Insomnia During Pregnancy: Natural Remedies To Help You Sleep Better
Like the fact that you’re about to bring a human being into the world, for instance. And that they’ll be your responsibility for the next 18 years, at least. Sheesh.
Combine that with heartburn, a bad back, the constant need to pee and the sheer discomfort of sleeping with a big bump, no matter what position you choose, and it’s no wonder why you can’t nod off.
But there’s a big difference between one or two restless nights and continuous sleep deprivation. The latter can lead to all sorts of physical and mental repercussions, which become even more apparent during pregnancy – in fact, 8 out of 10 women suffer from sleep problems during this time. This can impact our own health and that of our baby, so it’s vital that we stay as rested as we can when we’re expecting.
Easier said than done, right? Well, actually, in this case there are some quick ‘n’ easy things you can do to help you sleep better when pregnant. And don’t worry, they’re all natural solutions!
1. Carve Out Some “You Time”
During pregnancy, your mind is so full of baby-related thoughts that you rarely take the opportunity to think about yourself. And the effects of this constant planning can be felt most at night; when you lie awake making mental lists and worrying about what might or might not happen.
You can reduce these night-time anxieties by giving yourself some time to wind down each evening. Have a long, relaxing bath, play some soothing music and do a meditation exercise before bed. Be mindful in each activity and every time your mind jumps into the future, try and bring it back to your breath in the present moment.
This natural remedy, of just staying with the breath and slowing down your mind and body before bed, is often a lot more effective than a sleeping pill...and much better for you and bubs, too!
2. Embrace The Power Nap
When your baby’s born, you’ll need to learn how to sleep when they sleep. So you may as well get into daytime naps now! This allows you to catch up on sleep you’ve missed from the night before; although even if you’ve had your recommended 7–9 hours you might still need a nap during the day.
Because, in fairness, lugging around a 10lb-bump can be pretty tiring. So put your feet up and nap when you can.
3. Use Your Sense Of Smell
Incense, essential oils, herbs – all are natural yet potent ways to relax your mind and body. For instance, lavender has long been hailed for its deeply soothing qualities; sprinkle a couple of drops on your pillow before bed and notice the difference it makes to your pregnancy insomnia. Chamomile is an instantly calming flower that when enjoyed as a tea, can also ease indigestion and boost your immune system. While sandalwood incense not only smells great, it actually promotes feelings of sleepiness and restfulness, too.
Mmm, mmm. Smells good to me.
4. Exercise Gently; Eat Sensibly
You’re probably taking certain measures around exercise and diet already; but it’s worth mentioning anyway, especially as they can benefit your own sleep as well as your baby’s health!
Doctors will advise you to exercise often when pregnant – but this doesn’t mean sweating it out at the gym 6 days a week. Instead, do some form of very gentle exercise daily. Go for a walk, a swim, a prenatal yoga class...all of these things are great for keeping your body fit, your mind calm and your baby in good health. Get as much fresh air in as you can too, and your sleep will thank you for it.
Diet-wise, keep those magnesium levels up by snacking on bananas and almonds before bedtime. This helps the body to produce serotonin, giving you a lovely calming feeling right when you need to settle down. Bye bye insomnia, hello slumberland!
So ladies, that’s my top 4 ways to ward off pregnancy sleeplessness. They’re all cheap, natural and simple tips to try so what’re you waiting for? Have a sounder sleep tonight, and every night of your pregnancy, and your baby will be meeting a much healthier mom when the big day comes!