Keeping active during the day seems to help alleviate restless nights. Give prenatal exercise classes a go, whether it’s pregnancy yoga or low-impact swimming. Because each pregnancy is so unique, first consult with your doctor to determine the level of activity you should aim for, and get advice as to what types of exercises would be best for you depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing.
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Avoid waves of nausea
Seems strange to be woken up by bouts of nausea, but it happens, especially early on in pregnancy. To prevent sleeplessness from adding to your daytime fatigue, keep crackers by your bed and snack on a few even before sitting up. Though they may be bland, they’ll be all you want to eat when you’re feeling queasy, and they prevent you from being too hungry, which is what contributes to nausea.
Prevent leg cramps
No one really knows why pregnant women tend to have leg cramps at night – maybe it’s the weight gain or extra blood and liquids swirling around. When cramps strike, quickly elevate your calf and point your toes to the ceiling. Experts share that not sitting or crossing your legs for too long helps, as will eating foods rich in magnesium such as beans, nuts, whole grains and leafy veggies that also offer good nourishment for you and baby.
Keep heartburn at bay
If heartburn is disturbing your sleep, try not to eat too close to bedtime to allow time for digestion, have smaller meals throughout the day, and keep your upper body slightly elevated while you sleep. If you don’t feel comfortable eating antacids to quell the burn, one popular natural remedy is to drink a honey and apple cider vinegar concoction — one teaspoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar in a cup of water — seems counterproductive but many claim this works.
Build a pillow fort
For maximum blood flow to baby, mums are encouraged to sleep on their left side. A body pillow will help you sleep better and be in a better mood throughout pregnancy, but you can also skip this purchase with a few tricks. Tuck a pillow between your knees to alleviate back pain, roll a towel and tuck it under your bump so it doesn’t sag and pull on your right side, and wedge a pillow or blanket behind you so you don’t roll on your back.
Ask your husband to rock you
Yes, like a baby. While you lie comfortably on your side, have your husband place his hands on your shoulder and hip and gently sway you back and forth. Not only does it help loosen your sore muscles, a loving touch is always welcome and encourages bonding.
Don’t drink water before bedtime
The urge to pee is common in the first trimester, and unfortunately it comes back as you move towards your third trimester, often waking you up in the middle of the night. With baby weighing heavily on your bladder, the pressure prompts you to make frequent trips to the loo, even right after you’ve just gone. Try to drink up during the day, so you can cut down at night without feeling too dehydrated.
Keep the room cool
While hubby used to be the one feeling warm all the time, regular fluctuations in metabolism and hormone levels can cause you to have hot flashes that make you wake up at night covered in sweat. You may also be developing itchy heat rashes exacerbated by inflammation and lowered immunity caused by poor sleep. Wear something cool to bed, or nothing at all, and keep the room comfortable by turning on the fan or setting the air-conditioning on dehumidifying mode.