Feeling tired is all part and parcel of being a parent, but it doesn't just start with the sleepless nights after you bring your little bundle home from the hospital. One of the first signs you might be pregnant is tiredness and this most likely will only get worse as the baby grows and it becomes more and more difficult to get a good night's sleep. Physical discomfort, indigestion, the baby kicking and frequent trips to the toilet all contribute to a disturbed night's sleep. Getting enough rest and relaxation for the challenges ahead is vital at this time, especially as a lot of your energy is going into making a baby. Here are some tips on how to get that all-important good night's sleep when pregnant...
Find the perfect position:
This is easier said than done, especially with a growing bump. Take time to arrange the pillows to give maximum support at night. Tuck a pillow behind your back, in between your ankles and thighs (to take the pressure off the pelvis) and one underneath the tummy. Investing in specialist maternity sleep pillows is a matter of personal choice as some pregnant women find them large and cumbersome while others swear by them. If you have started to suffer from heartburn since becoming pregnant, it might be a good idea to sleep in a more upright position.
Being pregnant is an exciting time and it can be difficult to switch off with so many plans for the future whirring around in your mind. This is only made worse by the pregnancy hormones raging through the body, making you much more emotional and highly strung. To help get you in the right frame of mind, avoid snacks that are high in sugar and caffeinated drinks just before bed as this will stimulate rather than relax. Take a long bath, read a book, make yourself a milky drink or try deep breathing exercises as part of your bedtime routine. Some light exercise taken a few hours before bed can help reduce stress and promote a good night's sleep.
The powers of lavender:
Lavender has always been used for helping with insomnia and is perfectly safe to use when pregnant. Try adding a little lavender oil to your bath, or put a couple of drops on your pillow, sheets or pyjamas before bed. Alternatively, slip a lavender sachet into bed with you or use a fragrant pillow spray.
Rest and recuperate:
It can sometimes seem impossible to find the time to take a break when you are pregnant, especially if you have other children to look after but wherever possible, try and have moments of rest during the day. If someone offers to help you out, jump at the chance and don't waste it doing catch-up chores. A day-time nap of around half an hour can work wonders - any longer than that and it might affect your sleep later on.