THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SLEEPING WHILE PREGNANT

Side Sleeping during Pregnancy

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SLEEPING WHILE PREGNANT

How to Sleep When You’re Expecting

When you’re dealing with fluctuating hormones, doctor appointments, a growing belly, and an overly-helpful mother-in-law, it’s fair to say that life gets a whole lot more hectic when you’re expecting a child. It’s pretty exhausting, too.

Pregnancy changes everything, including your sleep. While you’re wanting to catch as many naps as possible, and make the most of some uninterrupted sleep before the baby arrives, it can be frustrating to discover that your once-trusty sleeping habits just don’t work for you anymore.  What was comfortable before, most definitely isn’t now…With so many changes taking place, it may seem overwhelming to have to factor in a whole new approach to your sleep too, but we can help you take control of your sleep once more, making sure that other pressing matters (not to mention baby pressing on your bladder!) can be taken in your stride, with a quality mattress and good rest back in your control.

The Trimester Challenge

For expectant mothers, each trimester brings about unique challenges–and this includes your sleep. At each stage, you might want to consider sleep positions and techniques that work in harmony with your fast-changing body. We’ve looked at the challenges of each trimester to make things a little easier for you and your sleep.

First Trimester

Are you in your first trimester and feeling sleepy? A rising level of progesterone, a sex hormone involved in pregnancy, is common at this stage, and as a result you’re bound to be craving some nap-time. The good news is that there’s no such thing as too much sleep during pregnancy (and we all know there’s often not enough sleep during those early months of parenting!), you should surrender to that sleepy feeling and take a nap whenever possible–call it a pregnancy pitstop, if you will, and reach for your pillow. Regular naps can help balance your energy, and when there’s so many things on your to-do list before the big day, it’s helpful to make those tasks and errands feel more manageable when you’ve had a energy-restoring snooze.

Challenges

If you’re a stomach sleeper, the first trimester is when your body will definitely let you know that your once-favoured sleep position is no longer quite so comfortable. Discomfort from newly tender breasts, for example, means that sleeping on your front might be out of the question now. If you’re feeling such changes are affecting your sleep comfort, it might be time to try SOS. No, it’s not what you think. While changes in your body can make those previously cosy positions cause for some fidgeting, the Sleep On Side position might be a much more natural, comfortable position to see you through each stage of your pregnancy. 

 

What Does Your Sleep Position Say About Your Personality?

 

Second Trimester

The second trimester is often called the honeymoon phase of pregnancy because hormones tend to stabilise at this point and you find yourself more confidently adapting to your new life (making time for those all-important naps too). These are the same hormones that cause cravings in your first trimester (though we won’t judge if you want to keep on enjoying that new-found favourite snack). You’ll also feel less pressure on your bladder as your womb moves away from your pelvis. This means you might find yourself needing to make less frequent trips to the toilet in the middle of the night – a welcome improvement from the first trimester – and a relief for your sleep schedule.

Challenges

While it may be a honeymoon period, this stage of your pregnancy isn’t a complete walk in the park. Frequent complaints around weeks 13 to week 27 can include leg cramps, heartburn, indigestion, snoring, sleep apnea, and Restless Leg Syndrome. Quite the tiring list. On top of those less-than-comfortable symptoms, now’s about the time when you may also start to notice the baby kicking and moving around, and while that can be a wonderfully magical experience, you can sometimes wish your baby was on your schedule: especially when you’re trying to settle into bed. Now is as important as ever to make sure you’re maintaining good sleeping habits that help you and your baby stay in top health.

 

Get Better Sleep

Third Trimester

Just as you’re getting comfortable with a good sleep routine in your second trimester, the honeymoon phase ends and you can feel like you’ve had your duvet whipped right out from under you, with poor sleep suddenly rearing its tired head. You’re not alone. For many women, the third trimester spells worse sleep than in the previous 26 weeks. Now’s the time to really try and make time for those naps, as studies have shown that “poor subjective sleep quality in the third trimester can be a risk for postpartum depression.” If you’re struggling with your sleep, it’s always worth speaking to your doctor (and make sure someone’s on hand to bring you a cup of soothing camomile tea).

