Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Beat Pregnancy Insomnia

Everyone but Mommy's asleep!
So everyone tells you to sleep and rest as much as possible before the baby comes, because sleep will become a luxury. If you are like me right now, it has already become a luxury! Pregnancy insomnia is very common and can show its ugly face in many forms. Sometimes its that we cannot fall asleep, or sometimes its that we cannot stay asleep. I was lucky enough to be able to sleep just fine when I was pregnant with my son. With this pregnancy I have not been so lucky. So for my sake and for the sake of all you other mommies-to-be with bags under your eyes, hopefully my research and experiences will help us all!

What Causes Pregnancy Insomnia?

Having too much on your mind. You still haven't picked out a name, the nursery still looks like a storage room, and you cannot decide whether to go back to work after maternity leave...and that's just the tip of the iceberg, am I right?

Oh those wonderful baby kicks! Remember when you were so excited to feel those first movements of your little one. Not that they are not still magical, but they also might be keeping you up at night. Uh oh, baby is keeping you up already!

Getting up to go to the bathroom. Making a million runs to the bathroom each night might cut into your sleep time, especially during the first and third trimesters where that baby is sitting (and kicking at) your bladder constantly!

Nesting. This may be related to the first one, but for me it is different. You wake up in the middle of the night and have a STRONG erg to clean the bathroom NOW ! (or maybe its to wash another load of baby clothes) I know the feeling! I would start sweeping, mopping and vacuuming at midnight sometimes and it really cut into my sleep, but there was no way sleep would come until it was done!

Those wonderful pregnancy dreams. You know the ones! You wake up and think "What kind of drugs am I on?!" Pregnancy can cause some pretty crazy and frightening dreams and as a result of those dreams it may be hard to sleep or get back to sleep.

Ok, so it is not like you need me to tell you WHY you are not sleeping, right? So what are some ways we can put all of that aside and get some much needed rest for you and your growing baby. Here are some tips that I found while researching AND from personal experience.

1. Have a calm down time before bed. This should probably be around 30 minutes or maybe longer (Its longer for me because it just takes me longer to fall asleep) Put away the computer, phone and any other distraction that has a lot of light. Light from computers and other technology actually keeps your mind stimulated and awake. Grab a good book or a puzzle book (or in my case, my wonderful Kindle. Read a few chapters or do a puzzle. This will get your mind off the million different things you are worried about.

2. Limit your drinking before you go to sleep. This will (hopefully) help limit the times you need to get up and use the bathroom. I say limit NOT eliminate because if you are like me sometimes baby just needs a little something to eat or drink before bedtime (especially if you are still feeling kinda queasy)

3. Just get up and do it! Sometimes there is nothing you can do about that nagging feeling that is keeping you up. So get up, do a load of laundry, start organizing the baby's room or research more names. Sometimes doing a project will put your mind at ease enough to get some sleep.

4. Take a nice, warm, bath. In fact, you should probably make it a bubble bath. Take some time just sinking into the suds and relaxing before you head off to bed. This was one thing that has really worked. The water is still and quiet (unlike the shower) To make it even better, add some candles around the tub and turn off the lights. What a wonderful way to end the day! Make sure your bath is around body temperature (don't exceed 100 degrees) A bath too hot can cause your temperature to rise and is potentially harmful to your baby.

5. Get help from your husband. Ask him for a back/neck massage, or just to simply rub your back or play with your hair as you fall asleep. Getting some personal attention from the hubby might be exactly what you need to relax and fall right asleep.

6. Keep it dark. If you keep waking up in the middle of the night, keep all the lights off. If you need to, have a nightlight in the hall towards the bathroom. Keeping it dark will help your body stay in sleep mode. When a light is turned on, it wakes your body up more. Once you are back in bed, you have to re-adjust yourself to the dark and calm down again.

7. Make sure your room is the right temperature. If you are not comfortable, you will not sleep. Make sure it is not too hot or too cold. Basically make sure you are in charge of the thermostat (the hubby is not allowed to touch). If your husband complains about it being too hot/cold just simply say "welcome to my world!" No, I'm kidding, but the rule in our house is the pregnant lady gets control! (because if pregnant mommy aint happy NOBODY'S happy!)

8. Try some relaxation techniques. Try and clear your mind. Start with the top of your head and move down your body and consciously relax each muscle in your body. This will not only help relax your entire body more fully, it will also keep you concentrating on your body and NOT on the millions of things keeping you awake. This is also a great exercise to help prepare for labor!

What NOT to do:

DON'T use your bed as a work area during the day. This will cause your body difficulty in associating laying in bed with sleeping and will make your insomnia worse.

DON'T lay in bed longer than 45 minutes (more or less depending on how long it NORMALLY takes you to get to sleep). Get up, do something, eat something and try to lay back down in a little bit.

DON'T count the time. This will just make you more awake. Forget the "if i fall asleep at this time and sleep in til this time then I can get this many hours of sleep!" That type of thinking is just going to keep your mind awake!

Here are links to a few articles I found helpful in my research;
5 Ways to Cope with Pregnancy Insomnia
Insomnia During Pregnancy

So for the sake of all mommies-to-be with insomnia, I hope that at least one of these techniques help you get a better, more restful sleep at night. And if you are reading this later than midnight...SHAME! Turn off your computer and read a good book! (Just kidding!) Happy Zzzzz's to us all and as always, God bless you and your family!

Until the Whole World Hears,

No comments:

Post a Comment