Many pregnant women find it very hard to sleep, especially in the later months, when you start getting much bigger and more weight is put on your back and hips. I should know it, this here is a picture of me when I was pregnant with my third little girl (nr. 2 is with me in the picture). I was severely sleep deprived, puffy and in a world of pain. I usually had crutches but they're not in the picture. I decided to share it with you, even if it's not the best picture of me.
There are many things that can cause you to have trouble sleeping, including discomforts, aches, frequent urination, and heartburn. Waking up every 30 minutes to go to the bathroom is NOT fun when you have Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP), that’s for sure. Below are some tips to help you get better rest at night while you can.
No late night drinking
Remember when you used to go out for late night drinking? Yeah, I’m talking about a different kind now. To help with the problem of frequent urination during night time, you should probably watch the amount of fluid that you drink in the evening. It can be a big help to stop drinking a couple of hours before you go to bed. With a growing belly, there’s less room and more pressure on your bladder (also, babies seem to like stomping on bladders while in utero). It’s probably best to also limit the amount of caffeinated beverages that you drink day or night (any caffeine after 5pm and I can’t sleep). Eating a very large meal close to bedtime can cause you to have digestive problems and not sleep well, so if you’re hungry before bed have a light snack (light snack = ice cream).
Exercise? Not easy for the Pelvic Girdle Pain sufferers
I know, I know. If you have PGP it’s almost impossible to do any exercise, except maybe walking to the fridge and back. But doing regular exercise IS good for you and your baby, according to new research, and it can also help you sleep much better at night. I’m not talking aerobics here, but anything you can manage helps, even a 5 minute stroll around the parking lot. Exercise might help you dealing with PGP but you should avoid certain movements and preferably consult with a physiotherapist, they can show you some helpful exercises. You can also talk with your doctor about the appropriate exercises that you can do. Maternity yoga is something else you might consider, as it can be very relaxing and might help you sleep better at night. Careful though, some of the poses might increase your pain, to so take it slow.
Put relaxation into your routine
Having a very good bedtime routine that you follow each night can be very helpful in helping you fall asleep. Try to only do very relaxing activities when it gets close to bedtime, and make sure you try to go to bed at the same time each night. Your bedtime routine will probably be all messed up once the baby arrives, but for right now you can keep some type of routine. Try staying away from your computer, phone and TV an hour before bed. Studies show that the brightness from the screens may mess with your natural sleep hormones. Maybe read a book or try some relaxation methods instead.
Make Your Bed Comfy, it's worth it
Make your bed as cozy as you can to help you sleep better. You spend so many hours in bed, might as well make them as comfortable as possible. Pillows can be a big help for someone who is pregnant. You don’t necessarily need to purchase the huge maternity pillows to help make you much more comfortable. A good pillow between the legs and another one under the bump works too. These pillows will give you very much needed support, and keep your legs apart during the night, that makes a lot of difference if you have pain in the pubic bone and hips. We offer a way to get more comfortable in bed with the Snoozle maternity slide sheet, so check it out if you want.
Try Some Different Positions. (No, not the Kama Sutra kind)
Now that you’re pregnant, you will not be able to sleep on your stomach when it starts getting bigger. If you were a stomach sleeper before, you will have to learn different positions where you will feel most comfortable. Remember when you used the bed to discover interesting sex positions? Well, this is the next best thing. Yeah … Most doctors do not recommend that you sleep on your back so that leaves you with side positions. Try sleeping on your side using a support pillow, and then try it without the pillow to see what is most comfortable for you.
Sleeping while pregnant may be difficult, especially for those of you who suffer from PGP, I know the feeling. But following these tips might help you sleep more comfortably. Don’t you hate it when people tell you to sleep while you can, because the baby will keep you up for the next few years? Well, it’s a terrible cliché. I always say: Sleep while you can, so you can feel better emotionally and have some energy for the birth and first days caring for a new, precious baby.
Hang in there :)
Written by: Lilja Thorsteinsdottir - Co-founder of The Snoozle