Finding a suitable sleeping position that helps you relax comfortably between fluctuating hormones and a protruding stomach can make getting a solid eight hours of sleep every day quite difficult during pregnancy. If you find yourself frustratingly tossing and turning every night, there are natural sleep-inducing options you can turn to instead of resorting to drugs that can harm you and your baby.
Sleeping pills during pregnancy are not the best choice and should never be the first choice if you are facing difficulties sleeping. Typically, you can get your sleep schedule back to normal through a few easy and natural home remedies, as insomnia during pregnancy is nothing abnormal.
This guide delves into five all-natural, pregnancy-smart home remedies that can help you get a better night's sleep.
5 Natural Remedies for Insomnia During Pregnancy
Aromatherapy has been around for centuries and involves using essential oils on the skin for wellness or restoration. Research shows that scent molecules found abundantly in essential oils can travel directly from the olfactory nerves in our nose to the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
Aromatherapy is essentially safe during pregnancy, but it is best to consult a medical specialist about which scents can work best for you and which you should steer clear of.
Practice better sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene refers to sleeping habits that can boost sleep and is as important as body hygiene. Good sleep hygiene allows the brain to wind down and initiate the sleeping process. The following ways can help you improve your sleep hygiene:
Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day.
Sleep in your bed instead of any place that you find.
Make your bed highly inviting and comfortable.
Make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Avoid using screens before bed, including television, computers, and mobile phones.
Limit caffeine consumption during the day, or try to avoid it altogether.
Limit fluid intake a few hours before bed.
Get out of bed if you cannot sleep within the first 15-30 minutes.
Take a warm bath to reduce stress.
Drink a herbal tea
Herbal tea has soothing effects and can help you wind down before bed. Consuming a cup of herbal tea at least an hour before bed is advisable. You can also add lemon or lavender to your tea, or choose lemon or lavender balm teas as they make safe and delicious choices for pregnancy.
However, it is essential that you do not consume too much of it as it can upset your stomach and require frequent trips to the bathroom! Since certain herbal teas are not recommended in pregnancy, it is best to consult your OBGYN before brewing a cup.
Try taking dietary supplements
Dietary supplements can prove beneficial in promoting sleep, but it is critical to consult your medical specialist before their consumption. Although herbal and dietary supplements can help with sleep, not all supplements are suitable for intake during pregnancy.
Intake of melatonin supplements, which is a naturally occurring hormone, can also help. Research shows that melatonin intake can also support healthy brain development in your baby, but extensive insight is necessary to determine its definite effect.
If you face difficulty sleeping at night, you may be suffering from iron or folic acid deficiencies. It is advisable to ask your medical specialist to test you for potential nutritional deficiencies.
Include physical activity in your day
The continuous weight gain and physical demands that come hand in hand with pregnancy make an active lifestyle quite difficult. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists attributes multiple benefits to exercise during pregnancy, with improved sleep being the most significant. Certain others include:
Improved cardiovascular health
Decreased back pain
Lower risk of gestational diabetes
Insomnia during pregnancy's early and late stages is highly common and does not hint at an underlying complication. In fact, a research study comprising 486 pregnant women concluded that 33.2% of women had insomnia. Effective lifestyle changes and treatment, including therapy and exercise, can help overcome insomnia.
Although gentle exercise proves highly effective for insomnia in pregnancy, you should not follow an exercise regime without getting it approved by your medical professional.
Researchers recommend around thirty minutes of mild exercise daily, at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. Certain complications during pregnancy can make exercise unsafe, and thus it is pivotal to consult your doctor before starting a new workout plan.
If you are looking to consult a sleep specialist, SleepRx is the place for you. You can book a sleep apnea test or sleep study with a sleep specialist of your choice or even get an at-home sleep study, home sleep apnea test, or online sleep apnea test if you do not wish to leave the comfort of your home.