Nov 1, 2011

Sleeping while Pregnant- Which side and how to...

The idea of "sleeping while pregnant” is as much a joke as having “morning sickness,” we all know that shit lasts all day, like the tossing and turning lasts all night.   Right side, left side, belly, back, doesn’t matter, you are not going to sleep anyway! I am 6 1/2 months pregnant and I have not had a good night sleep in 5 months.  I am going crazy and have no doubt I could rob a mattress store and get off with an insanity plea.

I have learned that pregnancy is really all about preparing you for when baby gets here.  I am a professional at getting up 5 plus times a night to pee, so when baby gets here I will have no problem getting up five times a night to feed.  Still, I would love nothing more than to have one more solid night sleep before baby gets here.  I have spent the day reading comments, product reviews and doctor recommendations to alleviate my sleep depravation-insanity-insomnia.  Below are some of the things I learned. 

1.  You are supposed to sleep on your left side-because it is believed that it will increase blood flow and circulation, thus allowing the baby to get more oxygen and even a better flow of nutrients.  I say, “believed” because there are now some conflicting reports across the board on whether it is not possible to get the same from your right side.  Still, I try to stay on my left but inevitably land on my right by morning. 

2.  Stay off your back and tummy if possible-I can tell you from experience, I was a belly sleeper, NEVER a side sleeper. Needless to say this has been HELL, but the further along I get the harder it is to sleep on anything but my side.  My tummy is getting so big and hard, I cannot get comfortable on my belly, and while it does feel good at first to lie on my back, it becomes very uncomfortable quickly. From what I have read, warning this is my opinion--get the sleep anyway you can until you are like me and left with only the side options.  It’s times like these that I think women have been having babies for thousands of years, they slept however they wanted without doctors and medicine to constantly correct them and my very full family tree is proof of that!

3.  Take a safe sleep aid- A tip from me: If you are like me those sleep aids will make you feel groggy the next day, take the tablet 10-12 hours before you have to wake up so it will have time to work through your system.  I know some of you are saying a big HELL NO to taking unnecessary medication, that’s is very commendable.  I am one of those people most of the time, but when I cannot breath or sleep I start to go insane and think my doctor recommended this, I have nothing to prove and sleep to gain!

4.  Pillows, pillows and more pillows-I started researching my pillow options very early in my pregnancy when I learned that I should stay off my tummy. I never read enough reviews on any one pregnancy pillow that made me want to run out and spend the $50+ on it.  I did however read enough about a simple body pillow to get me to drop the $10 to find out for myself.  The body poillow seems to be working better the further along I get, but up until now I  have been using 3 down pillows, one for between my legs, one under my belly and one tucked under my back.  This starts off grand and I can usually get to sleep, but once I wake up to pee all bets are off.  I get very tired of repacking myself into bed 5 times a night and usually half ass it enough to get to sleep, besides I will be up in two hours to pee again...

5.  Stop drinking liquids and hour before bed- People swear by this, I just cannot do it. If I get into bed needing anything I will obsess until I get it. I take a cup of water to bed, I also take small sips when needed to cut down on the intake. 

6.  Aroma Therapy- There are lots of “sleep scents” on the market. My favorite is pure Lavender.  I read plenty of comments about using candles and oils to help relax you into a beautiful slumber.  I have used Lavender before and I know it works for me.  My advice on this one is to go to your local health food/nut store and ask questions and smell around until you find the scent that will knock you out.

Some of the other options I found are, have your significant other give you a foot and back massage before bed, read a good or boring book, and watch TV.  My problem is really not the getting to sleep part, it’s sleeping for longer than 2 hours at a time.  I also have a tendency to wake up with anxiety and then have trouble getting back to sleep. Still, from all I have read and learned today I have come to only one conclusion…

7. There are no magic fixes- If you get a good night sleep you will not be invited to join in an “Occupy Pregnancy” protest, as you are the 1%. : p

    Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit