As a midwife, I am always getting asked by my patients for techniques on how they can sleep better while pregnant. There are many myths and old wives’ tales around getting a better sleep and, sure, while some of them may work for some people, they may not work for others.
I teamed up with Joy Richards, the sleep expert at Happy Beds, to look at how pregnant ladies can improve their sleep. Here are Joy’s top three pieces of advice:
Too Hot? Change the Mattress!
“I’ve worked with multiple ladies over the past few years who have struggled to sleep, both pregnant and not pregnant, and often it is because they have the wrong sort of mattress.
I helped with a Happy Beds’ campaign last year, which looked at some of the most common reasons as to why women can’t get to sleep when pregnant, and a large percentage of women had said that they get too hot at night. One option to solve this would be to invest in a mattress which helps you cool down at night, rather than trapping the heat.
Some people swear by memory-foam mattresses, although others not so much– it is all down to personal preference. Another option would be to invest in a gel mattress, which will help you cool down and get a better sleep even in warm weather.
But of course, you can purchase a perfect mix of both memory-foam and gel, such as the Ocean Gel 2000 from Happy Beds, which is a popular choice.”
Need a Wee? Stop Drinking!
“It goes without saying that pregnant women need to use the bathroom a lot more than just a non-pregnant person and waking up to use the toilet was also one of the top reasons in the campaign as to why pregnant women wake up in the night.
Refrain from drinking a couple of hours before your bedtime to ensure that your body has emptied any excess fluids, and you avoid waking up for a wee in the middle of the night. If you find that you’re quite thirsty in the night, then snack on something water heavy, like cucumber, to avoid consuming too much water.”
Uncomfortable? Change Your Position!
“If you’re normally a front sleeper, then you may find that you’ll need to change the way you sleep as your bump gets bigger.
However, sleeping on your back while pregnant is the most dangerous position, as it can cause issues with blood pressure, breathing, your digestive system and also haemorrhoids.
This only leaves sleeping on your side really, and if you’re going to pick a side to sleep on, then ensure that it is the left. Sleeping on your left will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the baby.”
I would add, get a body pillow or sleep with a normal pillow between your legs, it makes such a difference. If you are suffering from heartburn or acid reflux, prop yourself up on pillows, and take antacid medication like gaviscon, which you can get from your GP or pharmacy.
For more of Joy’s advice and sleeping techniques, check out the Happy Beds’ blog.
Disclosure: collaborative post