Can’t Sleep Well during Pregnancy? Follow Twelve Tips from Sleep Doc.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 1998 women and sleep poll, 78 percent of women report more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times. Following tips can help you sleep better.

  1. Plan, schedule, and prioritize sleep. Follow sleep hygiene with twice the fervor and fanaticism as you are indeed sleeping for two.
  2. Avoid caffeine completely because it will compound the problem of insufficient deep sleep. It being a diuretic will also make your frequency of urination worse.
  3. After checking with your physician, exercise for at least thirty minutes per day.
  4. Sleep on your left side to improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your fetus and your uterus and kidneys. Keep your knees and hips bent. Place pillows between your knees, under your abdomen, and behind your back. This may take pressure off your lower back. Try to avoid lying on your back for extended periods of time. You may try special pregnancy pillows, which can help you be comfortable during sleep.
  5. Drink lots of fluids during the day, especially water, but cut down on the amount you drink in the hours before bedtime.
  6. If you can’t sleep for twenty minutes, don’t lie in bed and force yourself to sleep. Get out of the bedroom, and read a relaxing book, knit or crochet something for your baby, write in a journal, or take a warm bath.
  7. Learn progressive muscle relaxation. This will help your insomnia, and it will come in handy during delivery.
  8. Avoid looking at bright light at night. A nightlight in the bathroom will be less stimulating, so it will allow you to return to sleep more quickly.
  9. During work days, take a PREM power nap in the early afternoon. During weekends, you can take a longer nap in the afternoon to pay up your sleep debt. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, then nap earlier in the day or curtail the duration of the nap.
  10. In order to avoid heartburn, do not eat large amounts of spicy, acidic, or fried foods. Also, eat frequent small meals throughout the day.
  11. Recognize that snoring is very common during pregnancy, but, if you have pauses in your breathing associated with your snoring, you should be screened for sleep apnea.
  12. If you develop Restless Leg Syndrome, seek medical attention. Your doctor will check you for iron or folate deficiency. Keep your legs elevated at work and at home as much as you can. This can prevent leg swelling and may help your RLS. Leg stretching exercises can help RLS, too.

God bless you both!

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