There’s nothing worse than being exhausted and longing for sleep but when you fall into bed you lie awake tossing and turning. Insomnia during pregnancy often comes at a time when you need it most.
There are various reasons why you may have trouble either falling asleep, waking up during the night or falling back to sleep during your third trimester including: needing to pee, lower back and hip pain, leg cramps, reflux, an active baby, restless legs syndrome (RLS) or anxiety and fear.
Here are some surefire ways to get more sleep in pregnancy:
FOOD AND DRINK
1. Avoid fluids an hour or 2 before bed to limit trips to the toilet. Instead, stay well hydrated throughout the day.
2. Drink chamomile tea at least 2 hours before bed to promote digestion and relaxation.
3. Avoid caffeinated drinks after midday as it’s a stimulant and may affect your ability to fall asleep easily.
4. Eat an easily digestible meal at least 2 hours before going to bed to prevent heartburn.
PREPARE TO REST
5. Enjoy a bath with 2 cups of epsom salts to relieve muscle tension, prevent cramps and induce sleep. If you don’t have a bath, soak your feet in a bucket of hot water with 1 cup of epsom salts.
6. Set up your bedroom for sleep. It should be cool, dark and quiet. If not, open the window, wear an eye mask and ear plugs.
7. Lavender essential oil in a diffuser (3- 5 drops) or massage onto the soles of your feet (1 drop with a tablespoon of carrier oil). You can get Young Living essential oils at wholesale prices, here
8. Sleep on your left side to promote digestion and reduce heartburn. Put a body pillow between your knees and ankles so your hips are stacked to reduce hip and lower back pain. As your pregnancy progresses, it may also feel good to put a small cushion under your belly. If you’re suffering heartburn, you may be more comfortable propped up with pillows.
9. Gentle stretching before bed such as hip circles and calf stretches promote circulation and reduce the likelihood of hip pain and leg cramps.
10. Practise Worries In A Box Meditation. As you’re lying in bed, visualise a box with a lid and a lock. As your worries come to mind (big or small), put them one by one into the box without giving them another thought. Continue to do so until your mind feels empty. Then visualise closing the lid, locking the box and putting it outside your room. Then wait for sleep to come.
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