Pregnancy/Maternity

Pregnant and can’t sleep?

Tired of not being able to get a full night’s sleep? Your back hurts and your baby is waking you by kicking up a storm? Welcome to the clubs of pregnant insomniacs!

You go to bed at night, completely burnt out from your day and with the sole desire of going into a deep restless sleep as fast as possible. But your hips are painful, so you turn from one side to the other. You can’t breathe on your back so you beat your pregnancy pillow to a pulp until it’s perfectly molded to your body. You’re finally comfortable and on your way to slumber and then you realize that you really need to go to the bathroom and it won’t wait until the next day. You let out a deep sigh…you’ll have to start all over again!

When sleep eludes us

There is nothing more frustrating than feeling tired and yet be unable to rest properly. As pregnancy progresses, our hormones are turned upside down and we tend to have to deal with more and more discomforts as our bellies grow and prevent us from finding a comfortable position and makes us have to go relieve ourselves in the bathroom several times a night.

If we add to all that the new worries and anxieties of a mother-to-be that keep us awake when we would love nothing more than to be able to sleep for a few hours, we have all the ingredients for a restless night and very little actual relaxing!

Attempt to limit the factors

Of course, there are some factors you can’t change and which you must try to learn to manage because your life is changing and it’s completely normal for you to be feeling slightly unbalanced by all this. But it might also be the perfect time for you to review your habits and see if there are some that could be changed or improved to help you achieve your goal: a full night’s sleep.

If you tend to drink coffee in the evening, or watch TV in bed before sleep, you might want to change these habits to maximize your chances of getting a restful sleep. If you’re not physically active, you could try choosing a sport you think you would enjoy doing and finally try it – at your own pace – so you can spend a little more energy during your day. It goes without saying that you should also consider better sleeping habits if you think they can contribute to worsen the problem.

Good sleep hygiene

The first option you should consider is to have an optimal sleep routine, which means that you should make sure that what you do before bed and during the day will naturally help promote sleep. Try to only go to bed when you feel sleepy. When you’re ready to go to bed, try to adopt a relaxing routine, which can include a nice bath or a massage by your partner and make sure the surroundings are conducive to sleep, with minimal distractions. Avoid eating right before bedtime, especially foods and beverages that may contain stimulants and try to exercise regularly (preferably in the morning or afternoon). You could also give a shot to relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.

What if nothing works?

There might be something more complicated preventing you from sleeping than a simple change in habits and in that case, you should take time to determine which factor is impacting you and what you can do to improve the situation. If you feel like you are unable to tackle things alone, you can ask your doctor for advice. If may be that he could help you by suggesting solutions you wouldn’t have thought of yourself. Often, putting the finger on what is bothering us will contribute to making the insomnia disappear.

It could be that your doctor will eventually suggest some medicine to help you sleep that is safe to take during pregnancy if you are suffering from too little sleep. The important thing is to keep an open dialogue with him since he will be able to reassure you over most of your fears and apprehensions caused by the arrival of your baby and guide you on the best approach to take to help you finally sleep through the night!

By Mariem Melainine

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