Three-quarters of women report difficulty sleeping during pregnancy.
Hormones are often the culprit for lack of rest. They can bring on snoring, congestion, frequent bathroom trips, and heartburn that can lead to restlessness.
It could also be that you’re having trouble finding a comfortable position. Or just plain nervousness.
Try these 7 safe sleep aids for pregnancy, and get the rest you need.
One of the best sleep aids for pregnancy is exercise.
If your body is physically and mentally tired at the end of the day, it’s much easier to fall – and stay – asleep. Try low impact exercises like walking, swimming, or gentle yoga.
Another one of the recommended sleep aids for pregnancy is healthy eating.
Your diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish, and grass-fed meat and poultry.
Vitamin D and magnesium aid in restful sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough in your prenatal vitamins or consider a supplement (ask your doctor!).
Foods that are high in magnesium include leafy greens like spinach and kale, nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds, legumes like black and mung beans, whole grains like brown rice and millet, seafood like wild salmon and halibut, even dark chocolate.
Eating right before bed can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Limit caffeine intake after noon and avoid sugar late in the day.
A glass of warm milk before bed might also do the trick.
Getting comfortable may be the trickiest part of being pregnant, especially if you’re typically a tummy or back sleeper.
Consider getting a pregnancy pillow to support that baby bump.
Not familiar with the pillow? Check out these frequently asked questions!
Meditation or Relaxation Techniques as Sleep Aids for Pregnancy
If your mind is racing, meditation or relaxation techniques can help you find calm and balance.
Insight Timer has plenty of free, guided meditations to aid in sleep, but Yoga Nidra for Sleep works like a charm.
Gentle stretching or yoga is also helpful.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is naturally high in melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep.
It’s also low on the glycemic index and high in antioxidants. Try using one ounce in the late afternoon and again a few hours before bed as a sleep aid for pregnancy.
Reducing Bathroom Trips
Between increased progesterone, kidneys working overtime, and, in the third trimester, your growing uterus squeezing your bladder, it’s no surprise that you may have to go to the bathroom during the night.
Drink most of your fluids earlier in the day and taper off an hour or two before bed. Use a nightlight instead of a harsh overhead light in the bathroom.
And try those relaxation techniques again once you return to bed: they’re one of the best sleep aids for pregnancy.
If back pain is keeping you up, your doctor might recommend a maternity belt to reduce pressure.
These seven sleep aids for pregnancy should help you get a restful night. But if they don’t, try not to worry. Share what works for you in the comments.