One of the most commonly asked questions I receive from clients in my Nottingham-based pregnancy fitness and prenatal Pilates classes is: “How can I make sleeping more comfortable during pregnancy?”.

 

And, I do appreciate, if you’re a new mum attending my Your Pelvic Matters or Mummies and Buggies sessions, I know first hand, your sleeping pattern is not what it used to be, unless you have one of those angel babies who “sleeps through the night”.

 

I can’t help you with your baby’s sleeping schedule unfortunately, because that’s out of my remit as an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert, but I thought you might be interested to learn some tips on getting a better night’s sleep, because it’s oh so important, so here goes:

 

  1. Maintain a consistent daily schedule – Your body needs to learn when it’s in sleep mode and awake mode, and the best way to do this is to go to bed at the same time, and wake up at the same time each day.
  2. Reduce caffeine intake – Avoiding caffeine altogether is best really if you’re struggling to get to sleep.  Caffeine is a stimulant and plays havoc with your sleep cycle and makes it harder for you to nod off the more you consume it.
  3. Turn off the computer/television/tablet/mobile – The bright light/backlighting associated with laptops, tablets and mobile phones these days doesn’t send you off to sleep, they stimulate your brain, so keep them switched off when you’re in your bedroom.
  4. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach – Your digestive system needs time to process your food, and if you eat too close to bed time, it’s actually quite dangerous, particularly if you have any heart conditions.
  5. Read fiction – Reading fiction is a means of escape for a lot of people and a great way of settling you off to sleep.  Choose books that are easy to read and ones that you enjoy.  Keep text books and work reports out of the bedroom.
  6. Engage in regular exercise – The benefits of exercise are numerous, and studies definitely show there’s a link between engaging in regular exercise ending in a better nights sleep.
  7. Limit beverage consumption before bed – If you’re getting up numerous times in the night for the loo, you might want to reduce your fluid intake a few hours before bedtime.  It’s important to stay hydrated obviously, and work your pelvic floor muscles too, for the same reason.
  8. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet – Invest in some black out blinds, install double-glazing and/or wear an eye mask.  You’ll look like a superhero and wake up like one too.
  9. Invest in a firmer mattress – During pregnancy, you’re busy growing a bump at the moment, and when you lie on your side particularly, the weight of your pelvis sinks down lower into a mattress if it’s really soft, causing back, pelvic and neck pain.  The firmer your mattress, the more comfortable you are, and the better chance you have of catching some zeds.
  10. Go to sleep and wake up using your internal alarm clock – Not always possible if you work set hours or shifts (why do you think I’m self-employed?!), but it makes sense to allow yourself to wake up naturally, doesn’t it, so you’re not rushing around and/or adding stress to your day.

 

And there you have it: My Top 10 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep!

 

Try out some of the techniques and let me know how you get on.

 

To help keep aches and pains at bay in the daylight hours during pregnancy, click here to find out more about my Bump to Babe pregnancy fitness and Pilates classes for pregnant women in Nottingham.

 

And, if you’re a new mum suffering with neck, shoulder and back strain from constantly lifting your baby, click here to check out how learning about your posture and alignment at Your Pelvic Matters and Mummies and Buggies can really help you!

 

Night night.  Sleep tight. Zzzz.

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