Foot massage is very beneficial to pregnant women as it relieves the pressure and helps relax the leg muscles. In addition, it is great if your legs are swelling due to water retention. It is best idea if you get a foot massage done by a professional. This is because a certain pressure points in legs might cause uterine contractions if pushed too hard. A gentle foot rub in the house by your partner will kick out your pregnancy insomnia.
Get the to do list out of your brain and onto a paper.
If you are a woman you will always be occupied with things to be done around the house and your mind will be even more occupied about everything that needs to be done. Sometimes, at a subconscious level, this big to-do list can distract your mind from sleep and focus more on tasks to be done. So to avoid difficulty sleeping during pregnancy make sure you get down your “To-Do List” out of your mind onto a paper. This can relieve your mind a little and also makes sure you will never leave out anything undone.
So moms do not stress yourself out over losing sleep or by constantly watching or checking the clock. Watching the clock again and again is not a remedy for your pregnancy insomnia. As long as you stay healthy and energetic, it is okay to lose a little sleep. You might be getting ready to lose a lot over the next few years. If you think too much about “Why are you unable to sleep?” you might push it even further. So stop thinking about sleep and just relax, you never know, you might just doze off!
Sweet dreams. 🙂