78 per cent of women experience sleep problems at some point during pregnancy – here’s how to avoid being a statistic.
A night spent tossing and turning is frustrating, but it can be even more frustrating when you have a baby on the way.
You can’t get comfy. You’re feeling hot. You need to pee all the damn time.
According to a 2016 study, a whopping 78 per cent of women experience sleep problems at some point during pregnancy. And the irony is you need as much rest as you can to help the baby grow.
So what can you do to ensure you get a little more shut eye? We chatted to sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo on the aids she recommends for mums-to-be who just want to sleep.
Here’s some sleep aids to have in your arsenal:
1. Invest in blue-light blocking glasses
“The number one factor controlling insomnia is light, so blocking out light is fundamental,” explains Arezzolo. “This can be done using blue-light blocking glasses, so that’s my number one thing, not just for pregnant women but anyone wanting to get to sleep.”
“Wear them two hours before bed or if you suffer from really bad insomnia put them on as soon as it starts to get dark – the worse problem you’ll have is that you’ll sleep better!?”
Shop: If you’re looking in investing in a pair, Clearly has a pair of glasses with Digital Protection Lenses (you can buy here), Quay has a range of blue-light blocking glasses (check them out here), so too do Specsavers and Baxter Blue.
2. Smell some lavender
Note that those who are in their first trimester shouldn’t use essential oils but in the second and third trimesters, essential oils are safe to use, as your baby is more developed. Please always read the label and seek health advice before trying something new.
“A study found that lavender reduced anxiety by 45 per cent over the course of six weeks. Anxiety is one of the key factors to keeping people awake. This in itself is wonderful, but what makes the study more wonderful is that it was comparable to sleeping pills, which reduced anxiety by 46 per cent. Lavender is so safe, you can give it to your pets, you can give it to your kids. And if you diffuse lavender, it’s not just you who sleeps better, it’s not just your mind that switches off easier, it’s your entire households. I highly recommend diffusing it.”
Shop: Australian Native Diffuser, $89.95, In Essence, Ella Pink MoodMist® Diffuser, $129.99, Dusk, and Essential Oil Diffuser, $80, endota spa.
Check out the best sheets to buy to get a good night’s sleep. Plus we found the best weighted blankets to keep you cosy and calm.
3. Put on an eye masks
“Anything that aids blocking out light is great!” reaffirms Arezzolo.
Shop: White Marble Silk Eye Mask, $55, Shhh Silk, Bamboo Sleep Mask, $25, Infinity Pillow, and Organic Bamboo Eye Mask, $49, Sleepy Dee at The Iconic.
4. Say yes to a pregnancy pillow
“Pregnancy pillows are hugely beneficial, as the bump will cause additional pressure on your hips and your back, and make you uncomfortable to sleep in the position you want. A pregnancy pillow allows for that pressure to be relieved which means you toss and turn less and you sleep deeper. And if you sleep deeply you’ll wake up more refreshed allowing you to support your growing foetus.”
Shop: Maternity & Nursing Pillow, $99.95, Medela at Baby Bunting, Jersey Body Pillow Grey Marle, $79.95, 4 Baby at Baby Bunting, and Maternity Pregnancy Nursing Sleeping Body Pillow, $49, Catch.
5. Anything with chamomile
Once again please note that those who are in their first trimester shouldn’t use essential oils but in the second and third trimesters, essential oils are safe to use, as your baby is more developed. Please always read the label and seek health advice before trying something new.
“Chamomile has been shown to counteract the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to wakefulness,” explains Arezzolo. “[Chamomile] encourages the sedation of the brain which allows you to switch off easier.”
Shop: Organic Passion Flower & Chamomile Tea, $19.95, Endota and Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream,$76, Pai at Adore Beauty.
6. Get daily reminders of healthy sleeping
Arezzolo’s final gem of advice? Follow a sleep expert on Instagram or sign up to a daily sleep newsletter. This means you can follow advice constantly and more likely to action it. “Studies show that you are 95 per cent more likely when you have an accountability check in, so having a regular reminder is great,” says Arezzolo. Arezzolo can be followed @oliviaarezzolo.
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