During pregnancy, sleep is a fundamental need, yet 78 percent of women report that sleep is more difficult during this crucial time. While hormonal changes can be blamed for a large part of this, the unavoidable truth is that bodily changes can make it difficult to get comfortable in a horizontal position, especially during the final trimester.
While a solid eight hours of sleep each night is important for everyone, it’s especially important for pregnant women. For those growing life, experts point to the growth hormone stimulated by sleep, which is essential in growing both the placenta and the uterus. This realization brings new pressure to future moms, who may spend so much time worrying about the sleep they’re losing, they stress themselves into losing even more sleep.
Fortunately, innovation has made it easier than ever to find relief. Special techniques are now available to help women enjoy a full night’s sleep, no matter what stage of pregnancy they’re in. Here are a few of the best solutions on the market today.
For women concerned about sleeping during pregnancy, a buckwheat pillow is a popular option. These pillows have the ability to conform to the head and neck, offering just the right amount of support where it’s needed most. Because the pillows allow buckwheat hulls to be removed and added as needed, a pregnant woman can customize the pillow to her individual preferences.
A buckwheat pillow can help a person during the nine months /she’s pregnant and beyond, helping her make the most of the time she can rest. Whether it’s sleeping during pregnancy or getting in a few winks between feedings after the baby is born, a buckwheat pillow can help a woman get the sleep she needs to better care for her own baby.
In addition to flexible support for the head, pregnant women often find they need support for the entire body, especially as a pregnancy progresses. Maternity body pillows are specifically designed to support the areas that need it most throughout a woman’s pregnancy. The important thing to keep in mind when searching for a body pillow is that it should conform to the body’s natural shape, with multi-positional functionality to allow it to be adjusted as needed.
Since a woman’s support needs change as her baby grows, it’s important to find a body pillow that adjusts with the body’s needs. Some women prefer using multiple pillows from head to toe to achieve the same effect. Buckwheat pillows are ideal for this purpose, as well, with the stuffing being removed from one and inserted into another to facilitate more comfortable sleeping during pregnancy.
In addition to comfortable pillows that conform to a person’s head, experts also recommend pregnancy wedges for help with sleeping during pregnancy. What pillows do for the head, pregnancy wedges do for the rest of the body, allowing the sleeper to place it beneath the back to maintain elevation for the upper body as the baby continues to grow. Some pregnant women have found the wedges ideal for placing between the legs for added support while sleeping on their sides. Prenatal sleep wedges are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, with optional washable covers to keep the wedge clean through multiple uses.
As a woman reaches the final months of her pregnancy, many medical practitioners will recommend she sleep on her side. By this time, the weight of the baby will be nearing its peak, making any sleep position uncomfortable as the weight puts strain on her back and hips. At this point, women usually place the wedge between the baby and the mattress to provide extra support and cushioning. If she chooses to place an additional wedge between her legs, she may find that this is effective in helping reduce hip strain, especially when done in conjunction with a stomach wedge.
Nasal Saline Sprays
Congestion is a normal part of pregnancy, leading to difficulty during the night hours. Called rhinitis of pregnancy, this condition often gets worse as a woman’s pregnancy progresses, leading to snoring and inability to breathe clearly. While a pregnant woman can’t take medications to relieve sinus issues, saline nose drops are a harmless way to relieve sinus congestion. Check with your doctor for a recommendation on the safest saline spray.
If cleaned daily and filled with fresh water, a humidifier or vaporizer can be a great way to relieve congestion at night. Pillows can also help with elevating the head to promote proper drainage. This can also help relieve heartburn, which is also a pregnancy-related problem that disrupts sleep.
Bedside Sleep Assistants
Since downing medication isn’t a safe option, women having trouble sleeping during pregnancy have found that tools like the NightWave Sleep Assistant are perfect. The device rests at the sleeper’s bedside and emits a soft blue light that rises and falls in luminance to put those in the room to sleep. The sleeper synchronizes her breathing with the light’s movements until the light grows dim and gradually goes dark. This pre-sleep ritual is designed to help participants fall asleep each night without the aid of medications.
White noise machines have also been shown to be effective in battling insomnia. Available in a variety of designs, these machines emit a solid white noise that helps drown out sounds that might disrupt sleep. Some opt for a machine that provides soothing sounds like rain or ocean waves. If outside sounds are indeed a source of disruptions, a good set of earplugs can be the best investment an insomniac can make.
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life. By finding ways to improve sleeping during pregnancy, a pregnant woman can improve her performance throughout the day and ensure her body is in peak condition as she prepares to give birth. Additionally, she’ll be well rested for those long, sleepness nights that occur once the baby arrives.