This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Serta. All opinions are 100% mine.
I am 33 weeks pregnant and am getting bigger by the day. Sleep has been elusive since day 1 of my pregnancy...in fact I woke up earlier than normal needing to use the restroom and on a whim decided to take a pregnancy test. That's how I found out I was pregnant. Needless to say, I have not had a full night of uninterrupted sleep in about 31 weeks (give or take). But I have found many tips and tricks to help so that I can still sleep comfortably while pregnant. And I am excited to share a few of those tips with you today!
How to Sleep Comfortably While Pregnant
While I can't guarantee you will get a full night's sleep, these tips and tricks should certainly help!
Comfortable Bed and Pillows
It is important that your bed is comfortable! Especially as you get further along in your pregnancy, you need to be sure you are comfortable in order to sleep well. Also be sure you have a good pillow to give you the proper head and neck support. There is nothing worse then waking up in the morning with a stiff neck because your pillow isn't quite right. We recently switched to a Serta® Perfect Sleeper Memory Foam Bed, Howerton in a King size and love it. It is soft but also gives both my husband and I a lot of support. We no longer wake up with aches and pains and we definitely sleep better because of it! I know many women who love body pillows when they are pregnant. I have never gotten one. But I do have a great little wedge pillow that I put between my knees. It is fantastic and helps relieve low back and hip pain while sleeping on your side.
This is the only pregnancy I remember where temperature has been such an issue for me and sleeping. My first baby was born in September and I remember enduring a long, hot, Sacramento summer. But with this baby due in October, I am even more prone to temperature changes then I was with her. It could be the fact that I am 10 years older now than when I was pregnant with my daughter, or it could be the bad humidity, either way I don't sleep well if I am too hot. There are nights where I will wake up in the middle of the night, only because I am hot. So to help combat this, we turn our thermometer down a couple of degrees at night, I wear loose fitting lightweight pj's to bed, and I only have lightweight bedding on my bed.
Cut Down on Potty Trips
It is tough when you are pregnant to wake up often because you need to visit the lady's room. I try hard to drink as much of my daily water intake in the morning as possible. And I try to taper it off after dinner time. That alone helps cut down on nighttime potty trips. I am always sure to take a last potty trip (or two) before I climb into my bed at night. This doesn't completely solve my middle of the night potty trips, but it has helped to cut back on them significantly.
Avoid Leg Cramps
Middle of the night leg cramps are the worst. If you have never had a charlie horse, consider yourself lucky. If you have never been woken up in the middle of the night because you are suddenly in the worst pain ever due to a charlie horse, consider yourself even luckier. These are no fun and I only get them when I am pregnant. I have read every forum out there and tried every trick in the book to eliminate them, and I finally have found a few tricks that actually work for me. First of all, I stretch my legs and calf muscles every night before bed and often during the day. I will roll my feet in circles, alternate pointing and flexing my feet and do anything else I can think of that will stretch my calves out. Once I climb into bed, I often read or watch a tv show before I fall asleep, I use that time to continue to stretch my legs. And here is the trick that has really made them not return for me.
Ready!? I try to sleep with my legs more straight than bent, and I try to sleep with my feet slightly more flexed than pointed. And every time I wake up, I immediately flex my feet and straighten my legs whether I feel a leg cramp coming on or not. Does this sound extreme!? Maybe, but about a month ago I had the worst charlie horse ever. It lasted nearly 20 minutes, my leg and foot felt completely immobile, my husband tried to massage or help me, but everything and every touch seemed to make it worse, and I was pretty sure that I would rather give birth then go through that awful pain again. After 20 minutes of excruciating pain, I was shaking so bad my husband worried that I had gone into shock. I was shaking, couldn't talk without my teeth chattering, felt cold and generally just awful. I was weak and had to get help standing up afterwards. It was a miserable experience followed by a miserable night's sleep because I was so afraid I would get another one. So I spent the next several days researching charlie horses.
