Pregnancy can really do a number on your sleep, even if you’ve never had sleep problems before. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 78% of women report more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times.
And though good sleep is important to your health at any time, it’s even more important when you’re pregnant. That’s because it’s when you’re sleeping that your body resets and repairs itself, including your blood vessels, which are under increased pressure due to the extra blood flow required to grow a baby.
Here’s how to get better shuteye throughout your pregnancy:
Sleep on your left side
It’s ideal for your circulation, optimizes the oxygen and nutrients that get to your baby, helps your kidney function, and reduces swelling.
Get daytime exercise
Exercise can help you get to sleep easier at night, but make sure to avoid exercising right before bed; it can wind you up.
Om your way to better sleep
Stress about anything can keep you up at night. Try meditating before bed or listen to relaxing music as you’re drifting off.
Don’t drink liquids at night
Your growing belly puts pressure on your bladder, making middle-of-the-night bathroom trips more common. Try cutting out liquids after 6pm.
Add magnesium to your routine
Leg cramps are more common at night. Add a magnesium or calcium-magnesium supplement, which are shown to have natural muscle-relaxing (and calming) effects.
Keep your room dark and cool
Make sure your room temperature is comfortable (or even cooler than usual) and you don’t have any light sneaking in to disrupt your sleep.
Stick to a bedtime routine
Figure out what works for you and stay with it: warm bath, lavender sheet spray, a little reading and lights off.