Sleep like a baby with these tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep during your nine months!
As a soon-to-be Sassy Mama, it can get pretty difficult to get your beauty sleep, especially during your 3rd trimester. You are definitely not the only one complaining about the poor or reduced sleep length during these last 3 months. There are several things at play that cause those unnecessary dark circles and puffy eyes:
- Difficulty in finding a comfortable position with your growing belly – especially for those mamas who usually sleep on their front or back.
- Your growing baby practicing gymnastics in your uterus whilst you are trying to sleep
- Hormones (ughh)
- A mind running a hundred miles per hour thinking about your baby and work issues
- Toilet dashes in the middle of the night due to your uterus pressing on your bladder
…along with many more. Some say it’s Mother Nature’s way of giving you some practice for the disrupted nights ahead, practice does make perfect…doesn’t it??
Whilst it can be frustrating to be wide-awake and restless in the middle of the night, for the most part it’s unfortunately part of the pregnancy deal. I know you didn’t realise you signed up for sleepless nights but don’t worry, not all hope is lost! You can still put some good sleeping practices in place with the aim of reducing initial settling time or middle of the night resettling time, or as some call this prep time “sleep hygiene”, to get in a (relatively) good night’s sleep.
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible for the whole night
- Ensure the temperature in your bedroom is cool. Warm rooms encourage sleeplessness due to the fact that part of the process of falling asleep is that your body temperature slightly dips.
- Have a good bedtime routine. This means going to bed at roughly the same time each night with a pre-bed ritual of the same steps each time. This conditions your body and mind that it is time for sleep. It may involve a cup of herbal tea, soothing music, warm bath, a book, no electronics, meditation, or just some DMC (deep meaningful conversation) time with your other half.
- It may come to your surprise that exposure to the blue light emitted from our iPads, phones and laptops can interrupt the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Not only does it lengthen the time it takes you to fall asleep, but can even encourage wake ups between sleep cycles and stall your ability to resettle down again.
- Try to be in bed by 10 pm. The sleep you get before midnight is more restorative and worth more than what you get after midnight. Don’t be the one to resist your bedtime; you have your little one to fight for years to come!
- Try not to ‘think’ if you wake up in the night. Tell yourself “it’s sleep time” and repeat periodically to keep your mind from waking up too much and wandering from topic to topic.
- Aim to wake up and start the day at the same time each day and be sure to get outside in the light so your circadian rhythms are correctly set.
- Eat a balanced diet and be aware of any foods that are causing indigestion or have the power to keep you awake. You might want to skip that cup of afternoon coffee. Leave at least a couple of hours between your last meal and getting ready for sleep.
- When you wake in the night gently focus on breathing from your belly. Try placing one hand on your growing belly and another on your heart and breathe slowly and deeply, concentrating on your breath. Before you know it, you’ll be knocked out once again.
- Think positively – it is all too easy to focus on the negative, but as hard as it is to believe, everything is going to turn out just fine!!
- Ensure your bed mattress is firm and comfortable. Alternatively, buy a pillow-top style mattress cover to create more comfort and a V pillow can also come in very handy to help you position comfortably on your side.
- As soothing as a cup of camomile tea is before bed, be careful not to overdo it with fluids or you are setting yourself up for more trips to the bathroom.
- Avoid turning lights on or getting up more than you have to, light and movement signals to your body that it is awake time and you can find yourself becoming fully awake quite easily.
- Wear non-restricting pajamas or wear nothing! An oversized tee shirt is often your most comfortable option.
After all is said and done, try to just enjoy being pregnant and connecting with your growing baby. See these disruptions as part of the process and preparation for the early months of interrupted sleep with your new baby. As with anything, if there is something about sleep or positioning that is particularly worrying you, don’t hesitate to speak to your midwife or doctor.