The ultimate guide to sleeping when pregnant. There is no other state in a woman’s life as delicate and magical as during pregnancy. This period, however, comes with its challenges, one being a lack of quality sleep. It is crucial that you get enough sleep for a brighter day ahead and a healthy pregnancy. Here are some tips to better sleep when pregnant.

Why quality sleep is crucial to a pregnancy

A majority of women (78%) experience more disturbed sleep during the pregnancy and out of those with sleep problems at this stage, 20% have a high likelihood to experience longer labor or undergo cesarean. Those who get plenty of quality sleep have proven to minimize the risks of complications associated with birth.

Causes of bad sleep

In the first trimester
1. Extreme fatigue throughout the day, leading to oversleeping in the day, therefore, resulting in restlessness or shallow sleep at night.
2. Breast and body tenderness due to high levels of progesterone in the blood.
3. Frequent urination may force one to keep getting out of bed at night, causing a lack of quality sleep.
4. Morning sickness is known to occur at any time of the day and can affect a pregnant woman at night.
5. Emotional turbulence, over excitement, and anxiety can also cause one to get little sleep.

In the second trimester
1. About 30-50% of women experience heartburn during pregnancy. This can worsen at night.
2. During pregnancy, a significant number of women experience nasal congestion that can affect their sleep.
3. It is common for women to experience nightmares and vivid dreams that might haunt them in this stage of pregnancy.

In the third trimester
1. A condition called restless legs syndrome affects many women during pregnancy causing sleeplessness.
3. Taking lots of bathroom trips can interfere with quality sleep.
4. Experiencing pain around the pelvis is another cause of poor sleep during pregnancy.
5. Other causes include back pain, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and snoring.

Tips for quality sleep during pregnancy

1. Keep off any caffeine and sugar. This will mean you doing without your favorite coffee and chocolate.
2. Take plenty of fluids, but as night approaches, reduce the intake to minimize the trips to the bathroom.
3. Take some light snack before bed, something like warm milk with a muffin will do. You can take decaf tea.
4. Take a warm bath treat before going to bed to relax the body.
5. Set your bedroom temperature lower than the normal to handle the high body temperature for a more peaceful sleep.
6. If your moods allow, make love to your partner as it will aid better sleep for the both of you.
7. Have your partner give you a regular massage before bed.
8. Do some light exercises to cool your body down before bed.

It is crucial that you have a regular sleep routine and only do the exercises that are safe for your pregnancy. Your emotion can be channeled into doing some art like music, drawing, or painting.

Avoid long naps during the day as this will interfere with your night sleep. Also, avoid spicy and heavy meals to keep heartburn in check. Only work with natural remedies and keep off medical sleep aids.

For the best night sleep during pregnancy, you should consider pregnancy pillows. The major types are the wedge, C-shape, and U-shape sleeping pillows for pregnant women.

These pillows have plenty of benefits including:
1. They cradle your body at the right places to give you a feeling of sleeping on a cloud
2. It eases pregnancy symptoms and other health issues
3. They prompt the optimal sleeping position and support the back for the best sleep

I hope all of our gorgeous pregnant mommies are getting all the rest they need!

This post is sponsored by Renee Downes of Pregnancy Pillows. Please feel free to pin and share their info-graphic!