10 tips for better sleep during pregnancy

With the birth of your baby drawing ever closer, so is the very likely prospect of sleepless nights, which is why you probably want to catch up on as much shut-eye as possible before the big day. But as many pregnant women can testify, it’s just not that simple, with interrupted or restless sleep a common reality throughout the nine months. Whether you’re having trouble finding a comfy sleeping position, are suffering painful leg cramps, getting up three times a night to use the loo, or experiencing vivid dreams that leave your brain in overdrive, our tips will help you get a little more rest.

Invest in a pregnancy pillow

Finding a comfortable sleeping position can feel impossible during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. When you’ve tried every possible position and still have an achy back or are just plain uncomfortable, you could be in need of a pregnancy pillow. The bbhugme pregnancy pillow is a unique pillow that can be adapted to suit your needs, whether you need support on your back, bump or knees, and helps reduce the need for tossing and turning. Many new mums swear by these after pregnancy too, as it helps create a comfortable position for both you and your baby when you’re feeding.


Limit fluids before bedtime

It’s important to keep hydrated throughout the day, but increasing your water intake usually means one thing during pregnancy – needing the toilet at least once an hour! If the constant trips to the loo are wreaking havoc with your ability to rest, try limiting the amount of fluids you drink immediately before bed to reduce the number of night wakings.


Create a calming atmosphere

It’s not uncommon to find it difficult to drift off even when you’re exhausted. If you’re able to, take yourself off to bed early, and create a soothing atmosphere in which to relax and unwind. Light a gorgeously scented candle and allow the fragrance to fill the room, and carry on the aromatherapy theme with a luxury body oil – or better yet ask your partner to give you massage. We love Neu Oil You Restore, which is infused with ylang ylang, lavender and sweet oil, to transport you to a state of complete relaxation.


Clear your mind

There’s always something else waiting to get done or a gazillion little things you need to organise in your head on a day-to-day basis. Some neuroscientists claim that an average human has around 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts in their head per day. No wonder it can feel a little busy up there! To set yourself up for good sleep you need to allow your brain and body to wind down after a busy day. Turn off your phone, computer screen or TV for the last hour to half hour before you go to bed. Read a book or listen to some relaxing music and take 5 minutes to write down everything (no matter how little!) you think you need to remember for the next day, in order to empty your headspace and make room for restful sleep.


Beware of sleep debt

You need way more sleep than usual when you’re pregnant. Why? Because you are growing a tiny little human in there and that takes a lot of energy from your body. Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you should be getting and the amount you actually get.  The good news is that, as with all debt, with some persistent work you can catch up and repay it – though it won’t happen in one extended sleep marathon. Taking a small daytime nap every day plus tacking on an extra hour or two of sleep during the night is what is going to help you stay in a good sleep balance.


Keep cool

After you conceive, your body temperature will go up by an average of nearly one degree due to an increase in your metabolism. Now, that may not sound like a lot but believe us, it is noticeable. Your body naturally recognises that it has to take care of two, and thus increases its normal activities leading to a higher body temperature.  Keep your bedroom extra cool and use linens that allow for easy circulation. Also, avoid exercise, warm baths and showers and caffeinated drinks during the last 2-3 hours before you go to bed.


Banish the clock

When you wake up in the middle of the night, avoid checking the time! You’ll either worry that you’ve only got a few hours left to sleep, or think it’s still early and be tempted to do some more reading when really you should just sleep. If there’s a clock in your bedroom, move it to another room for now. And as mentioned before, keep your phone out of reach.


Stay lightly active

Whether you’ve kept up visits to the gym during your pregnancy or you’re a complete fitness-phobe, it’s a good idea to keep active with some light pregnancy-friendly exercise – even if it’s just a few walking laps of your garden, as light activity is associated with more restful sleep. Whatever level of exercise you choose to do, make sure you’re comfy and supported with our maternity activewear.


Natural fibres

Comfort is key when it comes to pregnancy, and bedtime is no exception. It’s a good idea to choose pyjamas made from natural fibres like cotton to help regulate your body temperature. And don’t forget about the bed sheets – cotton or linen will be more effective at keeping you cool and comfy during the night.


Stretch your legs

Many pregnant women experience leg cramps during the night (particularly towards the end of pregnancy), which can be painful enough to cause waking. Although there’s limited research, stretching your calf muscles before bed may help prevent cramps – bend and stretch your foot vigorously 30 times then swap to the other. Then rotate each foot eight times clockwise, then anti-clockwise. Repeat these exercises a few times a day.