Not entirely surprising fact: Sleeping during pregnancy can be a serious struggle.
"Sleep disturbances during pregnancy are extremely common," said Abbe Wain, MD Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, to SELF.
It makes sense. Your body undergoes some big changes – all of which may affect your ability to sleep through the night. When a baby presses on your bladder, you can get up to pee more . Thanks to the muscle relaxation between your stomach and your esophagus you can deal with angry heartburn . The idea of being a parent (or adding another child to the mix) may make you anxious which is a particularly torturous way of keeping people awake. And the back pain, wow. Even during pregnancy it is common for your back to work hard to support your growing uterus.
As you can see, pregnancy can be a recipe for long nights where you throw around and turn around. But there are ways to finally fall asleep (and stay). Here's what has worked for 10 women and what women have to say about these sleeping pills.
. 1 Eat a small dinner at least two hours before bedtime.
As someone who is just pregnant, I had some scary nocturnal moments in which I woke up and smothered reflux. But at some point, I realized that eating a small meal in the early evening would help me avoid acid reflux and resulting problems like heartburn at night.
"When you lie down, can form acid and rise in the throat and chest and feel unwell" Allyson Boester Senior physician and assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College explains SELF. This can get even worse during pregnancy, as physiological changes such as muscle relaxation between your esophagus and the stomach make it easier for the acid to reverse course. "Small meals and [allowing some time for digestion] before lying flat on your back can prevent the symptoms of acid reflux, which are often worse when lying down at night." Boester.
If acid reflux really bothers you, Celeste S. Royce, MD Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, suggests talking to your doctor. You may recommend antacid medications (which in are generally considered safe if they are pregnant ). Even if your heartburn comes from nowhere or suddenly gets worse, be sure to discuss it with your doctor as soon as possible. It is possible to confound symptoms of pre-eclampsia (hypertension in pregnancy after 20 weeks) with heartburn, explains Drs. Royce.
. 2 Consider a pregnancy pillow.
"As my bump has grown, the Leacho Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow has helped me to take a comfortable and safe side sleep position. I slept mostly on my back in the past, "says Maggie G., 29, SELF. "I think it's great that the pillow provides additional cushioning for my knees, ankles and stomach during sleep," adds Maggie.
If you sleep on your side during pregnancy, this may be a transition if this is not your usual starting position. Although there is a debate about whether back sleep during pregnancy may increase the risk of stillbirth or not, medical organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend sleeping on your side for a variety of reasons are pregnant. Pregnancy pillows can definitely help you get into a comfortable side sleep position, but you do not necessarily have to buy something special. You can experiment by placing one or two pillows between your knees and find out how this helps.
If you use pillows in this way, this may be helpful in back pain Dr. Says Wain. It also feels better overall physically. "If there is a lot of pressure in the area [pelvic] with increasing abdominal pressure, it is sometimes not so pleasant when the legs are together, as if something is in between," explains Dr. Boester. "I always encourage people to be creative and find a place that's comfortable for them, and pillows can definitely help."
. 3 Read a physical book.
"My biggest change during pregnancy was to incorporate [reading] before going to sleep," says Abby G., 33, to SELF. "No phones or screens! I've found that I had much more trouble falling asleep during pregnancy, and that helped me turn off my mind. "Avoiding electronic screens … for at least 30 minutes before going to bed is important so you can sleep well anytime, especially when you're sleeping as a couple," says Dr. Royce. Light from electronic screens can be your circadian Rhythm which regulates your sleep and wake cycle and makes it hard for you to fall asleep. "Reading a real book is relaxing and reassuring. It's a great exercise for all those nights when a book at bedtime [can] has a special relationship with your baby, "says Dr. Royce.
