For many expectant parents, a full night of quality sleep is only a distant memory. Although it’s common, sleep deprivation during pregnancy can take its toll on a new mother’s health.
Here are some pointers for the pregnant women who’d like to get a bit more sleep before her life changes forever with the arrival of her new baby.
- Make sleep a priority during your pregnancy. Dr. Shalini Paruthi, director of the Pediatric Sleep and Research Center at Saint Louis University, said it’s important for pregnant women to develop a sleep routine that includes a regular bedtime. “There are some people who actually benefit from setting an alarm to remind them in the evening that it’s time to put everything away and wind down for the next 30 to 60 minutes, then go to bed,” Paruthi said.
- Create a soothing sleep environment. Make sure your room is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable. This will help expectant mothers get better quality sleep, which in turn, will help them stay fit for their upcoming labor and delivery.
- Monitor your fluid intake throughout the day. Beginning in the first trimester and continuing throughout the pregnancy, the need to urinate more frequently can result in nighttime trips to the bathroom. To alleviate this problem, drink plenty of fluids during the day, but cut back in the evening so bathroom visits don’t interrupt your sleep.
- Seek help for sleep disorders that arise during your pregnancy. It’s possible that weight gain during the third trimester of pregnancy can cause medical sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. “Sleep disorders can affect pregnant women just as much as if they were not pregnant,” said Dr. Paruthi. She recommends that a pregnant woman discuss sleep problems with her doctor and seek treatment both during and after the pregnancy for any sleep disorders.
- Use pillows to ease discomfort. Frequent heartburn, back aches, or leg cramps can disrupt sleep for an expectant mother. Avoid spicy foods and keeping your head elevated on pillows for heartburn relief. Using extra pillows to support your back, legs and tummy will help reduce aches and keep you more comfortable during the night.
Don’t forget, early pregnancy is a good time to evaluate your mattress. If it’s almost eight years old, sags or feels lumpy, or simply isn’t comfortable, it’s a good time to replace it. Remember it’s best to Replace Every 8. Mattress Firm employees are happy to help you find the right mattress for you and your baby. Then you can get the quality sleep you’ll need during the latter part of your pregnancy.
About The Author
As senior vice president of communications for Mattress Firm and mother to two beautiful children, Sunni Goodman shares her thoughts here on The Daily Doze on all things sleep and parenting, especially the disconnect between the two.
Mattress Firm is both literally and figuratively a family for Sunni, having worked alongside her sister who recruited her to work for Mattress Firm in 2007, and her husband who she met her first day on the job.
In addition to her love for chocolate and dancing, Sunni’s heart lies in sharing the Mattress Firm story. She provides strategic direction on Mattress Firm’s internal and external communications plans and lends her passion for serving her community to the Ticket to Dream Foundation, which supports the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program, and raises funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer. In 2010, Sunni received the company’s Growth Award, which recognizes individuals who have lead efforts to advance sustainable and profitable growth in the company, and have developed and evolved personally and professionally.
She is a proud alumna of Stephen F. Austin State University, where she was a setter for the Ladyjacks volleyball team. Sunni lives in Ft. Worth with her husband Jason, son Ruxin and daughter Remy.
Best Night’s Sleep: While Sunni escapes every night to her dreamy adjustable base bed – complete with massage function – when she has the chance to take a nap, you can find her on her creaky, lumpy couch. And if you ask her the key to having sweet dreams, she’ll tell you it’s hearing “I love you,” from Jason, Ruxin and Remy before drifting off to sleep.