We can all expect an occasional sleepless night during and after pregnancy. But, baby aside, there are plenty of external factors that might be causing you to stare at the ceiling night after night. Fortunately, there are also plenty of ways to fight back. Keep reading for smart advice that will put you right to sleep.
Do you have a sleep disorder?
Before you start making changes to your lifestyle, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about the potential of having a sleep disorder. According to Harvard University, there are many different types of sleep disorders, from insomnia to obstructive sleep apnea, the latter of which can be fatal. Rule out any serious medical concerns before moving forward.
Diet and exercise
Now that that’s out of the way, take a look at your diet. If you’re pregnant, you may have started eating differently than you did before. Hopefully, this means that you’ve added lots of healthy foods to your diet. But even the healthiest dinner can keep you awake all night if it’s too heavy. First, as your abdomen expands, it takes less food to feel full. Plus, your body — and sense of smell — reacts differently to even your favorite foods, meaning that tacos may wind up giving you unbearable heartburn until delivery. Instead of overdoing it at the dinner table, have a light meal and a healthy snack before bed. You can also use this trick on children who tend to toss and turn the first part of the night.
Did you know that certain minerals and vitamins can improve your sleep quality? Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins D and E can all give you a little extra help sleeping, so make sure you’re taking a quality multivitamin. A multivitamin can also reduce sluggishness and prevent your mood from dipping.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise since this is the best way to wear your body out and bring on uninterrupted slumber.
Your behaviors are only one thing that can bring on unwelcomed insomnia. If your family hasn’t purchased new mattresses in a few years, it’s time to start evaluating your sleep styles. Many adults find that sleeping on a firmer mattress is most comfortable. Kids, however, might cozy up better on a soft bed with a down topper. A good mattress to try is Purple, which is a middle-of-the-road brand (it’s not luxury, but it’s not low-end either). When picking a mattress, keep your body weight in mind. If you’re on the larger side, the firmer, the better since your body weight will exert more force on the top few layers, making a mattress that the kids would call “brick-like” feel a bit too soft and squishy for you.
If you’ve switched mattress out and still can’t sleep, pay attention to the temperature. Most experts agree that somewhere in the mid-60s is good for sleep. But, if you have hormones swirling through your blood, you may experience night sweats, which can wake you from a deep sleep. Consider changing your bedding to a material that wicks moisture away and can handle frequent laundering. Keep in mind that night sweats are not just for moms; people of all ages – about three percent of the population – experience it due to medication, diabetes, or, for women, menopause.
Finally, if you’re eating well and have a comfortable surface to rest on at night, you may have to concede that the problem is your bed partner. Snoring and tossing and turning from the other side of the bed isn’t pleasant. And as much as you may not want to, there is no shame in separating bedrooms temporarily. This applies not only to husbands but to kids and pets as well. You can always try sleeping in earplugs or with a sound machine if noise is the only issue.
Remember, sleep isn’t a luxury – at least it should not be. Getting eight hours on most nights is one of the best ways to improve your mood and your health overall. It is not always easy when you have a growing family, but making a few changes, such as eating well and utilizing a mattress that fits your sleep style, is a good start.