Better sleeping in pregnancy

If you are like an estimated 75% of pregnant women, you are either having some disturbance to your sleep pattern or may in the coming months. An increase in progesterone is the suspected cause of disturbed sleep patterns. Insomnia is a common complaint of pregnancy. Fatigue resulting from sleep deprivation is also a factor known to exacerbate the symptoms of morning sickness.

Seeing your chiropractor regularly will assist your body to function optimally. It may also allow you to rest more comfortably and sleep better. Better sleep will help you to feel better throughout the day, have more energy and experience a reduced frequency of morning sickness. Getting enough good quality sleep will also improve your mood and sense of generally good health.

Here are some tips to assist you if you are having some difficulty sleeping:

• Try to get 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise, particularly outdoors, will increase your ‘feel good’ hormones, and increase your heart rate and circulation. This will help your body to be more ready for sleep at the end of the day. It also has the added benefit of keeping your joints moving and muscles better toned, which will help you to have better function of your joints and muscles. People who exercise throughout their pregnancy report less pain and related ailments than those who do not.

• Do not consume drinks containing caffeine, particularly late in the day. A lot of people find that this leaves them feeling quite ‘awake’ and alert. In addition to the effects on mum, it can also make the baby more alert, which may in turn keep you awake! Instead of a coffee, try a herbal tea (not raspberry leaf, unless you are in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy) or a hot milky drink before bed. A lot of women find this is very helpful to wind down and relax before heading to bed.

• Try to avoid working on the computer or using the computer for extended periods of time late in the day. It is often helpful to do something which you find relaxing in the hour or two prior to going to bed. (eg. reading a book, having a warm bath, etc.)

• Don’t go to bed unless you are feeling ready to sleep. It is better to stay up until you are ready to actually sleep. If you wake in the night and can’t go back to sleep, try getting up and reading a book etc until you are sleepy and ready to go to sleep again. People who lay in bed awake, tend to get frustrated and take longer to go back to sleep.