Sleep never seems to come easy when you’re pregnant. And every trimester has its own sleep challenges. So while you may wake up every now and then to urinate in the first trimester, the second one likely keeps you awake due to your growing belly and the emotional stress you may be experiencing. Frequent nighttime urination makes a comeback in the third trimester. Additionally, your baby becomes quite big and is more active in the last trimester, which makes sleeping even more difficult.
Besides these common and uncomfortable symptoms, these are some others you can add to your list of sleep stealers:
- Constant hormonal fluctuations
- Physical changes
- Anxiety and stress about pregnancy and impending motherhood
- Body aches
With this long list of symptoms, it’s a wonder pregnant women get any shut-eye at all. Read on to learn some practical and holistic ways that you can get some much-needed beauty sleep during your pregnancy.
Beauty Sleep: 6 Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is crucial for your health and sanity, as well as your baby’s overall growth and development. Here are six tips for getting a good night’s sleep tonight:
1. Cut Off the Noise
Cut down on all distractions, especially the electronic ones, an hour or two before your bedtime. While you are pregnant, it is important to minimize the time you spend with gadgets, especially your phone, as it is a major source of radiation and blue light. Follow these other tips for cutting off the noise:
- Shut down your computer, switch off the television, and make sure you stay away from all devices that emit blue light.
- Instead of using screen time for your downtime, try reading or listening to some soothing music instead.
- Put your phone on silent and keep it out of sight. Nighttime is a time to focus on yourself and bond with your growing baby.
2. Treat Your Bed as a Sacred Sleeping Space
Give your bed the respect it deserves by treating it as a sanctuary for your beauty sleep. These tips can help:
- If you regularly sit on your bed to work, try to pick a different yet comfortable spot in the house. Perhaps you can work on the sofa propped up with a few pillows.
- If you have kids in the house who often play on your bed, teach them to clean up after playing—or better yet, encourage them to spend playtime in their room or somewhere else. Remember, your bed is your sacred place and you might need to teach others the same.
- Avoid eating in bed. Over time, your mind may begin to associate bedtime with snack time.
- Prepare your bed for a cozy night’s sleep. Add a pregnancy pillow to your sleep set-up to give your growing body the comfort and support it needs.
3. Take A Warm Bath
There’s nothing like a warm bath to soothe your senses. Follow these tips to augment the experiment and keep you and your baby safe:
- Light a fragrant candle—make sure you find a scent that will not make you nauseous.
- If you want to use bath products, make sure you use ones that are meant for sensitive skin. Check for ingredients, such as aloe vera. Aloe vera helps to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dryness; dry skin may make stretch marks appear more prominent. To nourish and moisturize the skin, use oils like jojoba, avocado, sunflower, and olive as well as ingredients such as black sesame seed, amla (Indian gooseberry), lotus, and wild turmeric. These products can prevent itchy skin. To make skin softer and prevent the appearance of stretch marks, try chamomile and calendula.
- Keep a dry towel handy and place a mat just outside the bath for you to step on as you exit. This will help you avoid accidental slipping.
- Be sure the water is not too hot. A good rule of thumb is to use body temperature water (98 °F) or a few degrees above. Never let your core temperature rise above 102.2 °F as it may pose a risk to your unborn baby. Typically, baths are much safer than hot tubs for pregnant women because most of the body remains outside of the water during a bath.
4. Sip On Some Warm Milk
Warm milk is considered a great sleep inducer, especially if you take it after a warm bath and right before bedtime. Here’s a fun idea for making your milk a nutrient-rich treat:
- Add some crushed almonds to your glass of milk for an added boost of calcium and nutrients.
Warm milk will also help your brain to make the hormone melatonin, which regulates your sleep and wake cycle. This hormone can cause drowsiness and lower your body temperature in sleep mode.
5. Ask a Loved One For a Massage
A light neck or head massage will help soothe any pain and reduce the stress that may be disturbing your beauty sleep. Try out these tips:
- Choose light, non-greasy oil, preferably non-fragrant. If you are using an aromatic oil, make sure it does not induce nausea. Some oils that are considered safe to use during pregnancy are rosemary, sandalwood, lavender, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, tea tree, lemon, chamomile, and geranium.
- Lie down on your bed, close your eyes, and ask a loved one to gently massage the area around your temples, forehead, and eyes. If you wish, ask them to apply a few drops of olive or almond oil to their fingertips before they begin.
- If you’re all alone, keep it simple and soothe yourself with a quick dry massage. Using only your fingertips, apply slight pressure to the scalp. This can help improve your blood circulation and relax your body.
6. Give Herbal Remedies a Try
Here are a few natural remedies that are safe to use during pregnancy and can help promote much-needed beauty sleep:
- Add two to three drops of your preferred essential oil, such as lavender or chamomile, on a tissue and keep it next to your pillow.
- If you are taking a warm bath before bedtime, add a few drops of lavender or chamomile to the bathwater.
- Some herbs that are known sleeping aids and are also safe to use during pregnancy are kava, St John’s wort, and valerian.
- To prepare a herbal tea, boil a cup of water, pour it in a cup and add a tablespoon of the dried herbs of your choice. Let it steep for about an hour, strain, reheat, and drink. Have one cup before a nap (if you’re so fortunate) and one before bedtime.
Sleep is essential for your physical and mental health as you undergo all the changes that make up the beautiful period of pregnancy. Although it can be frustrating struggling to get enough shut-eye, take comfort in the fact that there are six natural ways you that you can induce beauty sleep. So try some out and see what works for you. Remember, your budding baby needs you to be healthy and well-rested for their optimal development.
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Sleep Like A Baby: Natural Remedies To Keep Insomnia Away