Sometimes falling asleep might be difficult. Good thing we have your back. Here are some tips to help you get a better night's sleep in pregnancy and beyond:
Cut down on caffeine
Cut down on drinks and food that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate. Avoid them entirely in the afternoon and evening.
Drink less in the late afternoon and evening
Drink more fluids early in the day and less in the evening. This helps reduce bathroom breaks in the middle of the night.
Avoid heavy meals and spicy foods before bedtime
Spicy foods such as chili and acidic foods such as tomatoes can cause heartburn and indigestion. If heartburn is a problem, eat lighter meals and eat them earlier. Give yourself two to three hours to digest your food before you head to bed.
Snack before bedtime to discourage morning sickness
If you're troubled by nausea, it may help to keep your stomach from becoming empty. Try nibbling on bland snacks such as crackers, especially before bedtime.
A 30-60 minute nap during the day makes you more alert, sharpens memory, and generally reduces feelings of fatigue. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of pregnant women take at least one nap during the workweek, and 60 percent take at least one weekend nap. Time your naps carefully, though. Napping too late in the day (or for too long) can interfere with your sleep at night.
Don't work out late in the day
Get your exercise early enough in the day to give your body time to wind down after a workout. Working out too close to bedtime can even rob you of deep sleep by interfering with your natural sleep cycle. Try to finish exercising at least three to four hours before you turn in for the night.
Practice relaxation techniques
Learn about sleep-inducing techniques such as guided imagery, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation. Don not let your "worry list" worry you. Keeping paper and pen next to your bed may help relieve middle-of-the-night anxieties. When you wake up thinking about all the things you need to do the next day, write them down. If writing down your thoughts makes you worry even more, finish making your list of questions, concerns, and things to do at least an hour before bedtime. Then try to put it out of your mind until morning.
Enroll in a class
If you are anxious about labor and delivery, baby care, or breastfeeding, sign up for a class. Knowing what to expect can help put you at ease. You might also benefit from the camaraderie of other pregnant women.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Try to regulate your sleep/wake schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Develop a soothing bedtime ritual such as reading or taking a bath for 20 - 30 minutes before you turn in for the night.
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
You may feel warmer than usual when you are pregnant, so keep your room on the cool side. Block out light and noise, too. They can wake you from a light sleep.
Use your bed only for sleep and sex
If you're in the habit of paying bills or watching television in bed, stop. Reserve your bed for other enjoyable activities like sleep, sex, and light reading.
Sleep on your left side
Train yourself to sleep on your left side. This position helps blood and nutrients flow to your baby and uterus, helps your body eliminate waste and fluids. Getting used to this position early in pregnancy will help you sleep better when your belly is bigger.
If you feel like there is nothing you can do to sleep...
Get out of bed
If closing eyes does not help you to sleep anymore, just get up for a bit. Go to another room, listen to calm music or read a magazine. When you feel drowsy, go back to bed and try to sleep then.
Good luck and sweet dreams.