Challenges

Your sleep-quality issues aren’t helped, of course, by the fact that it can feel like your growing baby is using your bladder as a cushion. With more pressure being applied, you might find yourself setting up camp in the bathroom. With those middle-of-the-night toilet trips, and plenty of movement from your baby bump, this third trimester can bring with it the most challenges, including plenty of sleep-centred issues. Read on for some of the most common complaints, paired with some handy tips that to take back the reins on your sleep journey through pregnancy, but do always check in with your GP before introducing new supplements or medications into your routine.

  • Heartburn: What better time, than during pregnancy, to indulge in wearing your favourite pyjamas and comfiest sweats? Embrace loose clothing to aid your comfort, with no pinching around the waist and tummy. Enjoy those cravings, but be careful to chew your food carefully to help aid digestion, and be sure to avoid fizzy drinks, alcohol, and caffeine.
  • Snoring: It may sound obvious, but sleeping pills, cigarettes, and alcohol are an absolute no-go during pregnancy, for more reasons than your baby’s health (and yours, of course). Each has the ability to constrict your airways, which can lead to snoring – and sleep disruption – at night.
  • Leg cramps: Just when you think things couldn’t get any more uncomfortable! Cramp is frustrating at the best of times, but it can be easy to remedy by staying hydrated throughout the day, and making time to stretch. Rotating your ankles can be a big help, as can giving your toes a good wiggle. Make a habit of stretching your calf muscles just as you go to bed, and again in the morning to help keep pesky leg cramps at bay.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome: If you experience the uncomfortable tingling that Restless Leg Syndrome can cause, then it’s time to put those pins to work. A daily walk and some regular exercise is great for keeping your body active and giving your mind a bit of a breather from all those items on your pre-birth to-do list. If Restless Leg Syndrome causes you discomfort at night, a five-minute session of stretching or restorative yoga can be the upright relief you need before laying back down to sleep.

The Best Sleep Position for all 3 Trimesters

Experts are in agreement that when it comes to a sleeping position that works for you and baby, you’re best on your left. By turning to this position, you’ll “improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your baby and uterus and to help your kidneys get rid of waste and fluids.” If you’re not naturally a side sleeper, then it might be helpful to use the first few months of your pregnancy to transition into sleeping this way. While it may feel a little strange at first, we reckon it’s probably one of the smallest life-adjustments you’re most likely making during your pregnancy, and when long-term comfort and better sleep are up for grabs, it’s definitely worth giving it a go. Try easing into side sleeping by placing a pillow between your legs: this will allow the muscles around your pelvic and hip region to relax into better alignment, and alleviate any potential pain.

Improve Your Sleep

Side Sleeping during Pregnancy
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10 Pro Tips For Sleeping While You’re Pregnant

Have questions on how to guarantee the best sleep while you’re pregnant? We’ve got the answers. It all starts with creating an atmosphere conducive to sleep. Top sleep experts recommend:

Soak up the Sun

SOAK UP THE SUN

Baby thought she had it bad, carrying a watermelon, hey? As an expectant mum, a little extra support can really mean a lot, because you’re definitely carrying more than the weight of a watermelon. Try wearing a maternity band throughout the day to help support your belly and reduce stress on your back:this can mean fewer aches at bedtime. A high quality mattress steps up in place of that maternity band when it comes to bedtime, providing your body the support you need while you rest.

SUPPORT YOUR BACK

Wearing a maternity band during the day helps support the belly and reduces stress on your back. This can mean fewer aches at bedtime. You can also ensure you are sleeping on a high quality mattress to help support your body while
you rest.

