Four tips for better sleep during pregnancy

January 11, 2013 12:00 AM by

Have restless nights kept you from enjoying the first few months of your pregnancy? If you're expecting a baby, you're probably prepared to handle a range of challenges, but lack of sleep due to discomfort probably isn't one of them.

While you may have a few solid, common sense ideas on how to sleep like a baby for the rest of your term, with these four helpful tips, you can better understand what it takes to gain the peaceful slumber you deserve. After all, once your little guy or girl arrives, good sleep will be hard to come by!

1. Avoid caffeine
Your healthcare provider has likely encouraged you to keep coffee and soda consumption to a minimum throughout your pregnancy. While this can be an important part of maintaining healthy habits while you're expecting, occasionally indulging can influence the quality of sleep you enjoy.

If you've snuck a few sips of coffee in during your workday, chances are you may experience tossing and turning later in the evening. Conversely, if you avoid caffeinated beverages in the hours before bed, you may be more likely to enjoy a restful night's sleep.

2. Take naps throughout the day
Day in and day out, carrying your little bundle of joy can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you have the joy of knowing that your baby is growing strong inside of you. However, as your baby develops, he or she can be more cumbersome to carry around and place pressure on your joints, which in turn can leave you feeling fatigued.

One way to overcome this problem is to schedule frequent naps throughout the day. If you can, try to break your days up into naps. This will leave you feeling well-rested and able to tackle whatever challenges come your way.

3. Skip spicy or acidic food
Do you have a soft spot for chili, tomatoes and other acidic or spicy foods? If so, you may be putting yourself at risk for developing heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems that can be difficult to contend with while you're trying to get a little shut-eye.

By sticking to foods that are minimally seasoned, you can keep your stomach feeling sturdy during the day and prevent indigestion from becoming a problem. While this may not make for the most exciting culinary fare, you'll be happy you chose these meals later in the evening when you're able to sleep peacefully.

4. Exercise earlier in the day
Many women opt to exercise throughout pregnancy, which can be an excellent way to improve wellness and keep weight gain within a healthy range. Before doing so, women should consult with their healthcare providers about routines that may be suitable for them.

Exercising early in the day can be a fantastic way to jumpstart the morning and give yourself the energy you need to get through the day. Fitness routines that are done in the morning or early afternoon are ideal for pregnant women who need their rest, because working out in the evening can interfere with the body's sleep cycle.

Sleeping is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, but women often encounter difficulties due to the condition. With these four tips, women can work their way to a better, more fulfilling rest each and every night. 

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