Sorry for being absent for a while – my little family went on our first trip to the beach. It was so beautiful, but exhausting at the same time, not to even mention the packing…
So I’d like to write something about sleep. I have always been a great sleeper and absolutely made sleeping 7-8 hours a priority. I started changing my sleep habits when I became more focused on health, body and mind. Of course, getting older also played a part.
When you’re pregnant, sleep becomes a whole new story. During the first trimester, you feel so exhausted and tired, you basically just want to sleep all the time. Take lots of mini naps if you can, your body needs it and will thank you. However, once you’re in your second trimester and your energy returns, your sleep habit changes again and is most likely to return to your pre-pregnancy sleep-style.
Here are some things that will disrupt your sleep and what you can do about it:
- Your growing belly that now needs more space. Finding a comfortable position is a challenge, especially when you should not be lying on your back! Get yourself a Snoogle.
- Frequent pee-trips. I was lucky that I never woke up more than once to pee, but I know some Mamas who were up every hour. Drink less water after 7pm to avoid the nightly pee-trips.
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) – Acid reflux. I did not suffer from this, but my girlfriend did. Keep Tums or healthy mama heartburn relief next to your bed.
- Insomnia. Believe it or not, but pregnancy can put you through nights where you are sooo tired but can’t help but lay awake like a Zombie! Sometimes I would wake up at 4 am and not be able to fall back asleep. My advice: either get up, walk around, write down your thoughts or read a book.
- Leg cramps. There were some nights during my second trimester where I would wake up with horrible cramps. Get up, walk to the wall, keep your feet one feet away facing the wall, lean forward and push your hips away from the wall and stretch yourself. Your magnesium and potassium levels are lower by the end of the day when you are pregnant which could be the cause of leg cramps. I was advised to eat a banana every day at 4 pm and to take Natural Calm Magnesium supplement. I did not have any cramps after that.
- Room and body temperature. I found it so hard to feel comfortable when I was pregnant. I always felt hot. Wearing clothes that are light and breathable helped, I had the A/C cool down the room to 67°F (poor husband was always freezing) and I had a fan directed at me.
- Nightmares. Yes, nightmares and very odd/ vivid dreams. I had such strange and disturbing dreams every now and then. There is nothing you can do about it except forget about them.
- Stuffy nose. Your body produces more fluids and mucus during pregnancy so eventually you will end up with a stuffy nose. It’s the most annoying things, especially because there is nothing you can take to help clear your nose. I took Sudafed on nights that were really, really bad which is safe to take during pregnancy. One of my friends recommended flaxseed oil but I didn’t try it.
Now that you are aware of what to expect during the next trimesters, here are some things that might help you sleep better and calmer:
Get yourself a sound machine. I found that sleeping with a sound machine made falling asleep so much easier. Living in New York, you hear sirens and cars all the time, so having a sound machine helps tune those noises out. You are probably going to get one for the baby, so why not get one for yourself. Until today, I still sleep with a sound machine and I definitely feel that my sleep has improved. We have the Dohm White Noise sound machine and it’s definitely worth it!
Having a cup of calming tea always worked wonders for me. I love tea, so naturally I did my research on teas that were safe during pregnancy. Chamomile is safe in moderation but it’s important to know that it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and frequent consumption is not recommended as it can cause damage to fetal development. I really liked the pregnancy tea by healthy mama and even though it’s meant to help soothe morning sickness, I enjoyed it at any time, especially at night.
I had a little spray bottle of lavender oil next to my bed and also liked spraying a little in the air. It doesn’t only smell so good but also helps you feel relaxed and calm.
Sleep is so important for your body and your mind. And if you’re pregnant with your first, you should enjoy the sleep you are getting. People will tell you to “sleep as much as you can now” – and you, like me, will think that they are crazy and you are fine but the truth is that today, I really, really miss my sleep. I miss being able to sleep through the night without waking up to either pump or soothe the baby. So, my advice is to you is to read about adult and infant sleep cycles while you still have the time to (it’s so good to understand the sleep cycles, especially because it will explain your future sleep deprivation) and to really try to get lots of sleep and enjoy it while you still can 😀
Please comment or share any other tips for getting better sleep! Thanks 🙂