Read how you can make bedtime with your bump a dream come true...
Your new baby might cost you sleep after their arrival, but there’s no reason why catching some kip has to be so laboured before then.
Try these top tips to have a great night’s sleep:
1. Sleep on your side
Sleeping bump down is going to become increasingly uncomfortable the closer you get to your due date, while sleeping on your back can lead to backache and breathing issues. The National Sleep Foundation in the US advises sleeping on your left side from the third trimester onwards. This allows optimum blood flow to the foetus, uterus and kidneys.
2. Place pillows between your legs
If you’re going to sleep on your side, you’ll need support. Specially made pregnancy pillows are designed to fit between your legs to relieve pressure on your hips – although you can achieve the same effect with a few normal pillows. Choose a firm pillow between your legs and another under your stomach to keep your body in a comfortable position. Experiment with different firmness levels for your neck and head, too.
3. Stay active during the day
This one may seem a little difficult given the extra weight of your baby, but there are a number of pregnancy-friendly workouts to keep your fitness up and your sleep patterns regular. Swimming, walking or yoga gently raise your heartrate and use enough energy to make you feel tired by the end of the day. Make sure any exercise is complete at least three hours before bedtime.
4. Avoid late night eating
Heartburn occurs when stomach acids rise into the oesophagus. During pregnancy, hormone changes cause muscles to relax and allow acids to travel upwards more frequently. It’s important to eat smaller meals more often, but you should also avoid chocolate, spicy foods and fatty foods before bedtime to ensure you’re not woken by heartburn. Try staying upright an hour after a meal or take a short walk to encourage digestion.
5. Establish a routine
A bedtime routine signals to your brain that it’s time to wind down and release sleep-inducing hormones. Start with a warm shower before bed to loosen stiff neck and shoulder muscles while also improving circulation. Massaging in moisturising balm can prevent stretch marks and relax your body further. When you’re ready for bed, avoid the blue light of your phone and pick up a book on a regular basis to train your brain to switch off when it suits you.