You need quality sleep when you’re pregnant, that’s a fact. Ironically though, sleep can become somewhat elusive as your bump gets bigger and lower back pain increases. From your ever-growing belly to the hormonal changes and heartburn associated with pregnancy, catching some blissful zzz’s can now, indeed, be harder than before. However, you can take matters into your own hands and significantly improve the state of things. My name is Catherine Rodgers and I’m here to provide you with some handy tips for your better night’s slumber.

Tip #1. Maintain a consistent sleep-wake cycle.

Focus on making healthy sleep your priority. Make sure that you head to bed and get out of it in the morning at the same time — on a regular basis. That way, you will feel more awake and vigilant during the day and get really sleepy before bedtime. Avoid using your smartphone or laptop for at least an hour before going to bed.

Tip #2. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Work out for at least thirty minutes a day — unless your doctor is against it, of course. Opt for moderate exercise programs, something like yoga or light stretching. That way, you will succeed in increasing your blood flow, boosting your mood, and improving your night’s sleep. Get lots of fresh air and keep active. It will help you avoid many pregnancy-related discomforts and complications.

Tip #3. Keep away from spicy foods and water before bedtime.

Can’t live without spicy foods? Well, it’s either your favorite spicy Mexican chicken or the horrible nighttime heartburn — the choice is (almost) always up to you. In addition to this, try not to eat much right before bedtime. If you’re starving, eat something light and healthy instead of munching on piles of cookies or chocolate muffins. Also, drink lots of water throughout the day, but always avoid fluids before slipping into the arms of Morpheus.

Tip #4. Go to bed stress-free.

Whether you’re preggers or not, unresolved stresses and anxieties are your good night’s sleep’s enemies. Therefore, practice relaxation rituals, engage in pregnancy yoga, meditate, try a few simple breathing exercises, or talk about your problems to your partner during the day. That way, you will get rid of all your worries and go to sleep stress-free.

Tip #5. Get comfy with pillows.

Use multiple regular pillows (or invest in one extra long body pillow) to prop up your aching body parts and improve blood circulation. Another pillow hack to relieve pregnancy-related back pain is to rest on your left side with pillows comfortably positioned between your knees, as well as under your belly and your aching lower back.

Still Having Sleep Issues? Don’t Panic

If you’re heeding these pieces of advice (and some more) and are still experiencing problems with sleep while baking your bun in the oven, discuss the issue with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Have questions or comments on the topic? Speak up and get the discussion going in the comment box below. I’ll get back to you with answers ASAP. Your opinion is highly appreciated.