Insomnia is a common experience during pregnancy, particularly as you head into the last trimester. This can be particularly frustrating as there is a lack of sleep on the horizon when your baby arrives and you know that sleep will become a precious commodity. There are many factors that can play a role in insomnia during pregnancy here are some tips for ways that you can help combat insomnia as it arises.
Get yourself a body pillow! No seriously!
Body pillows designed particularly for pregnancy can be so helpful in addressing some of the physical body pain that we might experience while trying to sleep. The body pillows that are U-shaped and travel around the entire body tend to be the most comfortable for people (just talk to your partner about the fact you might need the bed to yourself for a few nights). The shape gives you the capacity to roll over from side to side and not worry about having to readjust the pillows. This means less chance of waking up fully as you readjust, and the support of the pillows can help ease hip, low back, neck and shoulder pain. Less pain means less discomfort which means the less likely you are to wake up.
Magnesium: talk to your care provider about adding magnesium supplements to your diet. Magnesium is often recommended in pregnancy in conjunction with calcium and can help the body repair its tissues and can support the building of strong bones and teeth, not to mention the support for fetal development. It has also been found to help with calf cramps and headaches, but many people report that magnesium also helps with issues around sleep.
Calm’s Forte: is homeopathic supplement to talk to your care provider about. Homeopathic remedies are made with 1 part herb to 1 million parts water. Therefore, the dose of the plant is extremely low and generally safe for pregnancy and also for children. Calms Forte is a combination of herbs that have been created to help lower anxiety and promote sleep and have been very helpful for many pregnant folks.
Snacks! And more snacks!: when our blood sugar dips we can also experience early waking. If our blood sugar dips the body will start to increase the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the system. This is the same thing that happens to trigger us when we wake up in the morning. When we are pregnant, particularly in the last trimester, our ability to eat large quantities of food goes down. As a result, we may not have all the reserves we need to get us through the night. Super charge your sleep with a handful of almonds, a piece of cheese or a spoonful of peanut butter before bed. Likewise, if you wake up in the middle of the night, have some almonds by your bed and eat a handful before you go back to sleep (you can also visit my blog post on better sleep through yoga which will give you a recipe of a calming bedtime drink to help get you through the night).
And remember, less sleep toward the end of pregnancy is a pretty normal occurrence. The worst thing we can do when we’re not sleeping is to create more anxiety around it. If you do wake up and find you are not sleepy or groggy, get out of bed, grab a book, change your scenery. Don’t let bed become a place that is fraught with stress and if you are awake, distract yourself so you don’t worry over it. Yoga also offers an amazing tool to help including restorative practices and practices for before bed. Visit our prenatal yoga videos to find some additional support.
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.