It’s a, well, uncomfortable fact that most women have trouble sleeping during their pregnancy. Studies show that nearly 78 percent of pregnant women suffer from insomnia. Frequent trips to the bathroom, leg cramps, baby kicks, discomfort and heartburn can all lead to restless nights and exhausted mornings.
In addition to physical discomfort, many women are anxious or excited about becoming a mother, which can also make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
The good news is that there are five easy changes that any woman can make to improve their sleep quantity and quality during pregnancy.
Go to bed around the same time every night
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most important things that women can do to sleep well during pregnancy. Women should try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day. This allows the body to become accustomed to a regular bedtime.
Regular exercise can make it easier for a pregnant woman to fall asleep. Exercise helps improve circulation and prevent nighttime leg cramps. However, women should avoid exercising late in the day. Late evening exercise can make it more difficult for a woman to fall asleep. Of course, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor to see what level of activity is healthy for you and your baby.
Be cautious about your diet
Foods that are very high in sugar and caffeine have a tendency to induce insomnia. The consumption of these types of foods should be limited. Women should make sure that they are eating a nutritious diet because that not only helps promote restful sleep, but it also provides nourishment for the growing baby. Oats, bananas, yogurt and fortified cereals are examples of foods that can help a woman sleep better.
Stress can make it difficult for anyone to fall asleep; however, stress can have more serious effects on a pregnancy. Studies show that very high levels of stress may contribute to an increased risk of premature delivery or low birth weight in babies. More studies suggest that overly high stress levels can increase your heart rate, blood pressure and produce chronic anxiety. None of these side effects are good for your baby. That’s why pregnant women need to make sure that they keep their stress level in check. Physical activity, meditation, yoga or simply talking to a friend family member or counselor are all great ways to reduce stress.
Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment
Anyone who has been pregnant can tell you how uncomfortable it can be. If the environment you are trying to sleep in is also uncomfortable, this can lead to serious problems falling asleep. Make sure your bedroom feels like a place of sanctuary where you can focus on getting rest for you and your baby. Be sure that your bedding and mattress is comfortable and conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Try online shopping networks like ShopNBC to find a huge selection of quality bedding and mattresses, such as the world renowned Serta mattress.
Getting a full night’s sleep is important for anyone, especially for those about to bring new life into the world. Rest is essential for a healthy and happy pregnancy. If you follow these simple suggestions, you will be on your way to a great night’s sleep.
This is a guest post contributed by Leslie Silver, a frequent women’s health writer and proponent of a great night’s sleep!