How to get better sleep during pregnancy
Having a baby is one of life’s true miracles. But it’s not always plain sailing for women. Especially if you suffer from sleeping problems, which can make you stressed and anxious at the one in your life time you could do without it.
The first and third trimesters are worst for fatigue, and changing levels of hormones are seen as the main culprit of sleep issues for expectant mothers.
Hormone changes have an effect on your muscles, resulting in snoring. If you’re overweight, things can get even worse, with sleep apnoea and night-time urination common.
The National Sleep Foundation’s Women and Sleep Poll found:
- 78% of women report more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times.
- Up to 15% of women develop restless legs syndrome (RLS) during their third trimester
- 51% of women have at least one weekday nap
- 60% of women have at least one weekend nap
And more shockingly, researchers from the University of California at San Francisco found that women who slept fewer than 6 hours per night had longer labours and were four and a half times more likely to need a caesarean delivery.
Four pregnancy sleep problems and how to treat them
Here’s how to combat some of the more common sleep problems that may occur during pregnancy:
- 1. Insomnia
Problem: The discomforts of pregnancy, and anxiety about the birth and the future keeps you awake.
Treatment: Practice good sleep hygiene, such as exercising during the daytime, avoiding heavy or rich foods before bed, and limiting caffeine intake. Avoid drugs as these can harm your unborn child.
- 2. Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
Problem: Creepy, achy or tingly legs which can be worse in the hours before bedtime.
Treatment: Vitamin B12 or B9 and and iron supplements will help reduce symptoms during pregnancy. Get these from grains, cereals, and breads. Again, avoid any RLS medications as these can be harmful.
- 3. Sleep apnoea
Problem: Where snoring and gasping for breath interrupts your sleep. Common if you’re overweight.
Treatment: A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse when you breathe. Ask your doctor about it.
- 4. Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
Problem: Also called heartburn, this can which damages the esophagus and keep you awake.
Treatment: Over-the-counter antacids will calm down your symptoms, plus they’re much safer than many other drugs.
Or why not try changing your mattress?
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Keeping your bed in pristine condition doesn’t just mean washing your bedding. You also need to take good care of your mattress so it stays fresh all year round.
Regular cleaning means you’ll benefit from a mattress that stays pest-free (so it’s healthier for you), that lasts longer, and that helps you sleep better because there are no stinky odours.
Follow our five-step plan to a spotless mattress and cleaner sleeping - after all, you spend a third of your life in bed!
The Danes do life properly. Instead of following home style trends like the rest of the world, they throw away the rulebook and create their own lifestyle, or mood.
If you’ve not already familiar with last year’s Danish design concept Hygge, it centres around the concept of living comfortably and embracing relaxation in your home as much as possible. This is thought to have a knock-on-effect, making you happier with life in general.
There’s nowhere easier to make cosy than your bedroom, so here are ten simple ways you can “go Scandinavian”, from increasing the warmth in your room to sleeping on a specialist Hygge mattress.
If your teenagers are playing up at the moment, it probably comes as no surprise. With puberty playing havoc with their body and minds, their behaviour can be erratic, at best.
But an alarming new study suggests that your child may not grow out of this difficult stage if they aren’t getting enough sleep. And that they’re 4.5 times more likely to commit violent crimes as adults if their sleep patterns don’t improve.