Sleep Like a Baby
How to conquer the sleep-busters that keep you awake
YOUR BIG BELLY/BABY'S MOVEMENTS "One of the many reasons pregnant women don't sleep well is because the moving baby puts them in a lighter stage of sleep," Frieder says. "It's like having a bird pecking at the window all night." Plus, your growing belly makes getting comfortable difficult.
Solutions: Notice the times of day when your baby is quieter and nap then. Try getting comfortable with "pillow architecture." (See "Slumber Secrets".)
FREQUENT URINATION Pregnant women need to urinate more frequently because they are—or should be—drinking more fluids. Also, the growing uterus puts pressure on the bladder, reducing its capacity. The problem often is worse in the first and third trimesters.
Solutions: Cut back on liquids after 5 p.m. and try not to drink anything at all for two hours before you go to bed. Whenever you urinate, especially in the last trimester, lift your belly, which will allow your bladder to empty completely.
RESTLESS OR CRAMPY LEGS You're asleep but your legs aren't. A crawling sensation in your legs makes you jerk them, which momentarily stops the feeling but also wakes you up. Or, a painful calf cramp suddenly arouses you from sleep.
Solutions: Although there are medications to help, they're not safe for pregnant women. Some sources say increasing calcium intake can help; however, Frieder says, there's no scientific evidence to support that. Instead, he recommends light stretching (flex your foot rather than pointing your toes), exercising during the day and leg massages.
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Battle of the Baby Sleep Experts