Pregnancy sleep with Jojo Mama Bebe

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We were really excited to be asked to contribute to this article by Jojo Mama Bebe, all about sleep in pregnancy…if you ignore the advice given by Dave about blue light, it is a super helpful article!

Sleep experts: how expectant mothers can improve their sleep in the heat

  • Most (82%) British mothers have cited sleep struggles during their pregnancies
  • And almost three quarters  (71%)  made significant changes to their bedroom environment to tackle sleep issues
  • Sleep experts advise adopting good sleep hygiene, a consistent routine and limiting fluids before bed

A good night’s sleep can be a challenge for expectant mothers as four in five (82%) British mothers admit that at some point or another during their pregnancies, sleep has eluded them, no matter what they tried. And for half (48%) the middle of the night was when slumber escaped them the most. 

From restricted sleep positions to physical discomfort and even increased summer temperatures, 37% revealed they faced these issues frequently.

To help expecting mothers get their sleep schedule back on track, the mother and baby retailer JoJo Maman Bébé has partnered with sleep consultant Jenna Wilson and sleep coach Dave Gibson to provide some top tips for aiding better sleep during pregnancy.

Practice good sleep hygiene, making sure a consistent routine is in place:

With almost three quarters of (71%) British women changing their sleep environment to combat common bedtime issues such as discomfort and temperature, Dave Gibson explores implementing good sleep hygiene.

He explains: “Good sleep hygiene largely consists of maintaining a sleep routine that encourages us to fall asleep easily and stay asleep throughout the night.

“Sleep hygiene refers to a set of practices and habits that are necessary to have good quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness. This includes a regular bedtime routine as well as a consistent bed and wake time, even on weekends.”

Sleeping on the left side is recommended to aid circulation:

Dave explains:Sleeping posture is important and you should be lying on your left-hand side, to aid circulation, especially during your second and third trimester.

“Avoid sleeping face down during the second and third trimester as this puts pressure on the uterus and sleeping on your back can reduce blood flow and increase breathing difficulties.”

“The aim is that your spine should remain in a neutral alignment to help the joints and muscles relax whilst you sleep.”

“Using pregnancy pillows can help support your body during sleep. Elevating your upper body is something to consider during the latter months as it helps ease the pressure on your digestion and circulation systems. It also helps ease breathing difficulties.”

Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation during the day:

Jenna explains: “Engaging in activities like prenatal yoga, meditation, tapping or deep breathing exercises before bed can help you drift off to sleep.”

Dave adds: “Also reading a book or having a warm bath are great ways to unwind.

“Another tip is to create boundaries with technology and limit its usage close to bedtime. The blue light emitted from screens blocks the release of melatonin (our sleep hormone) reducing our desire for sleep so aim to keep the phone out of the bedroom and opt for a dawn simulator for an alarm to help you wake up naturally.”

Limit fluids before bed and take regular breaks throughout the day:

Dave explains: “It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but avoid large amounts of fluids before bed to prevent frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom.

“Throughout the day, take regular breaks to help ease achy muscles and opt for light meals in the evening to prevent discomfort and indigestion – which can disrupt sleep.

“Incorporate magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, as well as tryptophan-rich foods like turkey to promote relaxation and better sleep. Maintaining regular mealtimes and avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime can support better sleep patterns.”

Opt for a cooling shower before bed and use gel pillows to help reduce temperature:

Dave explains: “There are a variety of methods that can be used to reduce body temperature such as having a cool shower before bed, using ice packs and damp clothes as well as cooling sprays which can be used on the feet, wrists and the back of the head.

“To cool down the bedroom, opt for a fan near the bed to keep the air circulating and use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity levels low, as high humidity can make the heat feel more oppressive.

“Closing your bedroom curtains during the day is also a good way to keep the heat out in the summer months.

“Opt for light, breathable bedding such as cotton and bamboo. Similarly, wear cool, light sleepwear made from breathable materials (or none). You could consider investing in a cooling gel pillow too.

“During exceptionally hot days, opt for cooling your bed linen in the fridge with a plastic bag.”

Getting the right amount of sleep can improve pain tolerance, mood regulation and stress reduction:

Jenna explores five key categories that can be affected by sleep:

  1. Immune Function: “Ensuring we get enough sleep supports the immune system, helping to protect both mummy and baby from infections. The right amount of sleep also helps maintain healthy blood pressure and reduces the risk of conditions like preeclampsia.”
  1. Mood Regulation and Stress Reduction: “Sufficient sleep can help manage mood swings and rest can help manage stress levels, which is beneficial for overall mental well-being, especially for expecting mothers.”
  1. Foetal Development and Growth: Getting enough sleep supports the growth and development of the baby, as our bodies repair and regenerate cells whilst we sleep.”
  1. Cognitive Function – Concentration and Memory:“Good sleep improves cognitive functions such as concentration, decision-making, and memory, important if you are trying to prevent ‘baby brain’.”
  1. Labour and Delivery – Energy Levels and Pain Perception: Getting enough rest ensures expectant mothers have the necessary energy for labour and delivery.Better sleep can improve pain tolerance, which can only be a benefit during labour!”

For those looking to stock up on pregnancy essentials, check out JoJo Maman Bébé’s wide range of pregnancy pillows and hospital bags as well as their maternity collection.

As always if you need help with any aspect of your child’s sleep (or you would be interested in an antenatal package) please just get in touch!

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