Healthy Sleep

Pave the way for healthy sleep habits during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when you are prone to sleepless nights. When you frequently catch yourself being wide awake at 2:30 am, you are far away from a healthy sleep cycle! And the impacts of which you may have already started to feel or will feel in the forthcoming days. Excess fatigue, tired looking skin area around the eyes, dry mouth, increased hunger pangs, heightened sugar cravings, problems related to digestions, joint pains, body aches are some of the perils of missing sound sleep! Developing insomnia is the most chronic danger of all.

If you have been attempting to launch into a healthy, timely sleeping cycle lately, here are few easy ways to go about it.

Bid farewell to caffeine and other chemicals that interrupt sleep
Coffee or any caffeinated products reduce sleep quality! Binging on coffee late night or evening especially during pregnancy is a stimulant that keeps you awake. Eliminating coffee, chocolate and cola for 4 to 6 hours prior to your sleeping time, will bring you good sleep.

Reading prior to sleeping induces good sleep
This is an age-old practice fostered by our parents and grand-parents! Light reading is apt before sleeping. It gradually induces a state of complete relaxation which transitions into deep sleep. When the body is relaxed the body’s cortisol levels, (a stress hormone) drop and relaxing hormones function smooth, thereby making it easy to sleep calm and healthy and wake up rejuvenated.

Inculcate the habit of exercise daily
Might appear out of context, but regular exercise plays a crucial part in developing a smooth sleep cycle. But you need to exercise at the right time. Ideally, early morning or evening. Exercise or any physical activity helps to release the accumulated stress and tension embedded in our body, muscles, tissues and sometimes in our mind as well. However, since exercising produces cortisol, that activates the brains alerting process, it’s essential to come to a state of complete rest post exercise and prior to sleep. So, exercising early morning is best, followed by evening, where you can have a comfortable gap of at least 4 to 5 hours before sleep. However, have a word with your healthcare provider the extent of the exercising you may indulge during the pregnancy period.

Maintaining a diary or journal
Pregnancy can be also bring with it tons of emotional upheavals. Sleeping is the only time, when the mind and body is free of work. Hence, it circles back and forth unsolved issues, pent up emotions, to-be completed work assignments, apprehensions about instalments and replay it all as a loop tape in the brain, since now the mind is empty of work agendas. This constant thinking corrupts sleep cycle. Sleep experts recommend keeping a journal and writing down your day’s experiences and worries prior to sleep. That way, we can trick our mind to think that we have addressed all our problems and can sleep restfully.

Getting into the practice of deep breathing
Holistic healers and health experts recommend deep breathing practice every day for about 5 minutes, twice. The process of deep breathing minimizes blood pressure, heart rate, eases body, its muscles and tissues, releases endorphins and other feel good hormones and gently prepares our body for sleep. Wondering how to go about it? Breathe in for 5 seconds, pause for 3 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds. You can start by completing 8 sets to start with and pace up gradually to 15 sets. Practicing this daily in morning and evening will prove beneficial.

By shifting to these simple healthy practices, you can strike out these unhealthy sleep patterns forever and enjoy complete vitality during pregnancy!

Sources:
http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits
http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips
http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/what-can-you-do/good-sleep-habits

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