The broken nights
Let's get straight to the point: unfortunately, sleeping badly is a common scenario for pregnant women. And this in a period when rest is more important than ever, as your body is performing a very important task! You probably also long for (night) rest more than ever this period (especially with the prospect of many sleepless nights with that little one), and then it's frustrating when you can't get it. So it's high time to take a closer look at the causes and consequences of broken nights, which tips can help you get a better night's sleep, and which products make sleeping extra comfortable!
Causes of sleeping badly during pregnancy
Broken nights during pregnancy can have several causes. For example, your bladder may be nagging you that it's filled up again and needs to be emptied, which requires you to leave the bed several times a night. You may also have to get used to your big belly, and this prevents you from adopting your normal sleeping position.
Then again, during pregnancy, you are likely to worry more than usual, which is occasionally accompanied by panic. About the delivery, about the health of your baby, about motherhood. Add to this the fact that those wonderful pregnancy hormones can also keep you from sleeping. In particular, the hormone progesterone makes you feel groggy during the day, while you can't sleep at night. And all that equals very broken nights, and of course irritability and a grumpy face in the morning because of fatigue.
Consequences of sleeping badly during pregnancy
To reiterate the importance of good sleep: the opposite can have negative effects on you and your baby. If you sleep badly during pregnancy, your immune system can be disrupted, making you more susceptible to viruses. In addition, a poor night's sleep can lead to low birth weight and other birth complications. Of course, we're not talking about just one night of bad sleep here; there's no harm in that. Has bad sleep become a 'ritual'? Then we are here for you with some tips that might help you to finally get a better night's sleep!
Tips for a better night's sleep
- Spend time outside during the day: You'll probably be happy about this on sunny days, and a little less so on gray and rainy days. Spending time outdoors is not only good for getting fresh air, as exposure to sunlight ensures that the melatonin rhythm is not disrupted. Melatonin-what? The function of this hormone is to signal your body when it's time to go to sleep. Don't feel like actively spending your time outside? Read a book or listen to some music, but at least in the open air. Come on, today you don't have to get out of your easy chair in the garden yet!
- Eating routine: Avoid heavy meals before bedtime. Simply because your body is less able to digest food in the evening, unlike in the morning. Do you still get hungry before bed? Then don't go to bed hungry, but choose a small meal that contains tryptophan or serotonin. Think about dates, yogurt, or whole-grain products. A quick bite and then go to sleep! Important warning: foods that are fairly spicy or contain a lot of acid and fat are best avoided in the evening. Once you fall asleep, you don't want to be woken up again by your other enemy, heartburn.
- Limit drinking in the evening: A full bladder is a reason why many pregnant women suffer from broken nights. Frequent visits to the beloved toilet can keep you from sleeping. That's why it's key to drink enough during the day and limit drinking from dinner onwards. Drinking coffee too late in the day is out of the question anyway, as caffeine has a stimulating effect and can keep you awake.
- Worries and fretting: It won't surprise anyone that worry and fretting can really keep you from sleeping. And it just so happens that you worry more during pregnancy than before (because: is the baby still healthy? Can I handle motherhood? How will the delivery go?) Is this the reason that you often lie awake at night? Mindfulness can be a good solution. Do you find this woolly? Not at all! It helps you be fully present in the here and now and be aware of where you are and what you are doing, without being overwhelmed by everything around you. Let go of all those worries for a moment, and not unimportantly: pay attention to your breathing!
- Notebook: Do important things often come to mind at night that you're afraid you'll forget in the morning? Then put a notebook next to your bed. Because: paper doesn't forget, and you can put the thoughts aside and go back to sleep peacefully.
- Dark sleeping area: A sleeping area that is as dark as possible can contribute to a good night's sleep. This also means that you may prefer to turn off electronic devices, such as your smartphone, before bedtime, or put them in another room. Another tip is to limit exposure to blue light in the hour before you go to sleep, to prepare your body for the night's sleep ahead. A good book (and no, not an e-book) can also be a great activity for the evening, right?
- Warm bath: Good news for lovers of bathing! A warm bath helps you relax (duh), but it can also help you fall asleep more easily. After all, warm water has a positive effect on blood circulation. Make the most of this tip? Then take a warm bath 1.5 hours before you go to sleep. You-time!
- Lavender: Lavender is not only a wonderful fragrance, but from now on also your best friend that will help you improve your sleep! You are probably wondering: how? Lavender reduces stress, increases the duration of deep sleep, and positively affects the light sleep phase. So try drinking a cup of lavender tea before bed, taking a bath with lavender oil, or placing a lavender-scented lamp on your nightstand.
Product tips for a better night's sleep
Determined to try the above tips? Then the next step is to make sure you are surrounded and dressed in comfortable gear while sleeping! Of course, this includes soft pajamas, a nursing pillow to create a comfortable sleeping position, and a wonderful sleep mask. With these items, you will hopefully sleep like a rose!
- Bamboo sleep mask
- Sleep mask Yalda Red
Rituals Sleep Mask Yalda Red - €14,90
- Feeding cushion Doomoo Buddy
Prénatal Dooomoo Buddy - €72,00
- Feeding pillow cover dots
Hema Voedingskussenhoes - €13,00
- Feeding cushion
Hema voedingskussen - €37,50
- Ribbed pajamas
H&M MAMA geribde pyjama - €34,99
- Striped pajamas
Boohoo gestreepte pyjama set - €30,00