Good sleep was hardest for me during my third trimester.
Work was stressful (as I began prepping for maternity leave), my belly bump was growing by the minute, and getting in and out of bed to go to the bathroom 5-6 times per night was a workout in itself.
When my midwife noticed I was getting tired, cranky, and emotionally and physically worn down she told me to get more rest and get better sleep.
Oh, is that all? I thought to myself.
But she was right. For the sake of myself, my baby, and a healthy (and easy) birth I had to try.
No, I had to find a way. So I did.
Here’s what helped me get better sleep:
- Stop working in bed.
Ten years from now (or even two years from now), what will you remember about your pregnancy? How great a job you did at work when you were seven months pregnant? Or how miserable you were because you had to work so much?
Prioritize, my friend. You’re becoming a parent. Time to focus on what really matters. Right now, that’s you!
Bedtime is now “me” time. Bed is for sleep, sex, and maybe some light reading (if it doesn’t keep you up longer). Leave your phone, laptop, and tablet in the other room.
- Turn down the lights.
Blue light at night tells your body that the sun is still out (it’s daytime!) so you’re not ready for sleep.
“…nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles. Therefore, a reduction in melatonin at night is associated with…sleeplessness.” // ChrisKresser.com
As the sun starts to set, turn off all your overhead lights and consider using amber LEDs around the house and an amber book lamp if you’re reading in bed.
- Wind down with yoga.
Yoga is an excellent way to relax before bed. Deep breathing coupled with mild stretching makes for the perfect pregnancy go-to for better sleep.
Check out these five simple yoga poses you can do right now!
- Relax with meditation and aromatherapy.
A guided relaxation meditation would be perfect for that busy mind of yours. It’ll calm your thoughts enough to ease any stress away, and you might just slip into sleep before the meditation is over!
Aromatherapy, like diffusing some lavender in your bedroom at night, can help your muscles relax when you’re just too tired to do yoga.
Check out this post to find out how I used both to beat stress during my pregnancy.
- Invest in a pregnancy pillow.
…or whatever you need to make your bed as comfy as possible! I started with multiple pillows so could use one under my head, one under my belly, and one in between my knees.
However, instead of helping me relax they made me even more tense. Every time I moved, the pillows would shift and I’d be even more uncomfortable than before.
Once I bought my Total Body Pregnancy Pillow, my sleep changed.
It’s basically a super-long body pillow, so I could bend it into a “U” and turn from side to side whenever I wanted and still have my pillows in place. I also tucked it in behind me, beneath my shoulders and hips, for maximum relaxation.
It was long enough to mold to my body without the pillow escaping, so I could adjust and wiggle into the most perfect sleeping positions any time during the night.
And, if I wanted to make room for hubby, I could bend it into an “L” and have a pillow on one side, hubby on the other.
Whatever you do, focus on you, Momma. Don’t cheat yourself out of a rested, happy pregnancy.
Get better sleep. Find a way.