Have you ever searched #PregnancyProblems on Twitter or Instagram? It’ll give you a good laugh. Being pregnant is definitely filled with its fair share of problems… some are pretty comical but some can be downright miserable. One of the top complaints that most pregnant women can relate to is not getting enough sleep. Sleeping while pregnant basically means tossing and turning all night, waking up with weird pains and getting out of bed to pee a million times. Getting a good night’s sleep can seem all but impossible, but over the course of two pregnancies I’ve learned a few tricks and remedies that help me catch the most zzzs possible. I know there are a lot of blog posts out there promising pregnancy sleep, but believe me, there are definitely a few you may not have heard of before!
1. Sleep Problem: Can’t Get Comfortable 1 of 7
Sleep solution: Get a pregnancy pillow. I have a Bump Nest and this thing is magical. In my first pregnancy I made the mistake of trying to get by with just pillows. It was a total fail. By month nine, I had six pillows surrounding me and they had all but taken over the entire bed. An actual pregnancy pillow this time around has been SO much better -- especially since I tend to want to sleep on my stomach.
Purchase for $99.00 from Bump Nest
2. Sleep Problem: General Restlessness 2 of 7
Sleep solution: Rescue Remedy Sleep Spray. Obviously, I'm not a doctor or a midwife, so you should absolutely check with yours before trying this, but the sleep spray has been great for occasional use when I'm feeling really restless. For some reason when I'm pregnant I just have an extra hard time shutting my brain off. My thoughts race and it's hard for me to relax. I had heard about this stuff from a few people during my last pregnancy, and after getting the OK from my midwife I tried it out. It's not meant to be used every night, but on those nights when I feel like I've exhausted all my other options, a few sprays of this usually does the trick.
Purchase for $9.99 from Amazon
3. Sleep Problem: Middle of the Night Hunger 3 of 7
Sleep solution: Eat a banana before bed. Not only will the calories and fiber from a banana keep you full in a way that is way more nutritious than a bowl of ice cream, but they are packed with potassium and magnesium, which can help calm your muscles and give you a more relaxing night of sleep. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin (a.k.a. your brain's calming hormones). Bonus, they also lower blood pressure. So basically, bananas before bed = an awesome choice.
4. Sleep Problem: Waking Up All Through the Night 4 of 7
Sleep solution: Ear Plugs. It never fails that after spending forever trying to get comfortable and finally drifting off to sleep, the littlest noise or movement will wake me up. Perhaps it's my motherly instincts kicking in to prepare me for life with a newborn again, but whatever the case, I definitely sleep less soundly during pregnancy. Using a set of ear plugs really helps me get more uninterrupted sleep once I finally get there.
Purchase for $3.99 from Drugstore.com
5. Sleep Problem: Waking Up 5,000 Times to Pee 5 of 7
Sleep solution: Cut off your water supply and learn the double check pee trick. During my first pregnancy I was pretty lucky to not have to deal with this dilemma. At every ultrasound I was told I have a massive bladder of steel, which is probably why even in the final days of pregnancy I often slept through the night without getting up to pee. This time around I get up more frequently, so I've learned to cut off my liquid intake a couple of hours before going to sleep and to also employ the "double check pee trick" right before jumping into bed. That is, after you finish peeing, stand up and lift your belly up to relieve the pressure on your bladder and then try to pee again. You'll be amazed how much more pee you still had in there!
6. Sleep Problem: Restless legs / Aches and pains 6 of 7
Sleep solution: Calcium + Magnesium. I've had a lot of random pains in my hips with this pregnancy, so my midwife recommended a calcium and magnesium supplement. Magnesium helps muscles to relax and thus helps with those aches and pains I was having.
Purchase for $24.57 from Amazon
7. Sleep Problem: Heartburn 7 of 7
Sleep solution: Chewable papaya enzymes. Papaya enzymes basically work as a more natural alternative to antacids. The bonus is that they taste better. There is some information on the Internet stating that papaya enzymes are unsafe, but my midwife recommended them, and from what I've researched the only concern is about ripe papaya. There are also a variety of other more natural options out there that may be worth considering. I've read good things about aloe vera juice and apple cider vinegar as a heartburn cure, but, as always, be sure to check with your doctor or midwife first.
Purchase for $14.86 from Amazon
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.