One of the most commonly shared pieces of advice for new mothers is, “sleep when the baby sleeps”, but what about before the baby arrives? According to National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America Poll, only 29% of pregnant women report getting a good night’s sleep every night or almost every night.
Women encountering restless nights in their second and third trimesters attribute having to go to the bathroom and experiencing heartburn, leg cramps and pain in their necks, backs or joints as the most common causes. Here are some tips to help ease those interruptions and attain a good night’s sleep during pregnancy.
It is a question asked by many--is it safe to exercise while pregnant? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women without major medical or obstetric complications get at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on most days of the week. Exercising helps pregnant women sleep better and reduces backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling, the Mayo Clinic says.
Enjoy a Prenatal Massage
Studies indicate that prenatal massage therapy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, and relieve muscle aches. It can also help reduce edema, or joint swelling, by improving circulation. Expectant mothers may seek out a gentle massage from their partner, a prenatal massage therapist or the Ananda Adjustable Base Sleep System. Consisting of a pearl and gel infused memory foam mattress and high-tech base, the Ananda Sleep System can help to release tension, increase circulation and alleviate sore muscles with dual head and foot massage technology. The dual head and foot massage feature included in Ananda’s Pearl and Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattresses can also help to release tension, increase circulation and alleviate sore muscles.
Limit Fluid Intake Before Bed
It is not uncommon to experience frequent urination while pregnant, starting in the first trimester and intensifying late into pregnancy, from about week 35 on. This constant urge to go to the restroom is caused by a variety of factors, including the pregnancy hormone hCG, which increases blood flow to the pelvic area and kidneys, and the pressure the uterus puts on the bladder. If you’re part of the 33% of women whose sleep is interrupted by frequent bathroom trips, Psychology Today suggests keeping liquid consumption to a minimum within three hours of bedtime. When bathroom trips can’t be avoided, try using night lights to guide your way to the restroom so it’s easier to fall back asleep after.
It’s common to have a slightly higher body temperature while pregnant, especially during initial stages as your body continues to release another pregnancy hormone, Progesterone. Lowering the temperature of your bedroom to around 65 degrees can help improve sleep quality if you’re feeling overheated. Additionally, sleeping on an Ananda pearl and gel infused mattress neutralizes varying room and body temperatures to keep you cool.
Depending on personal preference and stage of pregnancy, there are a few suggested sleep positions to maximize comfort and rest, including:
- Side Sleeping
Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on their left side to keep the uterus off the liver and improve circulation to the heart, fetus, uterus and kidneys. Keeping knees bent with a pillow between your legs can also make this position more comfortable.
If you have an Ananda Sleep System, you can easily adjust the neck, head and foot settings with the touch of the wireless remote or mobile phone to achieve the following positions:
- Elevated Head and Torso
Besides avoiding spicy, fried and acidic foods, another way to keep heartburn at bay is by sleeping with your head elevated. In later stages of pregnancy, typically between 15 and 20 weeks gestation, expectant mothers can sleep on their back at a 45-degree tilt to prevent compression of blood flow.
- Feet Raised
Sleeping with your feet raised can help aid in cramping, poor circulation or swelling in the legs and ankles. It can also prevent the appearance of varicose veins.
It may not be easy to sleep like a baby while pregnant, but these tips can help promote higher quality sleep so expectant mothers can get the rest they need before their babies arrive.
Disclaimer: This blog is for suggested purposes only. Women should consult with their health care providers to make sure the following tips, including exercise, prenatal massage and sleep positions, are right for them.