There are few things that change as drastically in pregnancy as your need for sleep, yet fatigue is one of the most commonly reported pregnancy symptoms. This symptom is most noted in both the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, although some mums-to-be experience fatigue throughout their pregnancy.
One of the biggest consequences of experiencing fatigue is the need for sleep. This doesn’t sound like much of a problem until you try to get some shut-eye. Many pregnant women, in addition to fatigue, also suffer from insomnia. This can result in either trouble falling asleep – or staying asleep. So what is the solution? Here are five great tips for getting more sleep during pregnancy.
Learn to nap
Napping used to be something that you fought as a child, but, as a pregnant woman, the nap can be your new best friend. Even a quick catnap of about 20 minutes can help you feel more refreshed throughout the day. Many mums report that taking a quick nap in the staff room, or at their desk, helps them power through to the end of their workday with much more energy. Don’t worry if you can’t nap at work; quick naps at the end of the work day can also be helpful. Just avoid napping too close to bedtime, as that can interfere with evening sleep.
Believe it or not, expending energy in the form of exercise, even a walk, can be beneficial when it comes to sleep. The goal would be to have a workout earlier in the day, as doing it too close to bedtime might rev up your internal engine, making sleep more difficult.
Remove the electronics
Many electronics can interfere with our sleep. Something as simple as the light emitted from your computer may trick your biological clock into thinking it is daylight, making sleep more elusive. There are certainly programs that you can download to help filter these lights, but sometimes putting electronics away altogether might be helpful. This is particularly true if you’re having an issue with getting back to sleep after a bathroom trip. Stop checking your phone in the middle of the night. Some experts say that banishing the phone, computer, and television from the bedroom is best.
Have a bedtime ritual
Routine is beneficial when it comes to sleep. Train your body to expect bedtime. Consider your bath or shower, your quiet time, and whatever else you would do before bedtime as a ritual to prepare. This can help your body recognise what’s coming next – sleep!
Comfort comes in several varieties when you’re pregnant. You are probably feeling limited in the positions in which you can sleep. This is where pillows come in handy. A pillow between your legs can help reduce pressure on your hips, and a pillow behind your back can lend some support and make it feel more like sleeping on your back. It’s also important to pay attention to the temperature. Many pregnant women, particularly at the end of pregnancy, can feel hot, so sleep in lighter layers, use a fan if need be, and consider using separate duvets from your partner, just to avoid the fight over the sheets.
If sharing a bed becomes uncomfortable for you during pregnancy, you may not be alone. Read more about whether couples should sleep in separate beds.