How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy

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Sleep deprivation affects a staggeringly large number of Americans. As many as 40 million (12.7% of the population) suffer from chronic sleep disorders, and a full quarter of all Americans claim that their sleep problems have negative effects on their lives. These problems are compounded for pregnant women, many of whom have very real difficulty getting comfortable enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

How do you know if you aren’t getting enough sleep? The symptoms can often be confused with standard symptoms of pregnancy. If you’re experiencing any of these sleep deprivation symptoms, the best way to determine their cause is to keep a sleep log. Keep track of your sleep habits, chronicling the amount of time and characteristics of your sleep, and note the presence and intensity of any symptoms. If you notice a correlation, you might need to talk with your health care provider. Sleep deprivation systems can include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability or edginess
  • Inability to tolerate stress
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Frequent infection
  • Blurry vision, or seeing things in your periphery that aren’t there
  • General discomfort
  • Changes in appetite

How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy

Combating the effects of sleep deprivation and getting better sleep is easier said than done for most pregnant women. Try these tips to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep during your pregnancy.

  • Avoid naps. Even though you’re probably sleepier than usual, frequent naps can make it hard for your body to rest at night.
  • Reduce anxiety. Try a yoga class or a meditation routine.
  • Stock up on pillows. Many pregnant women sleep best with plenty of support under their heads, arms, belly, knees, or backs.
  • Warm up some lavender. Scented pillows do wonders for sleep, especially when they’re warmed up and lain on sore parts of your body.
  • Head nausea off at the pass. Munching crackers throughout the day and avoiding spicy, fried, or acidic foods will reduce nighttime heartburn and nausea.
  • Simplify your bedroom. Using it for nursery planning, work, or even pregnancy reading will make it harder to associate your bedroom with rest. Limit its use to sleep and sex.
  • Invest in a new mattress. Memory foam mattresses will cradle your body, providing better support and helping you sleep better.

It’s not easy to avoid sleep deprivation symptoms during pregnancy, thanks to all the major changes your body is experiencing. Do your best to come to bed relaxed and to make yourself comfortable. What’s healthy for you is healthy for your baby, so take your sleep seriously. You won’t be getting much of it soon! Read more here:

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