If you’re expecting a baby, you’ve probably had people tell you, “Sleep while you can!” It probably sounds good in theory, but the reality is that feeling you can’t sleep during pregnancy is actually quite common. Between frequent trips to the bathroom and aches and pains from your expanding belly, it’s no wonder that you can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. While sleep may be hard to come by when you have a baby on the way, there are things you can do to sleep better. Learn the best way to sleep during pregnancy, so you can get some much-needed rest before the baby arrives.
- Can’t Sleep While Pregnant? You’re Not Alone
- Strategies for Getting Comfortable
- Practicing Proper Sleep Hygiene During Pregnancy
- Addressing Pregnancy Related Sleep Problems
- Is it Safe to Use a Weighted Blanket During Pregnancy?
Can’t Sleep While Pregnant? You’re Not Alone
Before diving into the best sleep aids for pregnancy, it's helpful to take a look at just how common pregnancy-related sleep problems are. A recent study at a gynecology clinic found that slightly over one-half of pregnant women suffered from poor sleep quality. Reasons for disturbed sleep included lower back pain, leg cramps, and nighttime food cravings.
Another study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, found that 76% of women had poor sleep quality during pregnancy. Breathing problems, restless leg syndrome, frequent urination, insomnia, and difficulty getting comfortable were all associated with sleep problems among pregnant women in the study.
Strategies for Getting Comfortable
Experts at the Sleep Foundation have provided excellent guidance regarding sleep aids for pregnancy. Perhaps the best thing you can do to ensure a solid night of rest is to find a comfortable position. The best way to sleep during pregnancy is often in the side-lying position, with knees bent, which takes pressure off of the back. Typically, during pregnancy, sleeping on the back is not the best choice, as it not only causes pain, but can also reduce blood flow to your growing baby.
Other ways to get comfortable while pregnant include:
- Putting a pillow between your legs
- Rolling up a towel and placing it under your back to relieve pressure, if you do happen to sleep on your back
- Get a mattress pad to relieve sore hips
- Use some extra pillows to support your growing body
Aside from your growing body, another factor that can lead to nighttime discomfort is the frequent urge to use the bathroom. To prevent frequent awakenings from the need to urinate, cut off all liquid consumption within two hours of bedtime. Also avoid caffeine, which not only keeps you awake but also acts as a diuretic and increases the urge to use the bathroom.
Practicing Proper Sleep Hygiene During Pregnancy
Given the fact that pregnancy is linked to insomnia, it is probably more important than ever to practice proper sleep hygiene during this time. This means going to bed around the same time and waking up at the same time each day, ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment, and keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Some home remedies for insomnia can also be beneficial if you can’t sleep pregnant. These remedies can include practicing yoga and meditation, getting some exercise during the day, and using calming breathing exercises. When combined with proper sleep hygiene, these remedies can add up to better sleep while pregnant.
Addressing Pregnancy Related Sleep Problems
Beyond discomfort and general insomnia, some specific pregnancy-related problems can interfere with sleep. For example, some women find that they suffer from breathing problems, like sleep apnea or snoring, which can cause frequent night awakenings and leave them feeling more fatigued during the day. The excess weight that comes with pregnancy can narrow the airways and make it difficult to breathe. You can prevent some of these problems by avoiding excessive weight gain. Keeping active and maintaining a nutritious diet can help you to gain a healthy amount of weight.
You may also consider using a humidifier to clear your nasal passages so you can breathe better and sleep more soundly at night. Elevating your head with an additional pillow can also open the airways and make for a better night of sleep. Finally, if your partner tells you that you snore loudly, stop breathing during the night, or wake up gasping for air, it may be time to see a doctor to consider treatment for sleep apnea.
As indicated in studies with pregnant women, restless leg syndrome can also make it difficult to get a good night of sleep. If your doctor doesn’t recommend the use of medications for restless leg syndrome, a weighted blanket for adults may provide some relief. Weighted blankets for restless leg syndrome can calm the body and the muscles so that you can fall asleep more easily.
Is it Safe to Use a Weighted Blanket During Pregnancy>
If you’re concerned about the safety of a weighted blanket while pregnant, it’s important to consult with your doctor, but in general, there are no inherent safety risks associated with using weighted blankets during pregnancy. Some women are concerned about using a weighted blanket while pregnant, because of the risk of overheating. The good news is that Aricove’s weighted blankets are made with premium bamboo fabric, which is naturally cooling and moisture wicking. Our weighted blanket of 15 lbs is a popular option among adults, but we offer numerous weights to meet a variety of needs. Combined with other pregnancy sleep remedies, an Aricove weighted blanket can provide relief when you just can’t seem to sleep.