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Blackout Shades and Other Tricks to Improve Sleep During Pregnancy

Originally posted March 12, 2014.

Expectant mothers are worried about sleep deprivation once their little angel arrives. What most of these women don’t anticipate is that they are more likely to experience sleep problems even before they give birth.

Pregnant women usually suffer from sleep disturbances. The most common causes are anxiety, stress, physical discomfort, and hormonal changes. As an expectant mother, you might be currently suffering from sleep problems; however, it is very important to overcome this. Sleep is essential for your health, as well as that of your unborn child’s. Here are a few tips to get a better, more comfortable, and peaceful night’s sleep.

Common Reasons For Sleep Problems And Their Solutions

Frequent Bathroom Trips: You might feel the need to pee all the time. Your uterus is growing; thus, it puts pressure on your bladder. In addition, the changes in your hormone and the increased amount of progesterone released into your system will relax the muscles, such as the bladder. To help you get a good night sleep, you should stop fluid intake at least 3 hours before going to bed. Although it is advisable to drink plenty of fluid during the day, you should avoid drinking hours before bedtime.

Fatigue: It is only natural to feel tired and exhausted during pregnancy. Keep in mind that your body is working fulltime to create a life-support system for your growing unborn child. For this reason, it is only normal that your energy level will go down, especially during the early months. The best way to help you cope with this problem is to sleep better. But if you are not getting enough rest, you should take a nap during the day. Doing so will help reduce fatigue. Here are a few tips:

  • You should find a quiet, darkened room and relax for at least 30 minutes.

  • If your bedroom is too bright for an afternoon nap, you should consider installing blackout window covers. This will block out the sunlight and reduce noise.

Heartburn: During pregnancy, you might suffer from heartburn which disrupts your sleep. This is because of your growing uterus. Your uterus compresses your stomach; thus, it sends its contents shooting towards your esophagus causing acid reflux. The best way to help you get a good night sleep is to prop your upper body with pillows. This will prevent the acid from moving upward. To reduce heartburn, follow some of these tips:

  • Avoid drinking carbonated drinks

  • Do not eat before bedtime

  • You can take antacid to relieve from heartburn; however, you should first consult your ob-gyn before taking any medication.

Tossing And Turning: During your second trimester, you might find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. You might be too big to sleep on your stomach, but you should avoid sleeping on your back. During pregnancy, you should not lie on your back because the weight of your uterus will compress your inferior vena cava which is a vein that moves the blood from your lower body to your heart. This isn’t good for your unborn child because the blood flow to the uterus will slow down.

To help you sleep comfortably, you can place a pillow under your right hip. This way, your uterus will be tilted while your chest and back area remain flat. This ensures that the blood flows properly while you sleep comfortably. Another option is to place a pillow under your knee and another pillow under your belly while you sleep on your side. You can use a pregnancy body pillow to support your growing body.

Kris Lim is a blogger for health and wellness websites. In this article, she lists a few tips for overcoming common sleep problems during pregnancy.

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