Written By Guest Blogger Hilary Thompson:
Getting enough sleep is important for everyone—it’s even more important when you’re sleeping for two. Close to 80% of pregnant women suffer from insomnia and other issues causing insufficient sleep, with many factors contributing to those lost hours of rest.
Here are some common causes of insomnia during pregnancy, along with helpful tips to combat these problems and get better sleep for you and your developing baby.
Hormonal changes, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, lead to daytime sleepiness and, in many women, hot flashes and night sweats.
To get a full night’s sleep, avoid daytime naps no matter how tired you might feel, as sleeping during the day makes it harder to sleep at night. Regulate the temperature in your bedroom by turning down the thermostat to around 65 degrees, an ideal temperature for sleep that lowers your body temperature and makes sleeping while pregnant easier.
Changes in your body can disrupt your ability to sleep in your favorite position. Your growing tummy makes it difficult to sleep on your stomach, and sleeping on your back causes backaches, breathing problems, digestive issues, and hemorrhoids. If you sleep on your back during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, the baby’s weight rests on your intestines along with the aorta and vena cava, which can result in low blood pressure and cause a decrease in circulation to your heart—and the baby’s.
The best position for sleep during pregnancy is lying on your left side, which increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your baby. For further comfort, keep your legs and knees bent with a pillow between them. For your upper body, use a cooling gel pillow—it will provide both support and a cool surface to sleep on when you get too hot. This is especially nice during the hot flashes pregnant women tend to get.