Almost every family that is expecting a child is aware of how hard it is to get a good night's sleep especially in the latter months towards the end of the pregnancy. While it is not uncommon for both partners to lose sleep due to anxiety, it is especially tough for the expectant mother to get quality sleep during pregnancy.
However, many women actually enjoy better sleep during the first trimester of the pregnancy. However it is important to note that it is normal to feel tired; this is because the body is working hard to protect and nurture the developing fetus.
One of the most important reasons for the lack of quality pregnancy sleep during the latter months of pregnancy is due to the increasing size of the developing baby that makes it hard to find a comfortable position while resting and sleeping. The position that you sleep in is vital to the health and well being of both you and your baby. It is therefore important that you get used to the ideal positions for sleeping and resting early on in your pregnancy.
Most doctors recommend that pregnant women sleep on their left side as it helps in improving circulation throughout the body. Another specific reason for sleeping on the left side is because the liver is situated on the right side of the abdomen, so lying on the left side helps to keep the weight and pressure of the uterus off the liver. Blood flow is also enhanced to the fetus, the uterus and the kidneys while sleeping on the left side. Women who are accustomed to sleeping on their backs or stomach may find this change a little difficult for the first week or two.
Speaking with your doctor can help you to understand the best sleeping position as well as other tips in order to reduce the pressure on your back and joints.
Although you might be tempted to check out over-the-counter or nonprescription sleeping aids including home remedies, it is strongly recommended not to opt for any drugs or remedies during pregnancy. Some tips that might help in improving your chances of getting a good night's sleep include cutting out on caffeinated beverages and diuretics such as colas, tea and coffee, as far as possible. More importantly, make sure that you do not have these drinks before you go to bed. Stay away from consuming lots of water or fluids prior to bedtime, but ensure that you get plenty of liquids throughout the day. If you are bothered by leg cramps at night it can help if you press your feet hard against a wall or you can sleep with your legs elevated as this will increase blood circulation and ease the leg cramps.