Even before I was pregnant, I have always been the Princess and the Pea – the smallest thing will wake me up and totally ruin a whole nights sleep. I got used to the fact that, if I want to get a good nights sleep, everything has to be perfect – a comfy bed, the right lighting and temperature, plus its not just about my surroundings, mentally I need to be totally relaxed too. When I got pregnant and I immediately heard tales uncomfortable, sleepless nights and I knew I was in for a loooonng nine months if I didn’t get my sleep time sorted. So, for the sake of my sanity – I’ve had to work out a sleep routine that works for me, which is even more important with baby on board. It’s been a time of trial and error, and this doesn’t always work, but on the whole I’ve managed to get my sleeping patterns down to a fine art so I thought I’d share my top tips:
This is a tricky balance – on one hand you need to keep hydrated but at the same time, don’t drink too much before bed or you’ll be up running to the loo all night. I usually drink half a glass of water before bed, then leave the rest of the glass by the bed to drink during the night. I also find if I don’t let myself get dehydrated during the day and I avoid salty foods in the evening – this goes a long way at night too.
Every day I pop a couple of drops of essential oils on my pillow. My current favourite is Melissa from Neal’s Yard, this calming scent is used for anxiety, stress and tension so works perfectly when drifting off to sleep. I also burn scented candles on my bedside table (before I go to sleep only!) which helps to create a calm ambience. My favourite scented candle at the moment is The Body Shop Hawaiian Kukui, which smells SO delicious.
When you are pregnant, sleeping position is everything. After 16 weeks it’s not recommended to sleep on your back anymore, so the only choice is on your side (although I keep waking up on my back even at 27 weeks and the midwife has told me this is ok, but to get back on my side when I wake!) So using a good pregnancy pillow is essential to keep you on your side and to support your hips and bump. I love my Theraline Pillow (which I mentioned before in this post), although my dream would be to have an adjustable bed one day. Along those lines, I also wish I had a riser recliner chair as I can bearly get myself up these days!
My main issue with sleeping has been the fact that I have started to suffer with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is where your hands and wrists go completely numb and is really common during pregnancy. I usually wake up with painful pins and needles multiple times in the night. This is a tricky one as there is no cure until pregnancy is over, but you can lessen the symptoms by using wrist splints or by laying your wrists and hands flat, without tucking them under yourself/the covers.
Heartburn and Acid Reflux
These are both really common in pregnancy and can keep you awake all night if left untreated. Luckily, Rennie and Gaviscon are both amazing for treating heartburn and acid reflux (my lifesaver at the moment!) – both can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy. It’s also worth trying to eat less in the evenings, giving your body plenty of time for digestion – especially spicy, fatty or rich foods.
Turn off Devices
This is something I realised before I was pregnant and as soon as we stopped using our devices at night both V and I noticed a difference in our sleep patterns. Believe me, that nightly scroll of social media in bed is actually quite damaging to your sleep routine! My goal is to turn all devices off by around 8-9pm to avoid blue light and stimulation of the mind, both are a nightmare for sleep. We tend to read before bed, this has worked a treat in sending us both off just recently, plus I’m finally working my way through my never-ending ‘to read’ list.
Give these tips a go and stick with it, they work I promise. 🙂 If you have any sleep tips – let me know, I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Post includes collaborative link, words and opinions are my own