You’ve heard all about how you won’t sleep once baby gets here, and you are fully prepared to sleep as much as possible until that time. Except for…you can’t. No one warned you about pregnancy induced insomnia! It’s a really thing and can strike at any time, making it nearly impossible to catch any Z’s. Of course, if it hits during third trimester, you are also uncomfortable and toss and turn all night long which doesn’t help.
A few reasons for insomnia could be:
– Always wanting to know when your baby moves (keeping track)
– Having the frequent need to pee
– Bad dreams, or a general feeling of being anxious
So are there ways to settle your mind and body enough to finally doze off to sleep? Here are a few things you can try if you can’t sleep.
1. Write down what is bothering you and purge the bad thoughts from your mind. This could be therapeutic and be enough to shut your thinking down for the night so you can sleep a little more soundly.
2. Work on relaxation techniques. Meditation, aroma’s or sounds have been known to help calm the body and mind. Think about starting some sort of routine before bedtime. An example could be soaking in a lavender scented tub with dim lights, or candles lit. Make night time your own personal spa time and pamper yourself. Maybe even ask you spouse for a back or foot run to ease some of the tension in your muscles.
3. Hydrate! I know, this one seems counter intuitive considered the amount of times you get up to pee at night, but it is super important. Drink all the water you need for the day by 7pm so that you can empty your bladder completely before bedtime. You may still get up once or twice, but it beats the 5-6 times!
4. Get rid of artificial light around bedtime. You’ve probably heard the back light from electronics can wake you up and trick your brain into thinking it’s day time. Kick the habit. Shut down electronics early enough before you go to bed so your body can naturally produce melatonin which will help you sleep at night.
5. Eat a protein rich dinner. Protein can help your blood sugar stabilize which in turn stops sugar spikes throughout the night, keeping you asleep.
6. Exercise. Just like little kids, if you have an excess of energy when you are going to bed, it’s going to be harder to fall asleep and stay in a deep slumber. Work out (as long as you have been cleared by a practitioner), and make sure you are wearing yourself out. Toward the end of your pregnancy, you may not even need a lot of exercise because you are already so tired since your baby bump is big now.
Find what works best for you, and practice these before bed to help you get a more restful sleep.