When you are pregnant, good sleep can be hard to find due to several reasons. For example, due to your growing baby bump, it may be hard to find a good sleeping position. As your pregnancy progresses, you may find that you are making more trips to the bathroom and this disrupts your sleeping patterns.

Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can use to ensure you get some good quality sleep during pregnancy.

Sleeping position

Try to sleep on your side with your knees bent from early in your pregnancy. As the bump grows bigger, you will find that this is the most comfortable position to sleep in. Invest in pillows to maximise comfort. You can have one pillow supporting your legs and another between your legs.

Jamie Grill/ Getty's Images

Pillows have also been known to ease heartburn which is common during pregnancy. However, before you get a pillow, get a doctor's advice on the best type of pillow to buy.

Eating habits

Ensure that you do not take a heavy meal in the hours leading to bedtime or taking excess fluids. The former may cause indigestion or heartburn while the latter will increase your bathroom trips when you could be sleeping.

READ ALSO: 10 essentials for your baby's bedroom

Get a bed time routine

Having a nighttime routine is part of proper sleep hygiene. Much as you may be tired or sleepy, it is important to keep a consistent routine. This allows your body to anticipate sleep and prepare for a good rest. Your routine could include meditation, reading a book or saying a prayer before bed. Ensure that you do not exercise before bed, otherwise you will take longer to fall asleep.

Sample bed time routine. Image/ Pinterest

Diet and nutrition

Some foods or drinks can disrupt your sleep natural sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall asleep. Such include caffeinated drinks and dark chocolate. Sometimes pregnancy cravings make it harder to avoid such foods or drinks but the struggle you go through is worth it and your body will thank you.

Move around

While exercise is not recommended before bedtime, this is not a reason for you to be a couch potato for the rest of the day. Unless you have a complicated pregnancy and the doctor has recommended bed rest, try and be as active as you can. When you are active, your circulation improves. Moreover, active people tend to sleep better at night.

Image/ baby center

Relax

If you are too anxious that you will not get enough sleep in the hours before going to bed, you will not sleep enough. Try to go to bed with a clear mind and don't fret too much about the difficulties you are experiencing. You could try breathing exercises, Yoga or meditation to relax your mind.

Avoid smoking

Smoking is not only harmful to your baby but can also prevent you from getting quality sleep due to the nicotine contained in tobacco.

Exercises you can do at home to induce labour
Exercise, body positioning and movement, in general, has been known to relax muscles that are important during delivery. Exercise also helps bring the baby to the correct position for delivery.

Cut down your screentime

During pregnancy, there is an urge to know everything you can as you prepare to welcome your little one and what better way to learn than surfing the internet. Even so, learn to put away your gadgets a few hours before bedtime as these heighten brain activity and prevent you from relaxing. In the same breath, you do not want to be catching up on the latest episode of favourite TV show just before bed.

Remember

While the above tips can help improve the quality of your sleep, sometimes you may still be having difficulties sleeping after using them. In such instances, avoid the temptation of getting over-the-counter sleeping pills as they may be harmful to your baby. Instead, speak to your doctor and get professional advice.

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