Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tips for Sleeping During Pregnancy

Sleeping during pregnancy can be a big problem for many women. Sometimes the issue is that you have way too much on your mind, so it becomes difficult to settle down for sleep. Other Linktimes, sleep problems are caused by the general discomfort that's common in the second and third trimesters. Many women also experience sleep problems brought on by the need to empty their bladders more often than usual. Some scientists actually think that pregnancy sleep problems might be related to hormonal changes that are meant to get you used to waking up every few hours like you'll have to do with a newborn!

You're already likely to be exhausted during pregnancy, so don't let extra sleep problems create even more tiredness in your life. Instead, use these tips to help you get a better night's sleep, no matter what trimester you're in.
Don't drink a lot of water or other fluids right before bed. Certainly you need to up your intake of water and other healthy fluids during pregnancy, but you don't have to do it right before bed. A few hours before bed, start tapering off your fluid intake. If you get thirsty, have just enough sips of water to quench your thirst. This can dramatically impact your ability to stay in bed asleep longer instead of getting up to use the bathroom!

Ease lower back pain with extra pillows. It's best for pregnant women in the second trimester or later to sleep on the left side, which gets the most blood flow to the uterus and kidneys. However, this might be uncomfortable for you at first. Sleeping with your knees bent with a pillow between them can help. Experiment with placing pillows behind your back, too, since this can help support your lower back and ease that pain that often comes with later stages of pregnancy.

Sleep during the day if you can't sleep at night. If possible, take naps during the day. You'll probably need more sleep than usual during your first and third trimesters, and daytime naps can help. Some women actually have an easier time sleeping and getting comfortable during the day, so don't be afraid to sleep then if that's what works for you. Just make sure you're getting your rest!
Exercise for at least thirty minutes a day. Most women in normal pregnancies are encouraged to exercise every day. Talk with your healthcare provider before starting a regimen, but exercise may help you sleep better. It can burn of excess energy, calm your mind, and loosen sore muscles to make sleeping easier. Great exercises for pregnant women include walking, swimming, yoga, and aerobics.

Don't force yourself to sleep. One of the worst things you can do is to try to force yourself to sleep when you can't. Go to bed, and try to fall asleep for about fifteen minutes. If you just can't sleep, feel free to get back up and read, do some needlework, or whatever will make you sleepy. Forcing yourself to sleep will probably just make your brain stay active longer, so try to work with your body instead of against it!


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