As a pregnant woman you can sleep up to 10 hours. It sometimes seems a terrible task. You have a big belly, your hormones are running through your body, you worry about anything and everything. In short, sleepless nights. Many women know the problem: pregnant and poor sleep. What can you do to improve your night’s sleep? We give you tips.
Pregnant and poor sleep
According to a survey in 2013 poor sleep can negatively affect the immune system. This in turn has an effect on the baby, which responds to everything that happens in his mother’s body.
Of course, a bad night’s sleep will not have a major effect on the baby. However, if you structurally sleep little or not and are very troubled by this, you will have to pay some attention to your sleep pattern.
Sleep during pregnancy is extremely important for you and your baby!
Pregnant and sleeping
But how do you do that? Sleeping pregnant is an art and a challenge. How do you ensure a good night’s sleep?
Create an evening ritual
This is also an excellent tip for easier sleep when you are not pregnant. Humans are very creatures of habit. Your brain recognizes a series of actions and can connect this to certain situations. A morning ritual can therefore help you wake up; an evening ritual can help you to fall asleep.
Find a set of actions that are pleasant for you. This will prepare you mentally for bedtime, and your brain will be signaled that it is time to go to sleep.
Decorate the room
The bedroom must be exactly that: a room to sleep in. This is an extension of the evening ritual. If a space is specifically intended for relaxation and sleep, your brain will recognize this and make you sleepy.
So don’t take work to the bedroom, speak out before you go to bed and don’t watch television in bed. The light radiation disturbs the sleep pattern. A cool, dark and well-ventilated room is best for falling asleep.
Some fragrant oil in an oil burner can be effective for falling asleep. Your nose is more sensitive during pregnancy, so only use fragrances that you like. Commonly used oils to fall asleep are, for example, lavender, cream chamomile or neroli (orange blossom).
Dealing with the belly
If you were a belly sleeper first, it is difficult to get used to a new sleeping position. It is best for your baby to sleep on the left side, so the placenta gets the best blood flow.
Make it easier for you by placing a pillow between your legs (to support your lower back), behind your back (so that you don’t roll over so easily) and possibly with a pillow in your arms, to keep your chest open for easier breathing. Read more about sleeping comfortably with your pregnancy belly.
Pay attention to what and when you eat
A heavy meal before bedtime is not a good idea. Your body can digest food the easiest in the morning. That is why a rich breakfast, a good lunch and a light evening meal is the best layout for the food.
However, going to bed hungry is also not good for the night’s rest. Half an hour before bedtime you can eat something with tryptophan or serotonin: bananas, dates, milk, nut paste, yogurt, turkey and whole-grain products are good choices, as long as you stick to a small snack.
To prevent heartburn at night, it is best to avoid spicy, sour and fatty foods.
Try to get enough moisture during the day. From dinner it is handy to drink less and less, and from 20:00 nothing more (with the exception of possibly a small glass of lukewarm milk to get to sleep). This way you prevent a full bladder at night.
You have so much to worry about during pregnancy, but it doesn’t help to break your head. Certainly not at night. Write off your worries. In the morning you see everything clearer and you can tackle your worries from the night before if necessary. This prevents a lot of stress!
Physical exercise is very healthy and promotes sleep. It breaks down lactic acid in your blood, so that your muscles relax better and your stress level drops. Just do not exercise intensively just before bedtime. It is better to go to the gym during the day than in the evening. Your body is still active during the first hours after a workout.
Being pregnant is hard work for your body. Fatigue is a pregnancy symptom that you have to take into account, especially in the first trimester. Taking naps in between is a great way to give your body the peace it needs. But stick to power naps: naps of twenty to thirty minutes. If you sleep from twelve to three in the afternoon, it is more difficult to sleep in the evening.
For structural sleeping problems: go to your doctor
If you sleep poorly every night, something else may be the case. In the event of very serious sleep problems, it is therefore wise to consult your doctor if there is nothing else going on. Your doctor can also prescribe safe sleeping aids if he thinks this is necessary.