Early pregnancy is a very exciting time as we find out that it all works, and there is indeed a new little member of the family on the way. However the symptoms can be really tough to manage. Where I avoided the worst types of morning sickness, for several months I really struggled to sleep. I would fall asleep fine but wake up an hour or so later and be awake until dawn. Before that I would easily get a full eight hours almost every night, so the deprivation really took its toll on me and made any other symptoms much worse.
Luckily things improved in the second trimester, but now that I’m coming into my seventh month and the weather is the hottest of the year so far (25C is VERY hot for Ireland) the sleeplessness is starting to creep back in.
Anyway, the following are some things that I found a real help. Of course talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or implementing any new routines if you are pregnant.
LED and aroma humidifier diffuser: My mom picked this up for me at Christmas and I have it chugging away most evenings. You add a little water with one or two drops of essential oil and it produces a cool aromatherapy-scented mist. It also changes colour and serves as a night light. This was a pro for me but could be a turn-off for some, it make a little pppssshh noise as it converts the water to mist. I liked the white noise and they say that helps to nod off. You can buy it here for about €25 http://amzn.to/2rXW2tZ.
Tisserand Lavender Ethically Harvested Essential Oil: Lavender is my favourite scent but be careful to just use one or two drops, lots of lavender oil is actually stimulating and could wake you up! You can buy it here for about €12, and most decent essential oils cost at least a tenner. http://amzn.to/2qZDwT7.
Neom Organics London Real Luxury Intensive Skin Treatment Candle 140 g: I originally bought this as a present for my sister-in-law, but one night before Christmas, sleep-starved, I yanked it from under the Christmas tree and lit it. It is a little piece of heaven and a real indulgence. You light the candle and after 20 minutes you have a beautifully scented room and the wax melts into a gorgeous paste of essential oils, cocoa butter and almond oils ready to massage into tired hands and feet. Even better if you can get someone else to do the massaging! It usually costs €45 but it’s on sale for €32 at http://amzn.to/2rYjkjo.
Organic full fat milk: I’ve skipped the Supermilk and skimmed milk for some creamy organic full fat milk, either served as hot chocolate or a glass of milk. Thankfully I have been able to stomach milk the whole way through! Milk contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that boosts seratonin levels which supports sleep. My favourite is the Tesco organic milk or Lullaby Milk from Supervalu.
Life-flo pure magnesium oil: Magnesium is the king of sleep inducing minerals, although we humans don’t absorb it very well through supplements. Instead I used this magesium oil, which administers the mineral through the skin which is completely safe and better absorbed. It gets into your bloodstream after about 20 minutes so you can shower off if you don’t like how it feels on your skin. It costs about €11 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2qn1eGX.
New jammies always make me feel better and automatically more relaxed. Especially bump-friendly ones!
The very first place you should start if you’re having trouble sleeping is basic sleep hygiene practices but these are some products I really liked.
My other top tips are:
- Try and take a walk in the early evening, even if you are exhausted it can really help
- Eat trytophan-rich foods (yes easier said than done if you’re battle nausea, but if you can manage any of them nuts, seeds, tofu, cheese, red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs)
- Go to bed at the same time every night
Eventually I got back to having a reasonable amount of sleep, which I am cherishing as much as I can before little bean actually arrives!