How to sleep better while pregnant

14 October 2020

From cutting down on coffee to using pregnancy pillows, we look at the small things you can do to get a better night’s sleep while you’re expecting...



Use a pregnancy pillow

Maternity pillows
are a great way of relieving stress from the back, hips and legs in the later stages of pregnancy. The wrap-around support should be used from the 20th week of pregnancy to alleviate pain. Don’t worry If you only have standard pillows, they can provide a similar level of comfort if carefully placed between the legs. Try sleeping on your left-hand side with the necessary support in place to improve blood flow to the foetus.

Avoid caffeine in the evenings

It’s important to limit caffeine while you’re pregnant, but especially so in the evenings. Not only will this help you to drift off easier, it will also mean fewer trips to the toilet. This is important because, during the early stages of pregnancy, changing hormones often mean you’ll use the bathroom more often, while a growing uterus can put pressure on the bladder in the later trimesters. If you need a quick boost at the end of the day, try a herbal tea instead of a caffeinated drink.

Practice relaxation

As an expectant mother, it’s not unusual for you to lay in bed at night worrying about things like the health of your child. But it’s important you do what you can in your waking hours to allay your worries and fears. Talk through your concerns with a partner, family member, friend or seek professional help. You could even learn some breathing techniques using mobile phone apps or online tutorials to help you switch off more swiftly.

Stretch your legs

Up to a quarter of women report symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy. The overwhelming urge to move your legs becomes stronger in the third trimester and can play havoc with your sleep routine. A simple stretch, a short walk, or a warm bath before bed can help soothe your symptoms and if that fails you could always try a massage to help you fight the need to fidget.

Eat little and often

Morning sickness affects almost 70% of pregnant women, and despite the name, can strike at any time of the day. Your best chance of avoiding feeling nauseous is to graze on small amounts of food throughout the day rather than eating large meals. Avoid sugary, greasy and spicy foods to give your digestive system the best chance of keeping everything down. And remember to avoid eating shortly before bedtime. 

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