Natural Sleep Solutions for Moms-to-Be

Your pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of your life, but it’s also one of the most exhausting. And it doesn’t help that getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult for moms-to-be, thanks to fluctuating hormones and the discomfort of your growing belly.

It’s important to know that most drugs that are taken to treat insomnia aren’t recommended during pregnancy, since they can harm your new baby’s development. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to counting sheep for nine months. Read on for safe and natural ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Natural sleep tip number 1: Exercise.
Yes, you may feel too tired to even think of working out, but moderate exercise like a brisk walk or a bike ride can help moms-to-be sleep more deeply, and also healthy for your new baby’s development. Just avoid exercising within four hours of bedtime, as that can have the reverse effect and actually keep you awake longer. Exercise is also a natural way to relieve stress, so if worries about your pregnancy are keeping you up, try working them out by working up a sweat.

Natural sleep tip number 2: Stock up on pillows.
Your belly can often get in the way of a good night’s sleep, but plenty of pillows can help support your tummy and back, making sleeping easier. Most doctors recommend that moms-to-be sleep on their sides, so try using pillows to help keep you in this position.

Natural sleep tip number 3: Say “om.”
Meditational, relaxing exercises aren’t just good for your mind during pregnancy. They may also help you get to sleep more easily. Consider signing up for a yoga class, indulging in a prenatal massage, or simply trying some deep breathing exercises at home.

Natural sleep tip number 4: Sip on milk.
A warm glass of milk may help send you to dreamland, as can foods that are high in carbohydrates such as crackers or a slice of bread. And many moms-to-be find that small meals throughout the day are better for sleep than three large meals. Finally, consider skipping spicy, acidic, or fried foods during your pregnancy, as these could contribute to heartburn and keep you awake.

Remember that not all of your sleep needs to be at night. If you can, sneak in naps throughout the day to make up for lost sleep. As a mom-to-be, you probably have a long to-do list as you get your home ready for your new baby, but it’s important to keep your health, including your rest, a priority because it affects your baby’s health too. So feel free to go to bed early or sleep in -- you deserve it!