An interesting thing I learned in my first pregnancy is that it’s recommended that you sleep on your left side while pregnant. Why? Because your liver is on the right side of your body. Laying on your left side helps keep your uterus off that large organ, which takes the pressure off your liver and also your kidneys. This means more room to function properly, helping with swelling issues in your hands, ankles, and feet.
Sleeping on your left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for better blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. This is because your inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a large vein, runs parallel to your spin on the right side of your body.
If left is ideal, should you avoid sleeping on your right? No. It’s safe to sleep on your right. And depending on where your placenta attaches, it may actually be more comfortable. There’s a very slight risk of compression issues with the IVC when you sleep on the right, but it’s very slight. It just comes down to what’s more comfortable for you.
On occasion I struggle to fall asleep. My mind races with all the things I need to do that week and the next thing I know it’s 3am and I’m still staring at the ceiling. How I laid there for 4+ hours just thinking without falling asleep is beyond me!
Over the years I’ve tried a few things here and there to help me fall asleep. I’m not really a fan of sleep meds, so anything organic and natural I’m all for. Here’s a few things that work for me:
•Melatonin- Your body produces this naturally, but you can buy melatonin supplements at almost any wellness or grocery store. It is a hormone released by your brain that tells your body it’s night time and time to sleep. It naturally makes you tired
•Drink a glass of milk (doesn’t have to be warm)- Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan that causes sleepiness
•Earplugs- Sometimes sounds keep me up. I’ll hear something outside and it startled me or makes me think of something which gets my mind racing
•Avoid your phone and the tv- being exposed to blue and white light from your phone, tv, computers, etc at night prevents your brain from producing melatonin
•Take a walk- Taking a walk before bed can help tire your body but also tire your brain. I’ve noticed when I go for a walk at night my mind runs during the walk. I make my mental lists and think about the week. Then when I get into bed I’m physically and mentally tired
As I said, these are things I’ve found that have worked for me. Everyone is different. Some of these things won’t work for some people. But if you’re having sleep problems give one (or more) a try. See if it works for you! Happy sleeping! 💤
Sleep training has been the hardest thing ever! When Ryder was 4 months I had him on a perfect sleep schedule. Then at 6 months he started getting bag gas that woke him up every hour at night throwing off his sleep schedule so his naps were all off during the day. At 9 months we finally saw a reduction in the night gas and he started sleeping better. He was back to his daily scheduled naps.
Now at 10 months I am training him to learn to nap in his crib. He will still sleep in his bed in our room till he’s 1 year old. It was recommended by our doctor to reduce the risk of SIDS. But naps will be in the crib since they’re short. Yesterday was day 1 of crib nap attempt. It was brutal! He fought it for an hour. Our dog Sadie was in his room the entire time. She would stick her nose trough the crib rails and whimper at him. I let him cry and would check on him every 5-10 minutes. Near the end of the hour I could see he was really starting to fade. He would doze off, then remember he was supposed to be mad and start crying again. Finally he fell asleep and he slept hard! He was snoring so loud even the dog would look up at his crib on occasion!
I feel like I achieved something by getting him to nap in his crib but I also feel like the worst mom in the world for making him cry. I keep telling myself this is a learning process for he and I, and that it’ll get better (and easier) eventually. But it’s still so heartbreaking listening to your child cry. Good luck to all you moms out there attempting sleep training! It’s not easy but you and your little one can do it!
We’ve been told since we were little how important sleep is but few people really listen. Sleep is imperative for your body in so many ways. As you sleep you body goes to work healing damaged cells, boosting your immune system, repairing your heart and cardio vascular system, and recovering from the days activities.
These are a few risks of lack of sleep:
•Increased risk of heart disease •Increased risk of stroke
•Loss of concentration/focus
•Adverse affects on blood sugar •Depression
•Drop in immune function
•Affects emotional state
Sleep is so important to your overall physical and mental health. For the average person 7-8 hours of sleep is a healthy amount of sleep each night. If you’re one who typically only sleeps 5-6 hours a night, try seeing if you can get to bed an hour earlier. That one hour of sleep will make a huge difference on your overall physical and mental health. You’ll actually feel less tired during the day and will have more physical energy. You’ll likely notice a difference in your emotional state as well.
I notice when I don’t get enough sleep my joints hurt, I’m tired all day and I’m moody. As the day goes on I get a little better but I’m never really myself. 7-8 hours a night is not always feasible when you have an infant but I try my best. I go to bed at 9 or 10 most nights in case he wakes up in the middle of the night or wakes up earlier than his normal 6:30am. I want to make sure my body is rested and ready for a full day of running around with him.