I knew to expect a lack of sleep once the baby arrives, but no one ever mentioned I might have trouble sleeping before he even gets here.
Sleep used to be the favorite part of my day. I would snuggle in, be out like a light and not wake up until the next day, rejuvenated and ready to face the world. But now, with this bump in tow, my sleep patterns are anything but refreshing.
I wake up every single night at least three times. Usually at 11 p.m., 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. (I mean, at least it’s pretty consistent.) For the first couple of weeks, it was manageable. I would just roll out of bed like a zombie, shuffle to the bathroom and sneak back into bed and fall right back asleep—annoying, but definitely manageable. However, in the last few weeks, sleep has taken a drastic turn to the dark side. Now when I wake up, I am up. I lie there and think about everything I should have done that day, everything I need to do tomorrow, everything I did ten years ago and everything I will one day do in the future. It’s beginning to be a lot to take in at bedtime. I’ve tried it all—TV on, TV off, mask on, mask off, covers on, covers off, my side of the bed, Brack’s side, his pillow, my pillow. Nothing works. I have met Insomnia and we are sadly, not friends.
If that’s not enough tossing and turning, add in leg cramps. Those pesky muscle spasms are the worst. I’ve only had two so far but the fear of that painful feeling stays with you for weeks. I hate those things and I live with paralyzing worry that I will experience another one at any unexpected moment. (Calcium, pregnant people, lots of calcium!)
And heartburn? Oh my! I guess this baby is popping out with a full head of hair (The myth may be true! Check out this John Hopkins study) because I sure do have a great dose of heartburn with this bambino. This means good news about the good hair but sad news about sleeping. Heartburn can definitely wake you up in the most unpleasant of ways.
I am not only affecting my own sleep, I have started to infiltrate the sleep space of my sweet husband. He does wake up a bit more than usual and I make a general effort to bite my tongue so I don’t start a two-hour long conversation about whatever it is that I am currently lying there thinking about. (I am definitely not known for being quiet and I know he needs to sleep.)
Crazy dreams? Boy, have I been having some doozies. Sometimes they are so vivid that I wake myself right up. I’ve woken up from falling, woken up to tears streaming down my face and once, I woke up just in time to hit the bathroom before my peeing dream led to actual peeing in the bed.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps all of this is just to prepare me to be up all night with a newborn. But still, with all of these unfortunate sleep circumstances, what’s a girl to do?
Well, here are some things that might help.
• SOS. Sleep on your side and preferably, your left side so that you get lots of great blood flow to your baby. Avoid sleeping on your belly and back.
• Use a pillow in between your knees and under your abdomen.
• Eat at least two to three hours before bedtime so that your meal has time to properly digest.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
• Do leg stretches before getting in to bed to relieve midnight cramping.
• Try meditation and relaxation tips to unwind before sneaking into bed.
• Sleep in a cool room with all electronic devices shut off.
To find out more techniques to help with common pregnancy sleep problems, check out this article on our Baby Buzz blog.
Here’s to wishing you a good night’s rest and some pleasant sweet dreams.
Lots of love,