Getting plenty of rest is essential during your pregnancy, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Many women have trouble getting comfortable or have restless babies kicking throughout the night. How common is it to experience insomnia during pregnancy? National Sleep Foundation research found 78% of women report more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times.
Helping our maternity patients find new techniques for a good night’s sleep is an important area of concern for our specialists here at Southeastern Med. Below, we’ve taken a closer look at five of the most common issues affecting a pregnant woman’s sleep patterns, including some helpful guidance for addressing each one and. Hopefully, but putting some of these tips into practice, you’ll soon find yourself getting more of that much needed shut-eye.
“I can’t get comfortable”
Finding a comfortable position in which to sleep isn’t always easy with a growing baby. Shifting from standing to a horizontal position can result in additional discomfort as your baby adjusts to the change, meaning more kicks and movement while you’re trying to relax. The recommended sleep position for a pregnant woman is on your left side, but if you aren’t used to sleeping on your side, this can be an adjustment. A pregnancy pillow can help support your belly and back, and keep your hips at a neutral position. They come in different shapes and sizes to help you find some comfortable sleep.
“I have to make frequent trips to the bathroom”
More frequent urination is normal during pregnancy, but for a lot of women, this means waking up many times throughout the night to go to the bathroom. These disruptions can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. One simple solution here is to drink more water earlier in the day and limit your fluid intake in the evening. This won’t stop the need to use the restroom at night, but it could reduce the amount of times . . . resulting in longer periods of steady sleep.
“My baby is wide awake!”
For a lot of pregnant women, as soon as you lay down to sleep, your baby starts kicking and moving around. Your movements during the day relax your baby, and they sleep through most of the day, so your stillness at night can wake them up. Some women find it comforting to feel their baby moving around, but for others, it makes it difficult to fall asleep. You can try having a light snack, walking around the house, or talking to your baby to soothe them back to sleep. Most women go through a phase where their baby keeps them up at night, but eventually, your baby should become more in tune to your sleeping schedule.
“I have restless legs”
Getting comfortable when your legs won’t stop moving or cramping, on top of a growing belly, is hard. Restless Legs Syndrome is entirely normal for pregnant women, but what’s the best way to get leg cramps to stop? Try the recommended sleep position for pregnant women by laying on your left side. If that doesn’t do the trick, try stretching, going for a short walk or taking a warm bath. If needed, you can also consult with a sleep medicine specialist.
“I’ve started snoring really loudly!”
With the added weight of your growing baby and an increase in hormones, many women experience frequent snoring while pregnant. And while it’s usually quite normal, it can leave you and your partner with some sleepless nights. In some rarer cases, snoring can be a sign of something else, like sleep apnea. There are some home remedies you can try, like nasal strips or sleeping on your side, but if you’re still snoring, talk to your doctor.
You can also work on avoiding caffeine after noon, exercising for at least 20 minutes a day – but make sure it’s a few hours before sleep – and avoiding naps late in the day. All of these little changes may help with less interrupted sleep at night.
Still need help? Don’t help to call our Childbirth Center for support and advice.