Pregnant women don’t have it easy when it comes to enjoying a good night’s sleep every night, not even on most nights. Many things are working against them, so to speak, so restful sleep may be highly desirable but frustratingly elusive! Such is the extent of the sleep issue that in one poll, more than 75% of women polled admitted their difficulty in sleeping.
Why is this so? Their hormones appear to have gone haywire so much so that waking up in the middle of the night several times is a common occurrence. Their changing bodies from stretched ligaments to added weight around the stomach contribute to their growing list of aches and pains. Their rollercoaster ride of emotions, partly caused by their changing hormones, add to their anxiety that keep them awake at night. Their pregnancy-related symptoms, such as restless leg syndrome and heartburn, add to their misery, sleep-wise.
With that being said, the importance of choosing the right mattress cannot be overemphasized when you’re a pregnant woman! Think of your bed as the foundation upon which you can start building your enjoyment of restful sleep every night.
Shop for a New Mattress, If Necessary
Of course, it isn’t necessary to immediately replace your old mattress if and when it is still serviceable in terms of support and comfort. But when your old mattress worsens your sleep deprivation, then it’s time to consider changing it! You may hesitate about its cost but when you consider its benefits, such as enjoying restful sleep on it well after your baby’s birth, you will jump on the opportunity.
But don’t just do a Minnie-mynnie-moo when choosing a new mattress because it will defeat the purpose. Instead, choose your new mattress by taking into account the following important features.
Made of natural materials
Look for mattresses made of natural materials, such as 100% natural organic latex, which reputable brands like Tempurpedic keep on stock. Your mind and body will benefit from natural materials beds because these don’t have harmful chemicals including pesticides, petrochemicals, and chemical flame retardants, among others.
Right levels of firmness
Choose a mattress with the right balance between firmness and softness. Keep in mind that you are likely to get up anywhere from three to five times every night to use the bathroom so an ultra-soft memory foam mattress is out of question – you will have more difficulty getting to your feet.
Instead, you will benefit the most from a medium-firm mattress with the right firmness-softness balance. You will find that its soft comfort layers provide sufficient comfort to your lower back, hips and shoulders without making you feel like you’re sinking into it.
If you have the budget for it, you can also buy a mattress with an adjustable power frame, preferably one with sides that work independently of each other. You can then adjust the incline or decline of the bed depending on whether you want to get up or lie down, respectively.
Cooling features available
Look for mattresses that have cooling features so that your night sweats become less uncomfortable. Gel foam, latex foam hybrids, and moisture-wicking covers are highly recommend for this reason, while low-density memory foam also get high marks.
Basically, you have to choose a new mattress borne of your need to enjoy a more restful sleep despite your changing body in the same way that you choose a new mattress. You have to consider the comfort and support features first and then the price second. Your health, after all, shouldn’t come with a price tag.
Assume a New Sleeping Position
Your body’s changing structure to accommodate your unborn baby contributes to your near-sleep deprivation. You obviously can’t sleep on your stomach because then you’ll look like a seesaw. You can’t sleep on your back either because it seems like your unborn baby’s pushing you against the bed.
The best sleeping position then is sleeping on the side – SOS, if you will. But not just any side either. Doctors generally recommend that pregnant women sleep on their left sides for many reasons. These include decreasing the pressure on the liver and increasing the amount of blood (i.e., oxygen and nutrients) reaching the placenta and, thus, your unborn baby.
Keep these tips in mind when sleeping on your left side, too.
- Place a pillow between your legs for greater comfort.
- Keep your knees and legs bent in a comfortable position with a small pillow between your legs, as stated above.
- Put a pillow underneath your abdomen, too, if you’re having lower back pains.
You can even find pregnancy pillows that provide comfort and support from your head to your ankles. These usually have C or S shapes that conform to your pregnant body’s shapes.
You should obviously adopt healthy bedtime routines to promote better sleep. You must, for example, avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, engage in relaxing activities like meditation, and take a warm bath before bedtime.
There’s hope to enjoy restful sleep every night despite your body’s apparent rebellion against itself during your pregnancy! Start with the right mattress and follow it up with the right sleeping position and habits.