Sleep strategies for pregnancy and beyond
Growing a human is hard on the body, which is why you should make sure you maximise your sleep potential. While your body will face numerous challenges throughout your pregnancy, a few simple tweaks to your sleep habits can go a long way to guarantee that you wake up well-rested and energised.
Embracing nap time in your first trimester
Your little one grows a great deal during the first 12 weeks as it goes from a zygote to a tiny human with arms and legs, and this period of adjustment is just the start. Given what your body is going through, it’s no surprise if you’re feeling ill and tired, thanks to all this essential foundation work.
Nap whenever possible as your body adapts to this new normal and make a point of paying extra attention to eating as many fresh fruits and veggies as you can. In addition to these much-needed naps, why not establish a bedtime routine that starts with a warm shower to wash the day away and relieve any discomfort and swelling? Research has shown that this will stimulate blood flow and aid in more restful sleep.
Sleep success strategies in your second trimester
The second trimester is the Goldilocks Zone (when things are “just right”) for many expectant mums as they become familiar with the adjustment of incubating new life. As any morning sickness hopefully dissipates to bearable levels, a zest of life returns.
As you are probably now sleeping a bit better, be aware of your sleeping positions as your tummy changes your centre of gravity. Doctors recommend sleeping on your left side during this period as it encourages the perfect positioning of your uterus. In turn, this will ensure your baby has access to plenty of oxygen and nutrients while you get some essential rest.
The third trimester – home stretch
Your belly may start to feel like it needs an area code at this point as your baby shifts and positions itself to prepare for the birth. As the space inside your womb fills up, your growing baby will make its presence known with kicks and you’ll probably feel like it spends a large portion of each day poking knees and elbows into spleens and other internal organs as it moves.
Special pregnancy body support pillows are an excellent investment and help you get comfy and cosy to promote the best chance of some satisfying shut-eye. If that doesn’t appeal to you, try playing around with extra pillows to ensure you are as comfortable as possible as you relieve the pressure on your back while also supporting your tummy. Those who sleep on their backs can benefit from a pillow under their calves, while side sleepers reap the rewards when they place a pillow between their knees.
Make sure you continue to take the vitamins as prescribed by your doctor, as these will make a massive difference to the quality of your sleep around this time. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), for example, is often an indicator that your magnesium levels may be on the low side, leading to hours of tossing and turning before you fall asleep.
Taking care of yourself now will make a positive impact in the run-up to preparing for the birth and set an excellent precedent for a well-balanced perspective that will linger beyond labour and delivery.
For more fun sleep facts and expert sleep advice, why not visit our Sleep Blog?