Hi I’m Lucy Green, I’m 26 weeks pregnant this
week and this is my first baby. The early months of my pregnancy have been
very straight forward so far; I’ve had no problems, no sickness — I think I’ve been
really lucky and I’ve really enjoyed it. At about 20 weeks my sleep pattern really
changed; I’d never had any problems before sleeping, in fact I can sleep with the curtains
open — noise and light don’t bother me. But at about 20 weeks I really noticed a change
in my sleep patterns, where I found it either difficult to get to sleep at night, or I found
I was waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning unable to get back to sleep.
I think part of the problem why I was waking up is because I had quite vivid dreams, which
I think, is a common symptom of pregnancy, and I find myself waking up with dreams at
three or four in the morning. But I also found, having got home from work at, say 7- 7.30;
I found it difficult wanting a bit of an evening even though I felt really tired and I didn’t
want to go to bed, because I wanted a bit of time at home first, so I found I was going
to bed a little bit too late, really, when I have to get up so early in the morning.
I’ve tried a few solutions to help with my sleep problems; obviously when you’re pregnant
it’s difficult to take medication- even herbal remedies, so one of the things I’ve tried
is a pregnancy pillow. I found that these did help me sleep- making me have a more comfortable
evening, and I found these really helped me. The other thing I’ve tried is — when I have
bad dreams — I find when I wake up my mind is racing and often thinking about the dream,
and I’ve really tried hard to think about nice experiences; perhaps a nice holiday that
I’ve had, the animals that I love- something in the past that I can walk my thoughts through
that stop me thinking about the dream or any negative thoughts. I found this really helped
me to get back to sleep. One of the other things that I’ve found that’s
really helped me is taking a nap during the middle of the day; I actually work part time,
so on the days that I have off and at weekends I often take a nap around midday, and I don’t
think you should feel guilty about this; I think it’s really helped me and it’s mainly
just an hour or an hour and a half. One of the things I would recommend though is that
you don’t do this after around five or six o’clock because that’s a little bit too close
to when you would go to bed, and it’s even harder to get back to sleep then.
I have talked to my midwife about my sleep patterns and she said that sleep problems
are very common during pregnancy and that if I can just establish a good sleep pattern
with a few lifestyle changes, I should be able to get back to sleep easier.
I have tried establishing a better bedtime routine; things like not having too heavy
a meal late at night and just having a light supper. My husband has really helped actually
during this stage; he’s taken over a lot of the night time chores such as unloading the
dishwasher, locking up late at night and putting our animals to bed, which has really helped
me have more time for things such as a warm bath before bed.
My top tip for a more comfortable pregnancy is to grab a nap when you can and not feel
too guilty about it, to establish a really good regular bedtime routine – try not to
be tempted to take your phone or ipad up to bed — try reading a book instead. I found
these really helped me to relax and get my sleep patterns back in order.