Pregnancy is the most important period in a woman’s life. In fact, it is so crucial that we don’t even have to say it.
Because it involves not one life, but two.
And even more important are the Dos and Don’ts, for this is a period when a woman’s body undergoes radical changes. So, it is imperative to take precautions.
Especially, to take care of the way she sleeps. And that is what we are going to talk about in this post – which is the best of all the pregnancy sleeping positions. Keep reading.
Why Are You Uncomfortable In Your Normal Sleeping Position?
Even before knowing the best sleeping position during pregnancy, you must know this – why are you feeling uncomfortable in your normal sleeping position?
The reason could be one or more of the following:
- Increase in abdomen size
- Shortness of breath
A change in your sleeping position can alleviate these issues (except for an increase in abdomen size, obviously).
What Is The Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy?
How to sleep during pregnancy? Is sleeping on the back a healthy option during pregnancy? These are some of the questions that we will answer in this post.
The best sleeping position during pregnancy is SOS, or sleeping on the side. What’s even better is sleeping on your left side. Doing so increases the amount of nutrients and blood reaching your placenta and baby. Ideally, you can keep your legs and knees bent, and place a pillow between your legs.
Sleeping on your left side also improves circulation. Additionally, this is the best sleeping position for pregnant women as it prevents the increasing body weight from pushing down too hard on the liver.
[Related: Best Mattress For Side Sleepers]
What Are The Sleeping Positions You Need To Avoid?
Knowing the wrong sleeping position is as important as knowing the right one. Or probably more. And knowing how to sleep when pregnant can solve half of your troubles.
Avoid back sleeping. Because sleeping on your back puts unwanted pressure on the blood vessels running behind your abdomen that carry blood from your legs to the heart. When this happens, blood circulation slows down in your body. This can be dangerous for you, and more importantly, your baby.
Sleeping on your back can also cause difficulties in breathing. Your belly pushes down on your intestines, leading to other stomach troubles.
Back sleeping during pregnancy might also cause hemorrhoids and a drop in the blood pressure levels.
And you definitely must avoid stomach sleeping. For obvious reasons. Not just because it gets difficult for you to sleep on your stomach, but also because your stomach presses on your expanding uterus – and that is something not desirable.
Sleep Positioning Tips
Sleeping during pregnancy can sometimes get tricky. What to do? And what not to? That is what we will discuss here. Here are a few additional tips that will help you sleep healthy during your pregnancy.
- Additional back and stomach support is crucial during pregnancy. To achieve this, you can simply place a pillow between your knees and under your tummy.
- In case you experience shortness of breath, just place a pillow under your side. This raises your chest, and you can feel the relief.
- If you are suffering from heartburn, all you need to do is prop up the head of the mattress. You can do this by placing books or blocks underneath the head of the mattress. This helps the acids in your stomach stay down instead of allowing them to reach your esophagus.
- No tossing and turning. This can be okay on other days, but must be avoided during pregnancy. If you can’t fall asleep, don’t lie in bed. Get up and do something – preferably something boring that can induce sleep again.
The Pregnancy Sleep Guide – Common Sleep Challenges And Their Solutions
Pregnancy can be a challenge. The period means a major change in your body, and you would need to cope with certain conditions. But worry not – every challenge has a solution, and that is what we will see here!
The First Trimester
You might observe increased bathroom visits. Your uterus is growing and pushing against the bladder, inducing frequent urination. You also have body aches, given your swollen breasts and pelvic cramping. You might feel nauseous in the evenings and often late in the night. All of these might make falling asleep a hard task.
The solutions are simple. Firstly, you need to plan when you will go to bed. Just like planning your meals, you must know when you will sleep. And the best time to take a nap would be between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. Frequent naps will help.
Cut down on caffeine. If you can’t do that, then stick to caffeinated drinks only in the mornings. Avoiding consumption of fluids post 6 PM will help reduce bathroom visits.
Physical activity is important. Some kind of exercise in the morning or early evening can aid sounder sleep. But avoid late night workouts – these might trigger insomnia.
The Second Trimester
Though you might sleep better in your second trimester, certain challenges still persist. One of them can be heartburn. The growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach – resulting in the rise of acids in the esophagus. Lying down in bed when this happens can aggravate the condition.
Disturbing cramps in your calves and legs can wake you up and keep you awake in the middle of the night.
One of the solutions to these issues could be staying upright for about 4 hours after eating. This is because the digestive process takes longer during pregnancy. And when you sit straight post eating, you are allowing your digestive acids to do their work fast.
Avoid fried, spicy, and acidic foods as these might induce heartburn. Also, avoid carbonated drinks as the phosphorus they contain decreases the amount of calcium your body can metabolize. This invariably can lead to leg cramps.
Most importantly, develop a calmer mind. Anxiety can do more harm than all the challenges combined. Meditation, yoga, or even soaking in warm baths can improve your mood and induce a sense of calmness.
The Third Trimester
As you approach the end of your pregnancy, you might experience waking up at least three times in the middle of the night. There can also be increased incidences of back pain, which can cause sleep disruptions in pregnant women. The baby also drops lower in your pelvis, and this increases the urge to visit the washroom more often.
Abdominal weight gain can lead to the closure of your airways. This leads to snoring. Although rare, pregnant women can also slip into obstructive sleep apnea.
One effective way to counter the challenges in the third trimester is to sleep on your left side. This will take the stress off your lower back and improve circulation to your baby.
Lift your belly whenever you urinate. This helps empty your bladder completely.
In the eventuality of snoring or sleep apnea getting severe, you must visit a certified sleep specialist. A sleep specialist may prescribe you a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) that helps keep your airways open and ensures enough oxygen is available to you and your baby.
As they say, you are what you eat. So consume more of fortified grains and leafy greens. These help keep some of the issues at bay and improve your condition.
Though pregnancy is a challenge, it is definitely worthwhile. Sleep better and make your pregnancy more memorable! Tell us how this post has helped you. Do comment in the box given below.
[Related: Best Sleeping Position For Your Health]