“There are emotional and physical reasons why you might have trouble sleeping when you’re pregnant,” says Mary Steen-Greaves, midwife for the Pampers Village Parenting Panel. “For example, worries about your baby, labour fears and stresses, not to mention general aches and pains.” If you are having problems, you’re not alone, as 78% of pregnant women say they have disrupted sleep in pregnancy. Before you start counting sheep, try these tips…
Get in pole position
“The best sleep position is lying on your side with a pillow between your legs and under your bump,” says Mary. “This helps regulate your breathing and eases any heartburn.”
Be cool and comfy
“Make sure your room is well ventilated so you don’t overheat,” says Mary. Examine your mattress too, as experts reckon you should replace it every seven years.
Don’t cramp your style
Drink plenty of water during the day if you’re suffering leg cramps in the night. Circular exercises with your feet and legs can help too.
Time for a massage
Ask your partner or a friend to give you a massage, which can be a great way to ease aches and also helps you relax.
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Many mums-to-be swear by yoga for helping them relax. “I took antenatal yoga classes and practising some of the stretches in the evening would help me sleep more comfortably,” says Linzi Hanscomb, 27, from Reigate, mum to Barny, 9 weeks. “I suffered with leg cramps at night which really kept me up, but they weren’t half as bad if I did stretches before bed.”
Consider the single life
“It might be worth thinking about sleeping in a separate room to your partner if he’s disrupting your sleep,” says Mary. “But make sure you talk this through with him so he doesn’t feel left out during your pregnancy.”
Try a warming remedy
“Avoid eating big meals late at night as they can be difficult to digest, causing heartburn,” warns Mary. “Chocolate, fizzy drinks and coffee before bed are also off the menu, but try a warm milky drink or herbal tea to calm you down ready for sleep.”
After the birth
Getting enough sleep as a new mum can be hard, but try these for an easier snooze…
- Sleep when your baby sleeps – the housework can wait.
- Have your baby sleep in a Moses basket by your bed to reassure you she’s fine if you wake in a panic
- Read up on cot death so you know she’s sleeping safely.
- Get your partner involved in the night with changing, feeding, etc. so your sleep disruption is kept to a minimum.