Support your Back
Keep Meals Light

KEEP MEALS LIGHT

We’re all familiar with just how much discomfort acid reflux can cause, and it can feel extra uncomfortable during pregnancy. While it’s perfectly natural, and a common occurrence when you’re expecting, you can reduce your chances by avoiding anything particularly heavy or spicy–especially close to bedtime. Stave off cravings and keep meals small throughout the day, and you should sleep much more contentedly. If you find you’re still struggling, then make the most of an extra pillow to prop yourself up in bed, elevating your head and chest.

KEEP A REGULAR BEDTIME

Maximising your rest during your pregnancy is key, and setting yourself a regular bedtime is a simple, effective, and healthy way to maintain smart sleep hygiene. Establish a relaxing ritual (a caffeine-free tea, some soothing music, and some gentle stretches, for example) before aiming to be in bed at 11pm at latest, every single night. If you can keep a regular bedtime, you’ll also find it much easier to wake up at set time each morning too, and your body will have an easier time adjusting its natural circadian cycle to support your growing baby.

Keep Regular Bedtime
Create Restful Environment

CREATE A RESTFUL ENVIRONMENT

Lights-out in the bedroom is key for a good night’s sleep. Suss out any light sources that might disturb your rest, including those pesky electronic devices, and the glow of a street-lamp outside your bedroom window. Blackout curtains can be a nighttime lifesaver, while if you sleep with a partner who likes to keep a lamp on to read, then an easy investment is an eye mask for total darkness and peace.

EMBRACE RELAXATION

When it comes to winding-down in the evening, fully engage relaxation mode and make the most of taking things easy. While a late-night action movie might once have been your favourite way to rest before bed, it’s worth turning down the dial a little, and relaxing with something a little quieter in order to help your mind switch off and signal it’s time for sleep. Reading a book, completing a puzzle, or enjoying a classic board game can be great ways to unwind and prepare for bed.

Embrace Relaxation
Tea

TRY TEA

A soothing mug of caffeine-free herbal tea, such as camomile, lemon balm, or peppermint, can be great for body and mind as you head to bed. Steer clear of black and green tea, as these have varying levels of caffeine in: not great to sup before sleep. As a bonus, a cup of herbal tea, paired with a high-protein snack can keep you satisfied until breakfast the next day, leaving you to enjoy a solid night’s sleep.

RELAX WITH MAGNESIUM

Your body goes through so many changes throughout pregnancy, so it’s no wonder that you can experience some discomfort. Magnesium is a mineral that relaxes muscles, which can be great to soothe aches and pains Check in with your doctor first before taking any supplement, as they can advise on the right dose to help you.

Relax with Magnesium
Embrace Extra Pillow

EMBRACE EXTRA PILLOWS

Introducing an extra pillow into your sleep routine can be a big help for side sleeping comfort.p With a Nectar pillow, you can adjust the thickness to your perfect level of comfort–ideal for ensuring optimal support and relieving pressure. Try placing one between your legs to provide a little extra support for your hips.

TAKE IT EASY

When it comes to your rest, the healthiest thing you can do is listen to your body. Put your feet up when you feel tired, make the most of naps, and be sure to get to bed early. With your body going through so many changes, now’s the time to make the most of a little extra you-time, and rushing around or skimping on your sleep will impact on your well-being. If you find yourself short of breath, prop yourself up on pillows to relieve pressure from your lungs and have a breather with a cup of tea of a good book.

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FAQ:

Stock up on some tart cherry juice!. Studies have shown that this melatonin-rich drink can extend your sleep by up to an hour and a half–ideal for removing any sleep troubles while pregnant. You might also want to speak to your doctor about magnesium supplements, as this clever mineral can help you relax and wind down before bed time. The general guideline dosage is 200 to 400 mg per day, but see what your doctor suggests.

