As most of you know, we’re expecting baby #2! What I didn’t share last time around during my pregnancy with Narayan was that I had a really horrible time sleeping. I didn’t even know it was a problem until a year after I had him and I found myself very depressed and suffering from anxiety, which I had no idea was actually a result of sleep deprivation I’d been dealing with very early on in the pregnancy.
What initially started the lack of sleep were constant thoughts of how my baby was doing, what kind of mother I’d be, how I would juggle my many hats as a wife, business woman and now a new mom. Falling asleep was fine, but getting back to sleep after being woken by my mama-to-be bladder or a horrible dream was a nightmare in itself. Most nights I’d get 3-4 hours of sleep if I was lucky. And things didn’t improve after I gave birth, it just got worse. With the stresses of being a new mom, I found myself getting even less sleep, dealing with skin issues, gaining weight, along with developing depression and anxiety.
After months of learning how to train my brain to shut down at the end of the day, coupled with determination to get a good night’s sleep every night, I started to feel like myself again.
Now that I’m pregnant, getting a good night’s sleep is almost impossible, if I’m being honest. From having to sleep on my side, constant trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, dealing with acid reflux, sciatica pain, strange dreams and a whole extra set of stress concerning the baby, getting rest in general is something I battle with every single night. Thankfully though, I’m able to rely on a strict routine of specific habits to assure I’m getting a good night’s sleep – I refuse to let sleep deprivation affect my life how it did before!
Here are my 5 tips for getting a better night’s sleep:
1. FREE YOUR MIND
For some this means taking a hot bath, reading a magazine, book or watching your favorite show. For me, it means listening to an audiobook, allowing my mind to wander from my own thoughts, focusing on something else, which helps me relax before bed. I just finished The Girl On The Train and loved it (I highly recommend the movie as well). Now I’m listening to The X Files: Cold Cases on Audible, read by the actual actors from the TV series: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. I was obsessed with the series in my teens and twenties and so far I’m loving the audiobook! If you’d like to try an audiobook or two for yourself, Audible is offering a free month trial here.
2. COMFORT IS KEY
Too cold, too hot, or just plan uncomfy? Comfort is key for getting a good night’s rest, so try a pillow between your knees to alleviate back pain (especially if you’re pregnant and have to lay on your side), make sure your pillow supports your neck properly and always have the right weight blanket within reach.
3. BLOCK THE CLOCK
I have a habit of wanting to know what time it is throughout the night, so to avoid looking at the clock, I don’t keep a clock in my bedroom. Instead, I make sure the alarm is set on my phone which I place across the room before bedtime.
4. ELIMINATE NOISE
I’m a light sleeper, so any subtle sound like a faucet drip or the floor creaking wakes me up – hotels are the absolute worst! To drown out noise that could potentially wake me up, I rely on white noise while I’m asleep. A fan, air conditioner, white noise app or ear plugs do just the trick.
5. SET BOUNDARIES
Don’t watch TV, browse social media or work in bed. Save your sleeping space for sleeping so your mind and body associate it with rest and relaxation.
In partnership with Audible.
TAGS: insomnia, wellness