Finding Relief from Pregnancy Insomnia
Is it easy for you to fall asleep at night, or do you toss and turn for awhile before finally settling in? Or, is it easy for you to fall asleep, but then you have to wake up to go to the bathroom and are unable to go back to sleep? Does your mind run through the never ending to do list again and again?
Sleeplessness in pregnancy is difficult, and when it stretches into pregnancy insomnia it becomes a nightmare. Too many pregnant moms run on too little sleep, which affects their ability to function well. When we are tired, we are scattered and drained, our work day feels longer, and we are quicker to lose patience with our children, co-workers, and partners.
On one hand, pregnancy insomnia is an important part of prenatal preparation. Your body is wise, and it is trying to prepare you for the long nights that lay ahead. But on the other hand, pregnancy insomnia can lead to overwhelm and burnout.
The good news is that there are natural ways to make your nights more restful. Here are a few tips to help you get the rest you need, even if you struggle with pregnancy insomnia.
Get in Sync
Get into a routine by being in sync with your circadian rhythm. In order to have restful sleep, it is helpful for us to have a bedtime routine. When we rise and shine at the same time every morning and settle in and go to bed at the same time every night, we create a reliable routine for our bodies to follow. Our bodies need to know when is time to be active and when it is time to rest.
To help set this rhythm, spend at least 30 minutes a day out side in the sunlight. The sunlight on our skin is incredibly rejuvenating when we are awake and it helps ups sync up with the larger day/night cycles.
Prepare for Sleep
If there is light coming in your window at night, get a darker thicker curtain that blocks the light. Don't forget about your alarm clock–does it cast a light right by your face as you are trying to sleep? In keeping with those circadian rhythms, you want it dark. The darker it is, the quicker you will be able to surrender to sleep and stay asleep for longer periods of time.
In the same vein as the light but a bit deeper: is your bedroom a multi purpose room? The desk in the corner, the TV on, to-do lists everywhere, clutter...Your bedroom should have only two functions. The first is sleep, and the second is intimacy.
If your room is filled with projects waiting for you in the corner, a full desk to be tended, etc., your mind can easily be distracted. A distracted, stressed mind does not relax or rest well.
Turn Off Screens
Studies have also shown that the electromagnetic energy that emanates from the computer has a damaging effect our ability to get quality sleep. Give yourself at least an hour before bed that you are not in front of a screen, watching the nightly terrible news or the stressful show that gets your heart pounding, or even skimming over those pretend things people are posting on Facebook.
Give yourself this hour to wind down, and give your eyes a rest from the flashing lights.
Lots of pregnant moms cut their caffeine consumption way down during their pregnancy. It is still worth mentioning here to be be super mindful that you should not drink anything with caffeine after 3 pm. When we are running on fumes, it might seem like the caffeine just gets us through the day. In reality, it's keeping us up at night and furthering the cycle of sleeplessness.
Create A Nightly RoutineWe all know how well children respond to routines. Have you ever tried to put your child to bed without a bedtime routine? Let’s just say it can take a long time and be incredibly frustrating. Adults thrive on routines, too! Routines create a sense of security and predictability, which is helpful when we are trying to improve our sleep patterns.
- Pull out your yoga mat and do a few stretches
- Listen to peaceful music
- Read a good pregnancy and birth book, or better yet a breastfeeding and postpartum book
- Brew a cup of tranquility tea
- Take your sleep herbs
- Take a warm herb bath
- Practice a Yoga Nidra meditation
The Good Night Tincture offers you a peaceful moment and a quiet, comfortable night. Good Night Tincture is blended with relaxing chamomile, catnip, passionflower and valerian. These herbs are classified as nervines. Nervines are soothing and relieve tension helping you rest better at night so you can wake up with more energy in the morning.
Another nice thing about the Good Night Tincture that is different than drinking herbal teas. Herbal teas work great at helping you fall asleep, but often times you have to wake up to go to the bathroom a few hours later. Tinctures are effective without causing lots of bathroom visits.
- Good Night Tincture Suggested Use: For healthy sleep, take 1 mL (20 drops) 1 hour before bedtime and take another mL at bedtime; continue as needed if you wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to go back to sleep.