Changes to your hormones during pregnancy can make you feel very tired, especially in the first 12 weeks and you may be struggling to get enough sleep. As your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows, the changes to your weight and body can make it even harder to get comfortable at bedtime.
Tossing and turning at night not only results in a lack of sleep for you but also for your partner. Here, the team at The Parents Class take a look at the importance of sleep during pregnancy and the strategies you can use to help you get enough rest.
Is it normal to feel tired during pregnancy?
Yes, it is completely normal and shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about. However, tiredness can make life when pregnant feel more difficult if you are low on energy. So, try to get as much rest as possible to help with fetal development and reduce the risk of complications during childbirth.
Whether that is putting your feet up at home or maybe even heading down to your favourite beach spot or cafe in Brighton to enjoy an afternoon chilling. Cafe De La Mer near Brighton West Pier has a great outdoor seating area that offers the perfect spot for relaxation. Another ideal location for a relaxing drink and bite to eat with a sea view is the i360 West Beach Cafe Bar.
Not getting enough sleep during pregnancy can make you feel run down so it is important that you eat healthy, exercise and rest when you can.
Common causes for not sleeping during pregnancy
There are many reasons why you may be struggling to sleep as an expectant parent. Causes include Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) also known as heartburn or acid reflux, being too warm, having bad dreams and restless legs syndrome (RLS) which causes sensations of crawling, ticking and itching that lead you to move your legs.
But don’t worry, we’ve got some strategies you can use to help you get more sleep when pregnant, including:
Avoid drinking too much caffeine
While you may feel like you need a boost of caffeine to help you get through the day, it could be keeping you up at night. Instead, look for decaffeinated tea and coffee or go herbal. Bird & Blend Tea Co. on Gardner Street in Brighton have a wonderful range of caffeine-free and sleep teas that may be good alternatives.
Try to avoid drinking too much before bed to help reduce the number of trips to the bathroom which may be disturbing your sleep. A warm milky drink or chamomile tea in the evening could help aid your sleep.
Limit foods that can trigger nightmares, GERD and RLS
Foods such as cheese, pickles and pasta can cause you to have bad dreams, while acidic foods such as onions, tomatoes and citrus fruits as well as spicy and high-fat foods can contribute to heartburn. Try to limit these, especially in the evening.
Instead, consider eating foods such as bananas, rice and walnuts which can aid sleep by helping the body and muscles relax. Dark leafy greens and iron-rich foods such as seeds and tree nuts can also help reduce the symptoms of RLS. Brighton is home to some fantastic health food shops such as Infinity Foods, Seed N Sprout and Hilly Laine.
Improve comfort at night when pregnant
Getting comfortable in bed during pregnancy can be a challenge, particularly in the later stages. It is recommended that the safest position to sleep is on your side, which one doesn’t matter so pick the side that works for you.
Placing a pillow between your legs or to support your bump may also be helpful to make you more comfortable. A standard pillow works well or you could even try a pregnancy pillow, JoJo Maman Bébé in Brighton sells a good range.
Develop a good bedtime routine when pregnant
A warm bubble bath just before bed can help to soothe you and make you sleepy. Also keeping to a consistent bedtime can help your body get into a good routine for sleeping.
You may also want to buy some loose-fitting maternity sleepwear that keeps you cool. Consider popping along to Bluebelle & Co on Trafalgar Street in Brighton for a great choice of cotton PJ sets and night dresses. Keep your bedroom cool by opening the window or using a low-noise fan.
Are you pregnant and living in Brighton? Join The Parents Class
Following these sleep strategies could help you get a better night’s sleep, but if you are concerned about your sleep you may want to consider speaking to a healthcare professional for further advice.
If you live in Brighton and are pregnant, then this is your sign to join The Parents Class. Our face-to-face evidence-based antenatal classes are led by midwives, and give you a great opportunity to meet other like-minded mums-and-dads-to-be. Not only will you be able to seek advice from a professional midwife during our antenatal classes, but you’ll also be able to share your sleeping tips with other expectant parents. Find your nearest class.