You hear the tales of crying babies and sleepless nights from your friends who’ve gone before you, but no one ever told you about the sleepless nights leading up to the baby’s arrival. What’s up with that? Well, aside from increased trips to the restroom and just needing more sleep in general, some women don’t notice much of a change while pregnant. For those less fortunate, the twice-a-night feedings will be a welcomed relief once baby makes his appearance. Whether you’ve just found out you’re preggo or you’re in your third trimester and wondering just how much bigger baby can possibly get, here are six tips to implement in hopes that you’ll get some well-needed sleep tonight.
Cut Out Caffeine
You know that you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol now, but severely limiting, or altogether cutting out, sources of caffeine such as soft drinks, coffee, tea and chocolate is also something to consider. If you can’t cut them out of your diet, restrict them to mornings so that the caffeine will be out of your system by nightfall.
Make Your Bed Comfy
If you’re in need of a new mattress, now’s the time to really shop by mattress brand to find the one perfect for you. A high-quality mattress will give you the rest and comfort you need. You’ll also want to stock up on comfy pillows — including a full-body length one — to use to prop up your legs, wedge between your knees or support your lower back while sleeping on your side.
Take a Power Nap
If you find yourself dozing off after lunch, implement nap time by setting your alarm for no more than 30 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to get enough sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. A nap might sound enticing come 4 p.m., but try your best to resist and know you’ll be sleeping soundly later on.
Turn Out the Lights
Begin your evening sleep routine by turning off the television, computer and other electronic devices that emit light. Light makes it difficult to fall asleep since it suppresses melatonin production, which is the chemical process needed to make you feel drowsy. By dimming your overhead lights and not having your eyes focused on a screen, your body will be able to prepare for sleep more easily.
Create an Evening Routine
Your baby books tell you that babies thrive on routine, but so do adults. Once you turn off your electronics, make yourself a cup of warm milk or have a light snack, if you need it, and relax by taking a bath, doing some light reading or spending quality time with your partner.
Keep up a Moderate Exercise Routine
You don’t need to slack off on exercise since you can do low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, prenatal yoga or water aerobics with your doctor’s permission. A special report from Harvard Medical School says thatregular exercise will help reduce leg cramps and improve your sleep. Plus it will keep you from ending up with too many post-baby pounds to sweat off.
Even if you were a user of medicinal sleep aids before becoming a mother-to-be, it’s important to steer clear of them now so they don’t harm your little one. TheBump.com suggests adding natural vitamins and minerals to your diet through foods or supplements. Calcium and potassium can help relieve leg cramps and can be obtained through a homemade smoothie made from banana and milk or yogurt. Always be sure to talk to your medical professional before adding supplements to your diet.
Elizabeth Lopez - Originally from Detroit, Liz is an automotive-engineer-turned-full-time mom living in the Atlanta area.
Thank you to our Guest Blogger Liz for such meaningful and helpful content!