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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that being a mum equals sudden sleeplessness. So how come you’re getting no sleep and the baby hasn’t even arrived yet? Rolling around with a ballooning belly, aches almost everywhere, hormones out the wazoo; we know the feeling. Don’t sweat it: Here are eight easy steps to get better sleep when you’re pregnant.

1.Who said pillow forts are only for kids? Create a pillow strategy for sleeping. A firm pillow under the head and upper body is recommended for breathing easier. This decreases the strain on your diaphragm (that organ that baby has pushed up to make room in your tummy).

2. Experts also suggest that you should try sleeping on your side. Sleeping on either side of the body can remedy your back pain, the strain on your uterus and your breathing. Sleeping on the left side can boost all the goodness that travels to baby. (An extra step if aches and pains continue is to invest in a mattress pad).

3. Even though there is a light in the fridge, refrain from snacking (and consuming anything in general) about two hours before bed. Late-night snacking can cause heartburn and reflux, a surefire way to keep you alert in the wee hours.

4. If you’re finding it difficult to nod off, don’t lie there counting sheep (or counting all the places on your body that are uncomfortable). Get out of bed and do something boring – like folding your washing. Once you’ve begun to feel sufficiently soporific, head back to bed and see if you can get some shut-eye.

5. Cut back on the tiredness by taking short and snappy naps. Keep your naps to a total length of half an hour; otherwise, your body will move into deep sleep (weary). Moral of the story: Take multiple half-hour naps per day to drown out the drowsiness.

6. One of the joys of pregnancy is the body’s rise in temperature. Overheating can cause you to feel miserable, overtired, and dehydrated – but don’t worry, there is a plus side. You get special reign over the air-conditioner remote, electric blankets, and heater dials to set that perfect temperature for you and baby. 

7. Get rid of all the blue light (and the normal light) in your room before heading to sleep. That means turning off the phone, covering the glaring alarm clock light, and putting away the laptop as well as shutting the blinds. Light that’s omitted from devices disrupts the body’s natural sleeping patterns, so give your body a break.

8. Go one step further by keeping the bed for sleeping only. Even though it’s tempting to turn the bedroom into an office, do the bills, work, and online shopping away from your bed. Condition your body to the subtle indicators that night time is sleepy-time.

- Katherine Granich

Reprinted with permission. For the original article, head to BUMP&baby