Sleep is an essential facet of our health, and that’s especially true during pregnancy. Kick your self care routine into high gear with these pregnancy sleep improvement strategies.
Make Your Bed Comfortable for Side Sleeping
Most experts agree that pregnant women should sleep on their sides. This can be a major adjustment for back and stomach sleepers, but you can make it easier by making yourself a cozy pregnancy sleep nest of supportive body pillows placed between the knees, behind your back and/or under your chest. Even if you do ordinarily sleep on your side and already feel comfortable in this position, the experience of sleep is going to change as your body changes.
Follow the same advice and you’ll feel much better.
Reinforce Proper Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a research-backed concept that leads us to better sleep through a simple concept. Your bed is for sleeping and sex only. Do your pregnancy research and update your social media before you get in bed. So you can make the transition from wakefulness to sleep more seamless.
Let Your Circadian Rhythms Get to Work
Our bodies tend to respond in surprising ways to the sun’s natural schedule of rising and setting. This response is known as the circadian rhythm, and the bright screens on our TVs, computers and mobile devices can throw it out of whack. Staring directly into a bright light right before you go to sleep isn’t a good recipe for snoozy success. Try to limit your exposure to bright screens after the sun goes down. Also consider getting a sun-simulating wake-up light to help increase your enthusiasm for the morning.
Create a Meditation Routine
The old trope of counting sheep to fall asleep is actually rooted in a good idea. Counting is a basic meditation technique designed to calm our thoughts and turn our minds away from any discomfort we’re feeling, whether it’s physical or emotional.
The idea is that focusing on the act of counting requires just enough attention to occupy your mind. It doesn’t require so much mental engagement that you remain alert while doing it. If you get comfy in bed and relax your mind in this way, you may be surprised by how quickly you drift off.
Manage Your Schedule as Best You Can
Whether you work in an office or stay at home, it’s important to get your body on a reliable schedule and try to stick to it. This is often easier said than done even when you aren’t pregnant, but you have a major incentive to do it now. Getting into a reliable routine will make it easier to get the sleep you need at night. Instead of taking naps during the day. Napping can make it much harder to actually get your full 8 hours at bedtime.
If you’re trying these and other strategies but still find that physical discomfort is keeping your eyes wide open as you lie in bed, consider using a prenatal support girdle. Our supportive girdles take some pressure off the abdomen and provide a soothing embrace at any time of day.