It’s no secret that a new baby means less sleep for Mom and Dad. More snuggles and moments of awe and wonder? Definitely yes. But sleep? Not so much.
Sleep can be a challenge before that little bundle even arrives. While being pregnant is a time to experience joy and excitement, it isn’t necessarily a time to stock up on sleep. According to the Journal of Obstetric Medicine, up to 94% of women report sleep disturbances during pregnancy. These disturbances can range from night sweats to vivid dreams to frequent bathroom trips, all of which can contribute to insomnia.
Sadly, the mantra “eating for two” isn’t also true for “sleeping for two.” You may have experienced some of the most common complaints that prevent decent shut-eye:
- physical discomfort
- frequent urination, and
- vivid dreams.
Most of the time, these sleep disturbances can be attributed to a woman’s changing hormone levels – a necessary change to accommodate her growing baby (or babies).
While insomnia can plague entire pregnancies, it is comforting to know that the majority of women who have experienced pregnancy had a decrease in sleep more so in the first and third trimesters.
There are also things you can do in pregnancy to improve the quality of your sleep. While these lifestyle changes are helpful in pregnancy, they can be positive factors to consider implementing in anyone’s life.
- Prioritize sleep! If it’s important to you, your choices should reflect that fact. Put sleep before social outings, text conversations, surfing social media, that new TV show, or even something as simple as cleaning. It can wait!
- Nightlights are helpful. Bathroom or kitchen trips are inevitable in pregnancy. Do yourself a favor and don’t reach for that light switch at 2:00 a.m. Not only is it bright, but the typical room light is also more arousing and can make it harder to fall back asleep. Plug in a nightlight to help keep that sleepy brain of yours in resting mode.
- Hydrate, but at the right time. It is important to drink plenty of water during the day, especially when you’re pregnant. As night approaches, keep the fluid intake to a minimum. This will help limit those middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom.
- If necessary, take a nap! Napping isn’t for everyone, especially if it further disrupts your nighttime sleep. However, even 20-30 minutes of rest in the middle of the day can be beneficial to your overall wellbeing.
Pregnancy can be challenging, but getting more quality sleep can make it easier and more enjoyable.