Insomnia symptoms tend to become more noticeable in the later trimesters (second trimester and third trimester), as a growing baby bump can make it challenging to get comfy in bed and sleep during pregnancy.
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Ways to deal with pregnancy insomnia and get better sleep during pregnancy
1. Develop a sleep routine
Whenever possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Create a soothing nightly routine to wind down and prepare yourself for bed with:
– Light reading (nothing too exciting or suspenseful)
– Soothing music
– A warm bath
– Yoga poses or other relaxation exercises
Pick the activities that work best for you and adjust as needed.
2. Stay active during the day
Daily pregnancy exercise (customized according to how far along you are, overall health, contraindications, and doctor’s recommendations) should help you fall asleep more easily. Just remember not to overdo it, drink plenty of water, and try to work out early in the day.
3. Cut down on caffeine
If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, reduce consumption to no more than 300 milligrams (i.e., 2 cups of coffee or 6 cups of tea) per day, and avoid any caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water while pregnant is critical since your growing baby is literally 75 percent water. Stay fully hydrated throughout the day, but try to decrease water intake in the hours before bedtime to prevent multiple trips to the bathroom during the night.
5. Design a sleep-friendly environment
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary. This means you’re minimizing screen time in the room and keeping it at a cool, comfortable temperature. It should be fairly dark (use blackout curtains, if necessary), and do whatever you can to create an ideal space for sleeping.
Check your pillows and mattress to ensure they’re both providing the proper amount of support. Many people enjoy using a body pillow or regular-sized pillow placed between their legs to relieve lower back pain.
Remember to reserve your bed for only two things: sex and sleep. Engaging in other activities while in bed encourages you to associate it with being awake and alert.
Avoid using your smartphone, tablet, or other devices late at night because they emit blue light that interferes with your ability to fall asleep. Blue light suppresses your natural melatonin levels, so it’s wise to power down at least an hour before bedtime.
7. Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep
If you’ve gone to bed but can’t fall asleep within 15-20 minutes, get out of bed and into a nearby comfortable chair where you can practice some relaxation exercises or do relaxing activities such as browsing through a book or magazine until you feel tired enough to fall asleep. This can help prevent the anxiety that sometimes springs up from staring at the clock or worrying about if you’ll get enough sleep. This also prevents your bed from becoming a source of stress or anxiety about falling asleep.
Can pregnant women take melatonin to sleep during pregnancy?
In the absence of any hard scientific evidence, it’s still a bit unclear whether melatonin is safe to use for pregnancy-related insomnia. The best thing to do is discuss it with your doctor to determine if it’s right for you.