Morning routines get all the hype. But what about your nighttime ritual? Ending the day on a good note is just as important as starting on one, especially if you’re pregnant. We know you’re tired and exhausted and your feet hurt, but before you jump right into bed after dinner, you want to take the proper steps to ensure a good night’s sleep. Here are our favorite tips and tricks for making sure your night goes as smoothly as possible.
Keep it cool
It’s totally normal to experience hot flashes while pregnant. However, this state can make it hard to fall and stay asleep, and you’ll need all the sleep you can get. We suggest cranking the AC or a fan in your bedroom at least a half-hour before you get into bed to ensure the room is cool and comfortable for your slumber. You may also want to keep a thermometer in your bedroom to ensure it is at the optimal temperature between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep.
Many women agree that a body pillow has helped them sleep better during pregnancy, and with good reason. They can provide plenty of support for your growing and changing frame as you move into each trimester. As your belly and baby grow, you’ll likely experience more back pain. Using a body pillow to prop against you while you sleep can alleviate discomfort.
You will have to go to the bathroom more while pregnant and it’s normal. Make going to the bathroom the very last thing you do before getting into bed. This way, you’ll be less likely to wake up during the night to go.
Meditate (or at least try)
Pregnancy is physically taxing, but don’t forget the mental energy that goes into growing a baby as well. Stress is common but you won’t be able to fall asleep with your mind on the run. Taking even five minutes before turning in for the night to clear your mind can make all the difference when it comes to your quality of sleep.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is always important, but even more so when your growing baby depends on your intake for growth and development. Make sure you’re eating a nutrient-dense and filling dinner before bed but not too much or too close to bedtime. Most experts think you should not eat large meals less than 2-3 hours before bedtime. Feeling full and satisfied will help keep you asleep through the night (no pesky hunger pains at three AM)! And if heartburn is an issue eat lighter meals.
Navigating exercise while pregnant looks different for every woman, but at the least, you should go for a daily walk to keep your body moving. This will improve circulation and reduce leg cramping, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
Stay (mostly) hydrated…
Stay hydrated during the day by drinking plenty of water. Begin to cut down about an hour or two before bed to avoid those previously mentioned bathroom breaks.
Quick nap sesh
Sleeping more helps you sleep more? It just might. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that over half of pregnant women report napping at least once a day. It’s not just for the kids!
Again, it’s important to remember that pregnancy is, well, exhausting, so having trouble falling and staying asleep is more common than you think. We recommend trying these tricks and finding what works for you personally. Of course, if trouble sleeping persists and is complicating your daily life, talk to your doctor to rule out insomnia or other sleep disorders.