The 15th March is International Sleep Day – a day dedicated to celebrating sleep and a call to action on important sleep issues.
According to the NHS 1 in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep. This is even more prevalent in expecting and new mothers. A poll in 1998 carried out by the National Sleep Foundation found that 78% of women report more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times. Changing hormone levels, along with stress and anxiety are mainly to blame for pregnancy-related insomnia.
But it is very important for pregnant women to prioritize sleep and to find effective strategies for managing their sleep problems as early as possible in their pregnancy. Not only is it important for your baby’s development and your own health but it has also found that getting good quality sleep during your pregnancy can, in some cases, improve your labour. Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco recently found that women who slept fewer than 6 hours per night had longer labors and were 4.5 times more likely to have cesarean deliveries.
For most women, getting a full night’s sleep becomes even harder once the baby is born.
That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you get that much needed sleep:
Put down your gadget
Try to put down your gadgets at least half an hour before bed. The problem with your phone/tablet/laptop is that it emits blue light which can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and makes it harder to sleep. Instead why not read a book or pamper yourself.
Run a warm bath
Use sleep inducing beauty products
Before you go to bed try utilising some pampering products that help you sleep better. Mama Mio make some of our favourite products for expecting/new Mums.
The Mama Mio Sleep Easy Kit (£45) is ideal to help you sleep better.
Scented with relaxing lavender and calming mint for the ultimate evening de-stress. The perfect pamper set will help to strengthen skin, sleep deeply and hit the snooze button on pregnancy insomnia.
The set contains
Sleep Easy Tummy Rub Butter
Sleep Easy Pillow Spray
Sleep Easy Bath and Shower Oil
Plus Mama Mio have made sure all their formulas are cleaner and safer than ever – free from parabens, petrolatum, colourants, xenoestrogens, PEGs and phthalates.
Exercise 30 mins a day
Unless your doctor has advised against it, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Exercise will tire you out and use up energy. But it also exercise triggers an increase in body temperature, and the post-exercise drop in temperature may promote falling asleep, especially if performed during the afternoon/early evening. Exercise may also reduce insomnia by decreasing arousal, anxiety and depressive symptoms.
If you’re a new Mum try going for an afternoon stroll with your baby. Not only will you be getting your exercise in which will help with sleep, but researchers have also found babies who sleep well at night are exposed to twice as much light between 12pm-4pm as poor sleepers.
Sleep in the right position
When pregnant sleeping on your left side will improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your fetus and to your uterus and kidneys. In order to take pressure off your lower back and help back pain place pillows between your knees, under your abdomen and behind your back.
Add daytime naps when necessary but try to keep them earlier on in the day
Create a bedtime schedule for babies
In order to help your baby sleep during the night it’s very important to try and develop a night time routine.
“Newborns don’t have a day and night rhythm – this distinction only sets in at around 3 or 4 months,’ says David Messer, professor of education at The Open University. This explains why your baby will sleep during the day and wake up at night.
But you can help them by establishing a night-time routine by using things such as bath time and nursery rhymes so your baby begins to associate it with sleeping.
Want more tips on getting sleep? Here’s our Top 10 ways to sleep better:
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