One of the symptoms of pregnancy I found the hardest to deal with was always being tired. Although I chalked it up to the result of no longer starting my day with a quadruple shot of espresso, it’s more likely that it stemmed from a lack of proper sleep. Frequent bathroom trips, heartburn, restless legs, and stress can really take a toll on your sleeping habits. While some of those issues are harder to fix than others, there are some things you can do to get better quality sleep during your pregnancy.

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Get your water in earlier in the day. It’s no secret that the number one pregnancy sleep interruption is having to use the bathroom. You can make those visits less frequently at night if you get all your fluids in earlier in the day. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up – if you can stomach it – and try to have 100% of your daily intake finished before dinner time.

 

Only workout in the morning or afternoon. Although it seems like it might tire you out, good exercise can actually boost your energy levels, which will make it hard to wind down if you do it too close to bed time. A great time to get a workout in is around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, when you’re feeling a little sluggish. It will help you get through the rest of your day without having to resort to other less recommended pick-me-ups.

 

Limit your caffeine intake. I started by trading my morning coffee overload for an iced green tea. After a while I stopped that as well. Most doctors will say it’s okay to have a small amount of caffeine each day, but if you can cut it out completely you’ll be able to rest easier.

 

Don’t eat a late dinner. Eating a heavy meal too late will make it hard to sleep and could cause upset stomach and heartburn throughout the night. It’s best to eat a lighter meal at least three hours before you are planning to go to bed. If you get hungry, a small snack such as a handful of almonds or a piece of string cheese will satisfy you without overdoing it.

 

Skip dessert. During your pregnancy it’s wise to cut down on sugar for other reasons than sleep. But if sweets are something you crave, try to limit them to earlier in the day. Having too much sugar after your dinner is a sure-fire way to have a rough night.

 

Get comfy. Those big bulky pregnancy pillows are not a waste of money. Invest in a few good pillows for your head and body, as well as a blanket that’s warm enough when you’re cold, but light enough when you’re feeling hot a few minutes later.
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Ask questions. If it’s worries that are keeping you tossing and turning, call your doctor’s office. Most offer a 24-hour nurse line for the more urgent questions. If it’s a small concern, write it down and ask your doctor at your next appointment, or even call the next day during business hours to get an answer faster. If it’s really concerning, they’ll ask you to come in, but most of the time they can ease your mind over the phone.

 

Getting adequate sleep is important to growing a healthy baby, and keeping mom healthy too. Enjoy it while you can, because once baby arrives, these tips won’t help!

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When I'm not writing, I'm cleaning up after my three very messy boys, ages 7, 4, and 1. If I had to describe myself in just one sentence: Slightly crunchy, a little crazy and always exhausted.

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One Response to 7 tips for getting a good night’s sleep while pregnant

  1. I second the pillow! SO needed!

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