Are there ways to sleep better when pregnant? That was one major question I asked myself when I suddenly woke up one day and realized that my once flat tummy had turned into a big, strange balloon that made me walk like a penguin. I read countless pregnancy books and asked former preggies for ways to sleep better when pregnant. Some suggestions worked, some didn't. Ladies and beautiful preggies, here is a list of those that helped me sleep better.
1. The Magic of Pillows
This is top of my list of ways to sleep better when pregnant. Doctors will tell you to sleep on your side (specifically your left side) and there's nothing more comfortable than having pillows as your sleep best friends. You don't need to have those S pillows. Sleeping on my left side, I found bliss in tucking one pillow in between my knees, placing another one on my back and two pillows for the head and neck area. It worked wonders for me as I endured nine long months of being pregnant with twins.
2. The Distraction Brought about by Books
My husband's suggestion was to stop reading before bedtime! I am a worry wart and I tend to analyze things too much. The moment I found out I was pregnant, I took every chance to devour every pregnancy book in the bookstore. I stacked them on my bedside table and would finish one every two nights. There is nothing wrong about reading (in fact I started an organization to promote reading), but it turned me into a pregnant insomniac. Piece of advice? Stop reading an hour before bedtime. Or better yet, do not put those books in the bedroom.
3. The Trick with Quick Shower (or Warm Bath)
Pregnancy is a period of (so many) changes in the woman's body. It was my first pregnancy and I swear, I felt like I was turning into something else especially when I check on my weight. Yeah, destroy those weighing scales! Seriously, it can be very stressful. One of my bedtime rituals is taking a quick shower (or when I am in our other house - a warm bath) to make me feel clean and refreshed before I go to bed. It did wonders for me.
4. The Relaxing Effect of Music
My husband is Italian and loves classical music. We thought it might work for me - and the two mutants inside me. It didn't. I experimented though and finally felt at ease when I heard recordings of waves splashing, rivers flowing, birds chirping. It was very relaxing and soothing to my ears that in no time, I was off to Dreamland.
5. The Thing with Essential Oils
Chamomile is my favorite. Preggie books mostly endorse lavender as it is sleep-inducing. Whatever works for you, make sure that the oils you use are not synthetic. There are so many copycats in the market (much like orange-flavored juice which is just sugar water) that do you no good. I only put some few drops on my head pillows and take it from there.
6. The Drink-Less-Water after Five Rule
One thing I disliked about pregnancy is the frequent bathroom visits. The bladder suddenly becomes an annoying part of the human anatomy as it seeks more attention. A bursting bladder can wake you up in the middle of the night, cutting off your well-deserved restful sleep. I was five months into my pregnancy when I discovered that it works best for me to drink as much water as I can during the day while working or doing some errands. That made me drink less in the afternoon especially after five when my body starts to slow down and relax. Don't drink too much water after five so your bladder don't go ballistic in the middle of the night.
7. The Power of Meditation
I call it prayer. Every night, I took time to pause and recall the happenings of the day. I took time to breathe and expressed my gratitude for the life I have and the two lives I carried. After a long day, it is a wonderful exercise to just stop complaining and be thankful.
I gave birth to Nicholas and Antoinette in July 2013. It is hard to imagine how I managed to carry them in all those months. Sleep was something I had to work on while pregnant. Getting a good sleep can be challenging but it can be worked out and involves a lot of trial and error. How about you? Did you have any bedtime rituals made you sleep better while pregnant?