5 Ways to Help You Sleep Better During Pregnancy
Poor sleep quality is among the most common pregnancy symptoms – and it’s also one of the hardest to deal with. There’s nothing you can do to change the shifting hormone levels that are partly to blame for your insomnia, but there are some surprisingly easy ways to address physical discomforts so that you can get some much-needed rest. Try some of these simple tips for getting better sleep better throughout your pregnancy.
Balance Carbs and Protein
You already know that it’s vital to get great nutrition during your pregnancy – but you might not be aware that certain types of food can help you sleep better. High-carbohydrate favorites like bread, pasta, or even your favorite crackers are among the foods that contain a substance called L-tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep faster and promote deeper, more restful sleep. Nuts, seeds, dairy products, and eggs also contain tryptophan – and so do chicken, turkey,
Enjoy the Right Amount of Food
Heavy meals make your digestive system work overtime, so keep your intake on the lighter side. The goal is to have a little bit of food in your stomach. Keep in mind that your stomach is about the size of your fist, and use that visualization to guide your choices. If you eat small amounts and don’t feel full, remember that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal fullness, and for your brain to recognize that you’ve had enough to eat.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise can help you feel more energetic during the daytime, and it can help you sleep better during pregnancy and beyond. So long as your doctor approves, getting regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body – and for the overall quality of your sleep. Try to fit your exercise into the first half of your day. If you work out too close to bedtime, then you might find yourself feeling restless.
Relax and Unwind
It’s normal to experience stress and anxiety during pregnancy, and mood swings can leave you feeling on edge, too. Fear surrounding your baby’s health, worries over the delivery process, and concern about how you’ll cope once the baby arrives are common. You might also be experiencing “pregnancy brain,” a kind of forgetfulness that’s worse when you aren’t getting enough sleep. Gentle yoga, meditation, and even warm baths and soothing music can help get your mind out of those worrisome loops. If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough time in the day to relax, it may help to gently remind yourself that self-care is also care for your little one. Even 10 or 15 minutes can help.
Discomfort is another reason you’re having so much trouble sleeping during pregnancy. When your body is out of alignment, it’s impossible to enjoy proper relaxation. Adding supportive pillows to your abdominal area, neck, and back can help, as can placing a pillow between your knees. If you like, you can try a special pregnancy pillow designed to offer total support. There are a variety of different shapes and configurations available.