Αrticle from Dr. Garavelas, Gynaecologist, Fertility Specialist
The youngest member of the family will keep you awake long before he makes his big entrance. For many pregnant women, a good night’s sleep can be impossible! This is because the hormones make you warm up and your bladder asks you to go to the toilet… again!
Some say it is a preparation for the many sleepless nights you will spend with your baby. According to one study, all expectant mothers report frequent awakenings, while 3 in 4 women do not sleep well.
Make sleep a top priority
Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Listen to your body! If you feel tired go to bed earlier or take an afternoon nap. Rearrange your schedule to put sleep on top of it, even if you need to put some responsibilities on your partner.
Eat healthy food and the right time
At one time you may feel nauseous and at another you may have a burning sensation. Food is medicine, said Hippocrates famously, and he was right. To reduce heartburn, avoid foods that are spicy, acidic or fried. Also, try to finish your dinner four hours before going to bed so that your digestive system has enough time to do its job. Avoid eating dessert near bedtime as this will cause the baby to start moving while you try to rest. If you need a night snack, a good choice would be cereal with milk or cheese with crackers.
Gynecologists say that women who exercise during pregnancy find it easier to sleep at night because they have increased activity during the day. It would be good to exercise 30 minutes a day but without exaggerating!
Attention to what you will drink before sleep!
Like food, what you drink plays an important role in sleep. Say no to caffeine 6 hours before bedtime but drink a glass of milk (hot or cold). Calcium helps the brain produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. You can also drink a chamomile or herbal tea for a mild soothing effect.
The sleep position
If you are in the first or even second trimester of pregnancy you may not need to think about your sleeping position yet. Your baby is very well protected. The ideal position, especially in the last stages of pregnancy, is to be on your left side, which allows for optimal blood flow. You may also need to put a pillow between your legs to support your abdomen.