If you’re looking for extra comfort and body benefits, then sleeping on your side – especially on your left – is the best way to sleep throughout your pregnancy (and it won’t hurt to continue after your pregnancy, either). Sleeping on your left optimises blood flow, keeping the weight of your uterus off your right side. If you need a little help adapting to sleeping on your side, then a pregnancy pillow can be a handy investment: these body-length pillows are adaptable to your body, providing key support between your knees and under your head.

Sleepiness during pregnancy – especially during your first and third trimester – is entirely understandable and to be expected: your hormones are working extra hard to help your body prepare, and meet, your baby’s needs. Stave off tiredness by establishing a good sleep routine–making sure to go to bed earlier, enjoy some longer lie-in’s, and embrace any chance you can to take a nap.

Enjoy the opportunity to spend a little longer in bed while you’re pregnant (because we guarantee you won’t spend as long under the covers once the baby is born!). You’re not only ‘eating for two’, but ‘sleeping for two’, too. Set a target of eight hours in bed each night: this way you’re more likely to at least manage seven hours of sleep when things don’t quite go to plan.

If you were once in the habit of sleeping on your stomach, then you might now be worried about how your position affects your growing baby. Truth is, you’ll probably discover that it’s really not so comfortable any more, and might naturally move into another, cosier sleep style. If you find yourself still sleeping on your belly, then there’s no need to worry: there’s still plenty of room inside your belly for your baby. However, as you approach your second and third trimester, you’ll most likely find that it’s just not possible to stay sleeping on your belly for too long.

Remember how your grandma always told you to stop slouching? Well, you might want to heed her advice, as good posture during pregnancy will aid your comfort. Keeping your spine and hips aligned will keep your posture in good form, so if you’re in need of a sit down, be sure to sit up–and avoid reclining unless you fully lay down. If you want to give your positioning a little a hand, then a exercise ball can work as a good reminder to keep your back straight while sitting at your desk. If it’s all-too-easy to flop-back on your sofa, then try sitting butterfly style on the floor while watching TV.

Until very recently, women were advised to avoid any strenuous activity, including heavy lifting and bending over. However, it’s all about balance and knowing what feels good to you, and these days there are plenty of yoga and exercise classes designed for expectant mothers. A good rule of thumb is to simply modify your previous routines, like stretching, and to explore what works for your body.

While it may feel at times that your baby never seems to stop moving around in your womb, they actually spend a whole lot of time sleeping in there. In fact, by the third trimester, your baby is sleeping 90 to 95 percent of the time (no doubt working up the energy to keep you entertained with even more movements!).

It’s one of those curious things that no one seems to remember to mention until you find yourself with a watery mouth and a bit of confusion. Yet producing more saliva during your pregnancy is completely normal, due to those fast-changing hormones. While it’s harmless and temporary, it can be be bothersome, so if you find your mouth filling up, carry around a handbag-size bottle of mouthwash to gargle an dispel any funny taste you might experience, and keep hydrated with plenty of water, too.

The best thing you can take for your tiredness is extra time for sleep. A nap whenever you’re feeling low on energy can be just the boost you need to help you through your day. Help recharge your batteries with regular breaks to to stretch, practice deep breathing, and go for a stroll around the park or neighbourhood to help get your blood flowing. Small, wholesome meals and healthy snacks throughout the day can keep your tiredness at bay and your energy-levels optimal.

Feeling fatigued goes hand-in-hand with being pregnant. In fact, it’s one of the first signs that you’re expecting. The reason is that your body is working on supporting a baby in your womb. For example, a huge amount of energy goes into big feats like creating placenta, the organ that among many things provides the growing baby with nutrients and oxygen. Remember: what may seem like excessive sleeping during pregnancy is actually quite normal.

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Customers seeking the best sleep of their life will love the many perks that buying a Nectar mattress rewards them with. We’ve perfected a combination of cool, breathable comfort and support for your best rest. And beyond that, we’ve made sure to provide the best practices in the industry, offering friendly customer service, a Forever warranty and a 365 night home trial period with free shipping and returns.

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