Pregnancy is a time of hope, exciting plans, and anticipation. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of poor sleep. Falling asleep and staying asleep becomes noticeably harder even if you never encountered such problems before. While common, it isn’t something to brush away. According to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, not getting enough quality sleep can cause complications such as preterm births and low birth weight by affecting the immune system of expectant mothers.
As pregnancy progresses, sleeping positions become more important not just for comfort and better sleep but also for the health of your baby. The ‘SOS’ or sleep on the side – especially the left side – position is the best. It allows more blood and nutrients to reach the placenta and your baby. You can place a pillow under your top leg to align your body.
What Causes Poor Sleep in Expectant Moms?
The Wrong Mattress
It should come as no surprise that a poor mattress can contribute to lack of sleep. Lumps and bumps, poor support and heat retention can all make sound sleep elusive. Pregnancy puts your body under a lot of strain and you need all the help you can get to make sure you sleep well.
A good mattress can help you sleep better by providing the support for your body needs. Nuvanna is a good example of a well-designed mattress. It’s designed by an expert with 20 years of experience in material science and product innovation. It uses a multi-pronged approach to ensure that sleep comes more easily and that you wake up feeling rested and energized in the morning.
Night sweats, which are common during pregnancy, can make sound sleep elusive. For some, the sweating is so severe that it can leave clothes soaked. Nuvanna tackles this issue by using innovative technology that keeps the body cool so that you don’t wake at odd hours feeling hot and sweaty.
We all know that pregnancy causes huge hormonal changes. Estrogen levels spike to help the fetus develop and stimulates the adrenal gland to grow. On the flipside, it can cause nausea and lead to skin changes in expectant moms.
All these spikes and dips can disrupt your normal sleep patterns and combined with the emotional changes you’re undoubtedly going through, sleep can be elusive. Women who are overweight may also develop sleep apnea.
Sleep whenever possible, even if it’s a 20-minute power nap. As night falls, head to bed earlier. Turn off distractions like your phone and laptop about an hour or two beforehand. If you need something to help you fall asleep, you could try listening to ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) which has been known to relax.
It’s not uncommon to go through bouts of anxiety during pregnancy even if you’re excited about becoming a new mom. Worrying about the health of your child, the future, and having to balance your life with a new member of the family is a lot to take in. Unsurprisingly, the stress can keep you up and make it harder to get enough sleep.
Share your concerns with your husband or your best friend or your parents. They’re a source of strength and support and can take some of the stress off you. You can also speak to other expectant moms as many of them are probably going through the same thing.
Sometimes, it takes more to deal with anxiety and if you still find yourself unable to cope despite speaking to loved ones, you may need to seek professional counseling.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Almost a third of pregnant women have restless leg syndrome or RLS. This is when you get a sensation of crawling, tingling or itching in your legs that makes you want to move them. In fact, getting up and walking around actually reduces and even eliminates the sensation. However, while that’s one remedy, it doesn’t do you any good when you’re trying to sleep!
RLS is sometimes triggered by a lack of iron or folic acid. You’ll want to consult your doctor to get yours checked. He/she can prescribe an iron supplement that may help treat the condition.
Caffeine can exacerbate RLS so you should consider eliminating it from your diet. Massages, warm baths and applying hot/cold packs to your legs can also help.
Tips to Sleep Better during Pregnancy
Eat Smaller Meals Frequently
Your digestive system tends to go out of whack during pregnancy. Acid reflux is fairly common and trying to sleep while queasy can be hard. Instead of eating the usual three meals a day, try to break them up into six small ones. It will help your system digest them better and reduce tummy discomfort.
Slow Down Before Bedtime
There may be a million things to do and think about but focusing on them before sleep will only keep you awake. Try to wind down two-three hours before bed so that your body and mind feel more relaxed and prepped for sleep.
Exercising when pregnant can help with a host of issues such as reducing back pain, bloating and swelling. However, it’s important to exercise during the day as doing so in the evening or night will keep you awake.
Reduce Your Water Intake At Night
Pregnancy and frequent urination go hand-in-hand but you can reduce nighttime visits by cutting down your fluid intake as night approaches.
Choose The Right Mattress
It’s important to choose a proper mattress irrespective of whether you’re pregnant or not. However, the need is more urgent when you’re expecting because comfort is a priority for yourself and your baby.
Nuvanna uses a triple-layer construction that provides support, motion-control and maintains a cool body temperature that’s essential for better sleep. The top-most layer is made of phase-changing gel particles that prevent heat retention and keep your body cool. Meanwhile, the middle layer absorbs motion so that you aren’t disturbed by your partner’s movements. Finally, the bottom layer provides support to individual parts of your body, including your spine, and helps relieve backaches that are common during pregnancy.
You may not be able to fall asleep as quickly or sleep as soundly during pregnancy but you can make sure that you aren’t deprived of it. Sleeping on a good mattress, managing stress, exercising well and eating right can contribute to healthier sleep.
When I had neck and back problems I slept on our guest bedroom mattress and loved it so much we replaced our sleepnumber bed with a Nuvanna mattress. They are amazing! I recommend them to everyone!
Published on Friday, May 4, 2018
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