Battling Prenatal Insomnia?
So you've got your pillows and you're doing your best to get comfy on your left side, but every time you lie down it feels like there's a German shepherd sitting on your tummy. Better sleep, however, starts long before it's time to turn off the lights. If you're having trouble getting enough Zs, make sure to do the following:
1. Get more exercise: It's not exactly rocket science, but you'll sleep better at night if you're physically tired.
2. To nap or not to nap? It depends. If you can't make it through the day without a quick snooze, that's fine. Try limiting those daytime naps to just 20 minutes, and don't nap in total darkness as this can upset your circadian rhythms.
3. Mind your mealtime: Obviously, what you eat is important. But so is WHEN you eat. A large meal right before bed can lead to indigestion and heartburn, obviously keeping you awake. Try to not eat anything after 8 in the evening.
4. Turn your bedroom into a restful retreat: For many years now, sleep experts have been saying that our beds should be used for only two things, sleep and sex, and yet many of us have turned our boudoirs into veritable entertainment centers.
· Other helpful tips for the bedroom:
o Crank up the AC or open a window. Our bodies are designed to sleep best in cooler temps, preferably somewhere between 60-67 degrees.
o Try to make your bedroom as dark as possible
o Consider purchasing a white-noise machine or check out the Sleep Genius App
5. Adopt a nighttime ritual: Keeping a consistent schedule- going to bed at the same time, getting up at the same time- is important!
· An hour or two before bed, take a warm (not hot) bath or shower. The heat of the water will soothe tired muscles, while the rapid cooldown after toweling off further signals your body that it’s time to wind down.
· Brush and floss your teeth- a gentle reminder that you’re done eating and drinking
· Drink some chamomile or lavender tea. The smell of lavender slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, helps you fall asleep faster, wake up less in the night and experience more deep sleep! Talk about a super plant!
· Do some very light stretching or a few low-intensity yoga poses (check out our posts on prenatal yoga). A focus on deep breathing will further help to clear your mind.
· Finally, tuck in with a good book (a real book… not a tablet or kindle).
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