TOOL 8: Sleep

How do I get a good night’s sleep?

Our pregnant bodies certainly do add some challenges for our sleep! As the baby grows, it is hard to find a comfortable position. We can find ourselves having to get up more often in the night, to reposition, or to go to the bathroom.

 

Some ideas that can help you get a better sleep:

  • Get a body pillow to help support your changing body.
  • Create a routine. Try to wake up and go to bed at approximately the same time and develop a going-to-bed ritual.
  • Dim the lights at least 30 minutes before you want to sleep. Late-night exposure to the light emitted from TV and computer screens can also interfere with sleep.
  • Avoid napping during the day if you are having trouble going to sleep at night.
  • Don’t spend a lot of time in bed not sleeping. Try to get up before you are feeling very antsy about not sleeping (approximately 20–30 minutes, not watching the clock).
  • Use your bed for sleep or sex, but try to avoid other activities such as watching TV. 
  • Deflate the worry about not sleeping. Remind yourself that human beings can function with disrupted sleep. We have different stages of sleep and we are continually going up and down these stages all night (like a staircase). When we are pregnant, we are often simply more aware of when we are at the top of the stairs. For ideas on challenging your worries, see Tools for Healthy and Flexible Thinking.
  • Develop some coping statements. Instead of worrying about how terrible it is that you aren’t sleeping, try saying things to yourself like, “I will be tired tomorrow but I won’t completely fall apart” or “It’s not fun but I can still function on a little sleep” or “I’ll get through it.”

 

For more ideas, see Getting a Good Night’s Sleep (PDF).