Why is it so difficult sometimes? What is happening to your body and useful tips to get a good night’s sleep.
We all know that the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are characterized by a desire to sleep anywhere and anytime, even upright! What some women are surprised to discover is that the rest of pregnancy may be plagued by sleep disturbance. Ironic or what?
Let’s talk about sleep. Did you know that a study published in 2016 found 78% of pregnant women reported some form of sleep disturbance and this was most common in the second and third trimester. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5017073/,
The reasons for this are many and varied. You will probably want to pee more often, you may increasingly find that your changing body shape affects your comfort. Heartburn, leg cramps and nasal congestion can all wake you up. In addition, changes in hormones and possible anxieties may lead to general insomnia. Really makes you want to yawn just to think about it.
Well the good news is that there are some things you can do to help yourself.
Many women report that yoga, mindfulness or similar approaches https://www.be-sophro.co.uk/how-can-besophro-help/how-can-besophro-help-birth-preparation/,
really help them to sleep better and avoid the anxieties of sleeplessness.
Attention to diet (ensuring sufficient protein) and avoiding caffeine or sugar in the evening can help with heartburn and restless legs while having your bedroom window open a crack can help with nasal congestion as can a nasal rinse or saline drops. Many women find a lavender bath or lavender spray on the pillow helps too. If you are using it in the bath, make an emulsion with a little milk as this will help the oil to disperse in the water.
You might have also heard about the importance of sleeping on your side and while this is of increasing importance in the third trimester it is worth getting in the habit now. Use pillows of various sizes to support you and help you get comfy.
The reason for this advice is that research found a 2.3 fold increase in late stillbirth ie after 28 weeks, in women who regularly slept on their back. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/sleep-side-pregnancy-campaign
Finally, don’t hesitate to have a daytime snooze. Even 20 minutes can perk you up and give you a boost to enjoy the rest of the day and may even help you to sleep better at night.
After all you are growing a whole new human being.
Antenatal care from a Private Midwife can help you at all stages of pregnancy with evidenced based advice and support only a call away.