Do you struggle to fall asleep when you go to bed? Wake up constantly throughout the night? Toss and turn trying to find a comfy position? These are all symptoms of pregnancy insomnia. Here's what you can do!
Why is sleeping during pregnancy so difficult?
Insomnia is one of the most common complaints from mums-to-be, especially during the third trimester, when your bump grows bigger.
It’s caused by the physiological and hormonal changes which occur in your body when pregnant.
You feel extremely tired, as your body uses a lot of energy and resources to nourish your unborn baby. Yet, no matter how tired you are, you still struggle to sleep!
Your body is constantly supplying your unborn baby with nutrients and oxygen, keeping your metabolism constantly active. Moreover, as your bump grows, your back starts to ache, making a good night’s sleep even more difficult.
Don't worry, there are several insomnia pregnancy remedies which can help you sleep better!
How to avoid insomnia during pregnancy
There are several effective pregnancy insomnia remedies you can put into practice to combat insomnia in pregnancy. Among them there’s sure to be at least one that will improve the quality of your sleep. Try them out to find the best one for you!
1. A pregnancy pillow can work wonders
Sleeping on your stomach with a baby bump is anything but comfortable. Sleeping on your back can cause discomfort, impair blood circulation, and impact your breathing.
That leaves just your sides, the left side being the best as it allows for maximum blood flow to your baby and prevents your womb from pressing on your liver (as what happens when you sleep on your right side).
Maintaining this position throughout the night, however, is easier said than done, because years of habit will systematically make you turn back over to your favourite position.
This is where Koala Hugs Plus comes to the rescue, it supports your tummy, back and hips. Sleeping through the night again won’t be just an elusive dream!
2. Avoid heavy meals and sugary food in the evening
Food that is too heavy and harder to digest, such as fried and spicy foods, should be avoided at dinnertime. You’re more prone to heartburn and poor digestion when expecting a baby, which for obvious reasons makes it more difficult to sleep.
The same applies to tea, coffee, chocolate, and sugary food, all of which act as stimulants and keep you awake.
3. Do some physical activity during the day
Whether it's yoga, Pilates, swimming, or walking, exercising, even lightly, always does you good. It also helps to tire your body and flush out negative energy, which will improve your sleep.
4. No daytime naps
No matter how tired you are and how much you feel the urge to lie down in bed after lunch, resist and stay awake. Sleeping in the day is a double-edged sword: you’ll recover some of your energy, but you’ll find it even harder to fall to sleep at night.
Naps are only good if taken in moderation: ideally, only 10-15 minutes, 30 minutes at the most. It may not sound like much, but you’ll be surprised how refreshed a 10 minute nap can be.
5. Create your own relaxing ritual before going to sleep
It’s important to relax both your mind and body at the end of the day so you’re ready to surrender to sleep. It is also good to create a routine, such as always going to bed at the same time, reading a book before switching off the light, taking a warm bath, drinking herbal tea. You could also dedicate some time to yoga or meditation.
Everyone relaxes in their own way, so it’s up to you to find what works best for you. Remember not to use your mobile phone for at least an hour before going to bed!
What can you take to help you sleep during pregnancy?
As I'm sure you know, the use of sleeping medications, such as sleeping pills, is generally not advised during pregnancy.
Are there any recommended herbs or herbal teas I can take when pregnant?
Our advice is to consult your doctor before taking any substances, even natural ones. He or she will be able to recommend phytotherapeutic remedies in the form of herbal teas or drops which won’t present any risks to your unborn baby.
For example, chamomile, lemon balm and valerian are well tolerated during pregnancy, as long as you do not overdo it.
A pregnancy pillow is a great help for mums-to-be, not only for improving sleep, but also for back pain, which is another common problem pregnant women experience. Use it in bed at night, but also during the day as a back support when resting on the sofa. Once your baby is born, it will turn into an excellent breastfeeding pillow and more!