Dealing with Sleep Deprivation during Pregnancy


One of the most frustrating things that new mothers must put up with is not being able to get a good night's sleep after a long day on their feet and experiencing the pangs and pains of daily pregnancy symptoms. However, understanding why your sleep gets interrupted and what to do to improve your situation will help you get the rest that your body needs.

Common Reasons behind Sleep Deprivation

1. Frequent Urination – As your uterus grows, it will place more pressure on your bladder, causing its capacity to shrink and hence trigger the need for frequent trips to the bathroom both night and day, which can cut in into your sleeping time. Try to avoid drinking an hour before heading to bed to limit your nightly bathroom visits. 

2. Queasiness – Most women feel nauseous when their stomach is empty, so eat a small carbohydrate-rich snack before turning in for the night, and keep some crackers next to your bed for a quick morning fix. 

3. Heartburn – Heartburn can be extremely uncomfortable in some cases and will wake you up at night. To limit heartburn, take smaller and more frequent meals, wait a few hours before lying down after eating, and drink plenty of light fluids. You should also keep away from citrus, chocolate, spices and fried foods, all of which irritate the esophagus. Have your doctor prescribe antacid pills which you can take after meals if needed. 

4. Leg Cramps – You might wake up at night with a sudden and extremely uncomfortable leg cramp, which is a common occurrence for pregnant women. Leg cramps can generally be alleviated by gently massaging the calf, stretching the foot heel first, and placing a hot water bottle on the cramped area.
 

Suggestions for Comfortable Sleeping

1. Maternity Pillow – The maternity pillow is basically two pillows attached together with fabric and velcro tabs, and it is used to support your back, enabling you to adjust your sleeping position to achieve greater comfort. 

2. Pregnancy Wedge – As its name suggests, this pillow is shaped as a wedge and helps support your belly when you sleep on your side. You can also use it when you'd like to lie on your back in a semi-reclining position. 

3. Full-length Body Pillow – Designed to support the back and belly, this type of pillow is usually measured at over 5 feet long and offers the support of three pillows combined.
 

Best Sleeping Positions

You should sleep in any position that makes you comfortable, but some specialists recommend that you sleep on your left side if you can, as it is conducive to unobstructed blood flow. Your mattress will play an important role in your level of comfort as well, so make sure that you have a firm mattress that supports your curves. Placing a pillow between your legs can also help.