Many women find themselves wondering how they should sleep while pregnant. Sleep gets tricky during the third trimester, which is also known as the most sleep challenged stage of pregnancy. As expectant mothers already have a tough time trying to keep up with demanding schedules, most mothers have a hard time trying to stay awake having to deal with the frequency of urination, inability to get comfortable and constant exhaustion. Let us cover a few things that you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.
One of the best sleep positions during pregnancy is called the “SOS” (sleep on side). It’s highly recommended to sleep on the left side because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen. Lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. This way, the amount of blood and nutrients can reach the placenta and your baby. It is recommended from the American Pregnancy Association that you use a Slumbar Pregnancy Pillow. The pillow is designed to provide a comfortable and safe sleeping experience.
A relaxing environment and a comfortable room temperature can help foster sleep. To help your body reach deep sleep, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Make sure you get rid of any sources of light by covering windows with heavy curtains and turning off electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. This will help give your body a chance to relax and slow down while preparing to fall asleep.
If you are feeling tense, anxious, or overtired, regular exercise during pregnancy can make you physically and mentally healthier. It can help you sleep better too, as long as you don’t overdo the physical activity within four hours of bedtime. If you’re not sure which exercises are safe during pregnancy, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Eating too much before bedtime can cause a disturbance in your sleep. It can increase body temperature and force your stomach to digest when it wants to slow down. But eating too little before bedtime can cause hunger pains and can wake you up in the middle of the night. If needed, eat a small snack like a piece of fruit, or a handful of nuts at least two hours before bedtime. Eating light will provide enough calories and will give your body enough time to digest.
Practicing relaxation is a great way to start winding down before bedtime. It can help calm the mind while preparing to go to sleep. Learning to relax and using breathing techniques can also help when contractions begin. A warm bath or shower can help with relaxation.
Lack of sleep during pregnancy is linked to high blood pressure, preeclampsia and pre-term birth. Your doctor can check for symptoms during your prenatal visits. If you happen to have severe headaches or swelling in your hands, ankles and feet, contact your doctor for further evaluation.
Choosing a healthcare professional is an important decision. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. has been serving women throughout northern Orlando for over 21 years. If you are interested in a consultation, contact us today.
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*This blog is for general informational purposes only. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. does not distribute medical advice through this blog. As such, this blog does not constitute a patient-client relationship between the reader and Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A.