Pregnancy insomnia: Some expectant mothers find that despite being incredibly tired, they’re having difficulty sleeping. It’s no wonder – the body is going through huge changes and there is a small person growing inside. Here are some common causes for pregnancy insomnia and how to solve them.
Many expectant mothers find that that their old sleeping position no longer works for them. One solution many people find helpful is to sleep with extra pillows – one between the legs, one against the back and a couple to support the head. They even make special pregnancy pillows that some expectant mothers swear by.
Block The Outside World.
Is the neighbor’s outdoor light keeping you up? Consider a sleep mask to block out the light. Make sure to remove any electronic devices from the bedroom. This includes your iPad and smartphone!
The Baby Is Pushing On My Bladder
For problems sleeping due to frequent trips to the bathroom, you’ll still want to drink those eight glasses of water, but see if you can curtail drinking in the evening.
Also, some mothers have said that leaning forward to ensure that all of the urine is expelled is helpful.
For heartburn problems, avoid eating meals two hours before bed and try propping two pillows under your head – elevation can make a big difference.
Are you too hot?
A pregnancy can make it feel like you have a furnace inside you. Go ahead and turn down the thermostat, open a window or peel off a layer of clothes or bedding. A fan can help quite a bit as well.
Having anxiety about the coming responsibilities or worried about the birth? Now is an excellent time for meditation and stress-reduction activities. Join a meditation class, try a video or one of the many phone apps available regarding meditation and stress prevention. There are also many benefits to yoga or just plain old exercise.
If you’ve been tossing and turning for a while, one thing that many yoga practitioners swear by is called “alternate nostril breathing.” The idea behind it is that your body tends to favor breathing through one nostril over the other at any given time. The nose is connected to your nervous system and yogis have found that breathing through the left nostril helps calm the body down and breathing through the right nostril helps energize the body.
Getting your breathing in balance will help balance the body, calm the mind and, thus, induce sleep. Start by covering your right nostril with one hand or your thumb and breathe in through your left nostril slowly. Switch hands, cover the opposite nostril and breathe out. Then switch back to cover the right and breathe in again. Do this three times with each nostril and then, when you’re done, breathe in slowly through both nostrils, then out slowly, three more times. This helps to balance the brain and makes a big difference for many who have trouble sleeping.
If all Else Fails
Sometimes an expectant mother just can’t sleep and it doesn’t have to do with any of the above reasons. Consider cutting back on caffeine and avoiding TV and the internet in the bedroom.
A glass of warm milk or chamomile tea before bedtime can make a big difference as well.
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t sleep, go ahead and get up. Watch some TV, read a book; do something to take your mind off of sleep until you can go back and try again.
Keep in mind, when you’re expecting a baby your body changes all the time – whatever happens one week may change by the next.
Eventually you’ll be able to sleep with no problem. In the meantime, this is an excellent time to practice those relaxation skills – you’ll likely need them again when the baby is a teenager.