Updated: May 24, 2019
By Dr. Megan Touron
Pregnant ladies, how many of you have ever had someone say this to you: “You can forget about sleep for the next 18 years of your life”.
This well-intentioned joke probably isn't the best thing to say to a woman when she has so many other things swirling around in her mind right now... But, there are some great ways to improve your sleep throughout your pregnancy to prepare yourself before your little blessing comes into this world. While it is common to have sleep disturbances during pregnancy, the ability to get good quality of rest doesn’t have to be a difficult task if you implement some of these simple routines into your life!
1. Step Away from Digital Stimuli
We have so much stimuli thrown at us all day long. We constantly have our cell phones, computers, tablets right at our fingertips at every minute of the day. This keeps your brain in a constant state of distraction. To allow your brain to slow down and allow for better and deeper sleep, turn off or avoid looking at your cellphone or watching television at least 45-60 minutes before lying down to go to bed.
At the end of the day most of us just want to relax. I find the most calming thing to do just before lying down to bed at night is adding some lavender oil into my oil diffuser and letting the room fill up with the wonderful scent. Lavender has the ability to reduce anxiety and stress, eliminate nervous tension, insomnia and a number of other disorders.
3. Invest in a Pregnancy Pillow
Usually by the second trimester of pregnancy, your body is starting to get larger and the comforts of sleep may not be what they once were. A good pregnancy pillow is there to support your growing body at this time. Most pregnancy pillows will give support under your head and belly, and they'll fit snugly between your legs. Some say that it is a life saver! The only negative of a good pregnancy pillow might be that our husbands or partners don’t appreciate them quite as much as we do. However, if you’re like me, you may come home to find them all snuggled up with the pillow in the middle of the day, even if they try to deny the awesomeness of your pregnancy pillow later.
4. Listen to your Body
Listening to your body can be tough, especially when we’ve been conditioned to just work through it. During pregnancy, and especially through the first trimester, your hormones are working in overdrive and exhaustion may hit out of nowhere. For me, the best advice I've gotten was to simply listen to my body! When your body is telling you that it is tired: go to bed. Take a nap in the middle of the day when you're tired or just allow yourself to take a step back and relax. Fatigue is your body’s natural way of telling you to slow down.
5. Try Not to Eat 2-3 Hours Before Bed
Sounds easy enough but during pregnancy, you don’t exactly know when cravings will strike with a vengeance. Eating before bed will slow down your already sluggish process of digestion. If you must eat something before going to bed, try to avoid food with high sugar content such as fruit, carbohydrate or dairy.
6. Decrease Water Intake After 7pm
We all know that our water consumption has to increase during pregnancy. This usually leaves us going to the bathroom several times throughout the night and taking time away from our precious sleep. Drinking enough water can be a challenge if you're not a big fan of drinking it during the day or while at work. Try investing in a good water bottle that allows you to monitor how much water you’re drinking throughout the day and try to reach your goal before 7pm. Drinking water after 7 will only increase the amount of fluid your body has to get rid of throughout the night. If we can avoid waking up even more due to the frequent trips to the bathroom then I would consider getting those extra few minutes of sleep a win!
Pregnancy is one of the most rewarding processes our bodies can put us through and with a few small changes in our lifestyle, we can enjoy it to the fullest!
If you'd like to learn more, here are some other great posts you may enjoy:
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*This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Megan Touron and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Touron does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.
Dr. Megan Touron is a chiropractic physician and author who specializes in pediatric care and pregnant moms. Click here to read her full bio!