5 Tips For Pregnancy Sleep | Sleep Hub

Posted by Bensons for Beds on 1st Jan 2020

5 Tips For Pregnancy Sleep | Sleep Hub

Ah, the joys of pregnancy. Morning sickness, an increase in hormones, cramps and a never-ending need for the toilet can all seriously interrupt your precious eight hours of shut eye.

Add to this heartburn, restless legs and generally feeling uncomfortable and you soon understand why you may be struggling to fall asleep, to stay asleep or to wake up feeling refreshed!

Of course, it doesn’t stop there either; you’ve got night feeds to come and then 18+ years of worrying about your baby! But for now, if you’re struggling to get some good quality sleep, we’ve got five top tips to help you sleep better when pregnant.

Read on to find out how to get some decent sleep during the first trimester - and beyond - of your pregnancy.

1. Find the right sleeping position for pregnancy

Pregnant Woman Sleeping Peacefully In Bed

Feeling comfortable is the key to a great night’s sleep but this can be a little more difficult when you’ve got a growing bump. Getting to sleep is not just about you getting comfortable anymore, you’ve got someone else to consider too now.

Try to sleep on your side, rather than your front or back, as this is considered to be the best position to sleep in during pregnancy, for both you and your baby. (1)

Sleeping on your side helps to maintain normal circulation while promoting a more peaceful night’s sleep. Don’t worry too much if you wake up and you’ve been sleeping on your front or back – just try to go to sleep on your side.

If you’re used to sleeping on your side anyway then you might find this quite easy, if not a little different now that there’s a baby bump there. However, it’s a quite a change if you’re used to sleeping on your back or your front.

How to use pillows to help sleep better when pregnant

Use pillows where needed, to help support your body. Placing one between your knees can help to support your hips and the natural alignment of the spine while you sleep.

As you get further along in your pregnancy, placing a pillow under your tummy can provide some much-needed support for your bump.

Consider investing in a pregnancy pillow, especially if you don’t feel like you’re getting the support you need from your mattress alone. Position this under your body to keep you sleeping on your side. This will help to prevent you from rolling over onto your front or back.

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Other changes to your body during pregnancy

You may find that you are shorter of breath during your pregnancy. This is because of your growing uterus, which leaves less room for your lungs to expand when you take a breath. If this is you, then try to prop up your head and shoulders a little more with pillows when you’re in bed, for a more comfortable sleep during pregnancy.

Read our Article on How to Sleep Well During Pregnancy

If you’re finding that you need extra support and you’re not able to get comfortable at night time, it may be worth considering investing in a new mattress. To find out more about which mattress firmness is best for you, consider taking our SleepPro (https://www.bensonsforbeds.co.uk/find-the-best-mattress-for-you-with-sleepro-instore-online) assessment in your local store.

2. Watch what you eat during pregnancy

Pregnant Woman Sat on Bed Eating Salad

Acid reflux and heartburn are common during pregnancy.(2) This is because your womb is growing and can press on your stomach. This leaves less room here and can push acidic foods back towards the throat, leaving you feeling uncomfortable.

To combat this, try to eat smaller portions more regularly, instead of eating large meals. When you lie down, you may find that your heartburn is worse and that it can prevent you from falling asleep peacefully. Try to stop eating at least three hours before you go to bed to avoid this.

Bladder control

Your bladder will also be feeling the squeeze during pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, baby’s head can end up pushing against your bladder which makes you need the toilet more often. (3)Excessive night time toilet trips can make it difficult to get back to sleep.

Stay hydrated during the day and start doing your pelvic floor exercises. Some women suffer from incontinence either during or straight after pregnancy, so doing pelvic floor exercises is vital and may help you to hold it until you can get to a toilet.(4)

3. Wind down to help avoid worrying during pregnancy

The arrival of a new baby is bound to send your mind into overdrive. There are a million and one things to do before the baby is born – not least buy a car seat, decorate the nursery, choose clothes and pram - the list is endless!

Add to this writing your birthing plan and choosing a baby name and you’ll find you’ve got a whole new job. There’s also the getting used to the fact that you’re going to have another person joining your family that you are fully responsible for. It’s a lot to get your head around.

Worrying about all these things means that your brain finds it harder to switch off at night time, potentially stopping you from getting the sleep you need and leaving you tossing and turning with your mind racing.

Bath, Book and Bed with Bump

The key to feeling relaxed is to find what works for you. It might be taking a warm bath or reading a couple of chapters of your book. Or you might find that some gentle yoga or meditation works well.

Try to get into bed a little bit earlier and practice some mindfulness (5) and deep breathing to help you switch off. If you’ve never tried mindfulness or meditation before, try starting with a virtual body scan before you go to sleep.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply – in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you’re doing this, turn your attention and focus to different parts of the body and look to see if there is any tension there. If there is, try to relax that specific body part.

If you find that this is difficult to do on your own, then there are plenty of mindfulness apps available which you can download to your phone and play before bed. Try Mindspace as a starter for 10.

4. Get into a good sleep routine

pregnant woman lies on her side in bed. She is smiling.

The energy demands placed on your body when pregnant are huge, especially as you get nearer to the end of your pregnancy and you are carrying a larger bump around with you. Prioritising sleep over everything else could help you to cope with this.

Just like your newborn baby, when he or she arrives, getting yourself into a good bedtime routine is vital for good quality sleep. (6) Start to wind down at least half an hour before bed, switching off your work laptop and instead reading a book, listening to music or watching TV.

Switch off all of your electronic devices half an hour before you go to bed and dim the lights. This will signal to your internal body clock that it’s time to go to sleep.

You may also want to add in a warm bath to your night time routine.. Slip into a snuggly pair of clean PJs and make sure your body is at the right temperature to comfortably sleep.

Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time each day will also help to get your body into a routine, making it easier to fall asleep.

5. Stop worrying about sleep

It’s a catch-22 situation isn’t it? You worry about falling asleep which then keeps you awake. And the longer you can’t sleep, the more you worry about not getting enough sleep!

To help you get more sleep, try to sleep whenever you feel tired. Take a nap during the day, if you’re able to. Taking 30 minutes between midday and 3pm is the optimum time for napping. This will leave you refreshed and rested from the morning and ready to last through the afternoon and evening.

It’s worth remembering that this is a unique time for your body and that simply lying in bed and taking it easy is still better than keeping yourself awake worrying.

Don’t forget, your body is busy doing something absolutely amazing - growing another human life - so don’t be too hard on yourself about sleep!

And when the time comes, we’ve also got some helpful tips for getting your baby off to sleep too:

Read our Article on Why Won't My Baby Sleep

Of course, if you are worried about your lack of sleep during pregnancy, then talk to your midwife or doctor to get further advice.

Buying a new bed during pregnancy

If you need help deciding which bed or bedding could make you more comfortable during your pregnancy - and beyond, get in touch with us today. You can even browse our beds from the comfort of your own home by booking a FREE video appointment with one of our Personal Shoppers. This is perfect for when you’re too tired to leave the house, but still want to see which beds and mattresses could help to give you the great night’s sleep you need.

Book a Virtual Appointment Today