Much of the information wasn't useful. But one thing that did stick out at me is that charlie horses are made better by flexing your foot instead of pointing it. I thought both helped, but in reality, flexing your foot stretches the muscle and pointing your foot contracts it. Flexing your muscle is what will help get rid of a charlie horse not further contracting it. Which is why I decided to try to sleep with my legs more straight and my feet slightly flexed. And when I woke up the next night with a tinge of pain in my calf like a charlie horse was about to start, I straightened my legs, flexed my feet and the pain never got too bad. So every time I wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, I take the opportunity to do a quick little stretch and I have not gotten another charlie horse since that awful night about a month ago. (knock on wood)
Relax / Massage
Be sure to take time to relax, electronic free for 15-30 minutes prior to trying to get to sleep at night. If you find yourself thinking of all the things you need to get done the next day, keep a pad of paper and pencil next to your bed so you can write down a to-do list. This will allow you to clear your mind and fall asleep faster and better. If you have a willing partner, ask for a little back or foot (or leg) massage before bed. I get especially achey being pregnant and having my sweet husband give me a quick massage is a sure way to help relieve some of the pain I might be having and relax so that I can fall asleep easily.
Adjust Your Position
Just like many things when you are pregnant, sometimes you need to simply adjust your position to get a good night's sleep. It is recommended while you are pregnant that you sleep on your side (preferably your left side) and not your back. I am generally a back sleeper, so making the switch from sleeping on my back to my side isn't always easy. I have a wedge shaped pillow I put in between my knees to help keep my hips and knees properly aligned, I do this to help alleviate any hip or low back pain that can be caused by not keeping those in alignment. I also ensure that my pillow for my head is giving me the proper support I need to sleep on my side. Yes, sometimes you may need different head and neck support when sleeping on your side vs your back. And sometimes, I sleep with my bed propped up. When we got our Serta® mattress, we opted for an adjustable frame. This means I can lift the head and feet up. I came down with a cold a few weeks ago and lying down seemed to make everything worse. My nose would get more congested and my coughing would really flare up. I wasn't sleeping at all and I was miserable. Then I remembered someone suggesting to sleep in a recliner when you are pregnant and sick. But I didn't have a recliner. So I was able to lift the head of my bed up and bring my feet up a bit too. This immediately helped my ability to sleep at night! I won't sleep propped up forever, but the relief it gave me for those few days was incredible! So feel free to sleep sitting more propped up or surround yourself with pillows to insure you have a comfortable position to sleep in at night.
Make Your Bedroom Your Sanctuary
Take time to add special touches to make your bedroom your sanctuary. From layering blankets on the bed to having comfy pillows, it's the little things that make a bedroom the most comfortable. I love having multiple lighting options in my bedroom so that I can turn a big bright light on when I need it, but when I'm trying to relax I have different (less-bright) lighting options in my bedroom. Dimmable lights are also a great option for a bedroom. I always try to use soothing colors in my bedroom and comfortable fabrics so that I can really enjoy my bedroom as my own space. If you can't tell, I am passionate about getting a good night's sleep! I think it is important when you are pregnant and when you are not pregnant. Sleep is just important! You can read more of my Tips for Getting a Better Night's Sleep HERE. And I also want to invite you to participate in the #SertaComfortSutra selfie contest! From August 26, 2016 to September 6, 2016, you can post a selfie of you on a Serta mattress at a retail location, along with a tip on how to get comfortable for your chance to win! Be sure to use #SertaComfortSutra and #Entry when you post your photo and tip on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You will be eligible to win comfort-themes prizes such as sheets, pillows, blankets etc. and the Grand Prize winner will receive a "Serta® Comfort for Life" package that includes a bedroom makeover with a mattress of your choice and you will be eligible for a new mattress every 5-7 years, free of charge! Who doesn't want to win that!?!?
Serta is encouraging you to make comfort a priority in your life and to help make your bedroom a sanctuary. They are partnering with Loni Love to create new content sharing tips and tricks on how to create a comfortable life. And I am hoping that you will join me too, in making small changes to your bedtime routine and in your bedroom to get the best night's sleep possible!
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