How to sleep during pregnancy? During the nine months, it can be very difficult to rest: here are some tips.
How to sleep during pregnancy
Sleep during pregnancy can become, at a certain stage of gestation, a little difficult. If in the first weeks you can feel very sleepy and want to sleep all the time, with the passing of the months, the increase in belly volume, the action of hormones, the increase in progesterone, the frequent need having to urinate at night and restless leg syndrome can make it really hard to sleep.
So how do you sleep during pregnancy?
One of the most annoying pieces of advice you will receive during pregnancy is: "Sleep and rest as long as you can". As if it were easy! The combination of hormonal overload, a constant urge to urinate, nervousness before motherhood and an increasingly heavy belly make it very complicated. Even the baby's movements that are accentuated just when the mother is at rest can make it harder to sleep and lead to sleepless nights.
Anticipate fluid intake
Since your baby needs a lot of water, it is essential to drink a lot to stay hydrated during pregnancy, but when it grows and pushes against the bladder, drinking a ton of water in the evening means having to get up and pee. To avoid this, it would be good to fill up on fluids, especially in the morning and afternoon, and only drink when you feel thirsty at night to prevent dehydration. Doing 10-20 Kegel exercises every day will also help strengthen the walls of your bladder so you don't have to pee so often.
Daytime naps in moderation
As you know, along with hormones and physical changes, pregnancy can make you very tired during the day, especially during the first and third trimester. It's good to take a nap, but no more than 40 minutes, sleeping longer will delay the internal biological clock, making it difficult, if not impossible, to fall asleep during the night. If you feel drowsy after 16:00 p.m., avoid naps altogether, but sleep early at night
Disconnect from the computer and avoid TV and cell phone an hour before bedtime
Medical research shows that the brain can confuse the artificial light of these technological devices by mistaking it for "daylight" and, therefore, it cannot release melatonin, normally activated from darkness to dusk. . Also, the computer and television are mentally stimulating, can cause stress and make you think too much.
Avoid sources of stress
Try a bedtime ritual that helps your body and mind relax. One of the best ideas is that of a hot bath or shower. After being in the water, your body temperature drops, mimicking what happens when you fall asleep. Of the stretching, yoga and deep breathing exercises will also work. It is therefore important to create a sleep routine (which you will also need when you have to do the same for the newborn): try to fall asleep at the same time, avoid violent movies before sleep, create a comfortable environment and relaxing and go read as soon as the first signs of sleep appear.
No caffeine after 13 p.m.
Research has shown that you can take up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day — about one and a half cups of coffee or three to four cups of tea — during pregnancy. But caffeine remains in circulation in pregnant women, so you should only no more after 13:00 p.m.
The perfect pre-sleep snack
Instead of a heavy dinner, which can lead to interrupted sleep and digestive pain, opt for a light dinner followed by a targeted nighttime snack. For the snack, choose from the 150-200 calories that contain carbs and protein, such as ricotta and fruit, wholegrain crackers and cheese, or hummus with chopped vegetables, and eat this small meal about half a -hour, one hour before going to bed.
Nutrition is certainly of great importance in promoting sleep at night. Certain foods have the power to promote sleep and should not weigh the skin down, especially at night. It is therefore preferable to think of a light and easily digestible dinner based on vegetables, fish, wholemeal bread (because complex carbohydrates promote the release of serotonin which improves mood and induces sleep); limit the consumption of coffee, to drink only in the morning, and caffeinated drinks. The consumption of spicy foods, tomatoes and all foods that can promote the appearance of gastric acidity, another disorder particularly common in pregnant women, is also limited.
Against leg cramps
There's nothing worse than waking up at 2 a.m. with a painful cramp. For many women, a magnesium supplement, about 300 milligrams a few hours before bedtime can be helpful, as low magnesium levels can contribute to muscle tension and spasms. Even here, a hot bath before bed with stretching can help relax leg muscles.
get out of bed
It may sound silly, but lying in bed when you can't sleep can make insomnia worse. If you can't sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing, like reading or meditating, for 15 minutes.
Medicines for sleeping during pregnancy
Nervousness before motherhood or worries at work prevent you from sleeping and you can't bear it anymore? Contrary to popular belief, there are medications that can be taken during pregnancy to help you fall asleep during restless nights. Don't forget you have to get thedoctor's permission following you during your pregnancy before taking any medicine.
Get rid of reflux
Heartburn is one of the most common ailments of pregnant women and, unfortunately, can occur as early as the first trimester. Of course, not only can it cause pain, but chronic reflux irritates the throat and can lead to chronic coughing. It is therefore clear that even sleep would suffer. To reduce the risk of developing reflux, do not lie in bed at night, but lean your back against pillows and rolled up towels that you can also place under the mattress so as to be inclined at least 30 degrees.
Like we said, it's best to avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, caffeine, and chocolate, especially about four hours before bed. If that doesn't work, contact your doctor for a prescription for an appropriate medication.
And if you're feeling particularly anxious late in your pregnancy, it's good to hide. The time of delivery is approaching and this thought can be the cause of thoughts and a little restlessness which can also affect the quality of sleep. Better to ask your gynecologist if it is possible to take a relaxing herbal tea.
Positions to sleep well during pregnancy
When pregnancy becomes very crowded, it can be difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep. The ideal position for the last months of pregnancy is on the left side, legs slightly apart, which facilitates blood circulation and leaves the child free to move. Some elements can be useful to find a more comfortable position. For example, a pillow can be placed between the knees to relieve tension in the thighs and pubis.
You can also get a pregnancy pillow for a perfect adaptation to your situation.
Sleep on your side during pregnancy
Sleeping on your stomach may be possible in the first months of gestation. Don't be afraid, it won't hurt your baby. But at some point, it will really become impossible. As the belly grows, sleeping on the side becomes comfortable, perhaps placing a pillow between your legs and one behind your back to find a comfortable, relaxed position.
Do not sleep on your stomach during pregnancy
What is certain is that if you are used to resting on your stomach, you will necessarily have to change your position. Is it comfortable to sleep on your stomach? At the start of pregnancy, perhaps because the baby is still small and its movements are not yet felt, but as the months go by, even sleeping on your stomach will be a little uncomfortable. The weight of the belly on the abdomen and lungs will make your breathing difficult and the baby will kick a lot. During the day, in fact, the movements made by the mother and the simple fact of walking gently rock the little one who therefore sleeps a lot. At night, instead, he stays awake longer and fidgets and kicks.
Sleep on the left side
As we said, the most comfortable sleeping position during the nine months of pregnancy is on the left side, because the uterus does not press on the inferior vena cava, through which blood rises from the lower limbs to the heart, it does not press on the liver and improves feto-placental circulation. Even better on the left side with the knees bent, perhaps with a pillow between the legs to gently rest the stomach on and another pillow behind the back.
Sleeping during pregnancy is good!
Why is sleep good during pregnancy? During sleep, cells renew themselves and, given the first months after childbirth, when sleep can become difficult, it is important to plan moments of rest, even during the day. So yes to take a nap in the morning or early afternoon. Additionally, some studies suggest that poor sleep quality during pregnancy can impair the mother's immune processes and increase the risk of low birth weight.
Sleep a lot during pregnancy
Many future mothers wonder if this desire to sleep is still good. The answer is: completely normal! Hormonal changes promote drowsiness and it is very common for pregnant women to always sleep and fall asleep as soon as possible, especially in the first few months. The responsibility is the increase in progesterone which promotes drowsiness and fatigue.