4. Create a bedtime ritual.
" I like to apply Belly Balm from The Honest Co. after I've gotten out of the shower at night, it's a bit oily, so I put on my bathrobe until it dries, and then put me off in pajamas and crawl to bed, "says Ellen L., 32, to SELF." I find the ritual of giving a little love to my growing belly at bedtime soothing. "
Making a ritual at bedtime (and It may seem too easy to help you rest It's time to fall asleep, says Dr. Boester, and you're basically trying to shorten the time you spend decompressing by going to bed Create space for it.  5. Try some yoga.
"I have just done prenatal yoga with YouTubed," says Merlin V., 32, to SELF. "I do not do this every night, but I felt relaxed and slept very well."
There are some reasons why some experts are fans of prenatal yoga . "Many women find the gentle stretching and breathing exercises relaxing." Royce. "Prenatal yoga is an excellent way to maintain fitness and flexibility during pregnancy," she adds, which can help make you feel a little better during labor.
certainly for you, especially if you have not exercised regularly before pregnancy, "says dr. Royce. If you get the green light and opt for online yoga, make sure it's designed specifically for pregnant women, Dr. Royce, and do not push your body in a way that feels too uncomfortable. If you are attending a yoga class in real life, tell the instructor that you are pregnant. Royce, because certain poses need to be modified or best avoided if you expect it.
Use a humidifier.
As Merlin explains, this has helped keep her nasal passages open, and problems such as constipation are less likely to interrupt her sleep during pregnancy.
"Pregnant women may be prone to nasal congestion," tells Dr. Regan Theiler, obstetrician and gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, SELF. This is due to hormonal fluctuations and the fact that your blood volume during pregnancy, according to the [Thiscombinationmayresultinswollenblood-filledmucousmembranesinyournosethatmakebreathingmoredifficultandproneto nose bleeding Dr. Boester explains. Nasal bleeding may become even more likely if you inhale dry air all the time.
A humidifier may help to keep the membranes of your nose moist (as well as gentle wiping the inside of the nose with a Vaseline coated Q-tip) says Dr. Boester.
7. Take care of your mattress.
"Sounds good, but I loved the fact that our bed was one had adjustable mattress, "says Gracy M., 31, to SELF. "I have the feeling that changing the position of the bed was very helpful and prevented me from having indigestion 99% of the time!" Chest and throat, which can possibly lead to discomfort and awakening. If you have an adjustable mattress and are struggling with heartburn, try changing the angle at which you sleep. If you do not have an adjustable mattress? "Even a slight lifting of the head of the bed with a conventional mattress can help with reflux symptoms." Theiler. (Try to stack some books under the head of the bed.)
8. Stay active.
Vickie O., 34, found that pregnancy inherently lost some of its energy, but another effort in sports helped her sleep better .
For many people, exercise can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, Dr. Wain. (As long as you do not do it just before bed, if it can lead to restlessness.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest targeting 150 minutes per week moderately intense aerobic exercise during pregnancy. As mentioned above, it is important to discuss with your doctor how and in what kind of exercise you are safe during your pregnancy, says Drs. Royce. It's about doing what works best for you mentally and physically.
. 9 Get up when you can not sleep.
Lauren M., 34, had to deal with Insomnia during her two pregnancies. If she was still awake 20 minutes after bed, she would get up and read something or work through some gentle yoga poses.
"With insomnia, you can sustain yourself and prevent yourself from coming to a relaxed state that is needed for sleep," Dr. Boester. "What works for one person may not work for another, but distracting yourself instead of thinking you're still awake may allow you to refocus your attention and calm down."
If you experiment with that, what might work for you Just think of the whole no-screens thing here. You do not want to introduce a ton of light that may keep you awake longer.
"Meditation was the key to me during pregnancy," Teresa T., 44, told SELF that her exercise in controlled breathing helped her relax and fall asleep. "I closed my eyes, closed my mouth, inhaled through my nose three times, held my breath up three times, breathed out through my nose three times, then paused below count up to three and start over." , she says.
Slow, deep breathing can be a great way to relax while you lie in bed waiting for sleep. Besides, Dr. Royce, can all practice practicing self-centering, during labor and in the education of children be useful.