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Tips for better sleep during pregnancy

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Pregnancy can have a profound impact on the quality of sleep for most expectant mums. As the bump gets bigger, it can be hard to get comfortable at night, whilst changes in hormones increase heartburn, insomnia and aches and pains, making decent shut-eye harder to achieve. Here are some tips to help improve your sleep when pregnant. Mattress support Your changing body will require extra support at night, so make sure you are sleeping on a firm mattress. If your mattress is over 10 years old, get a new one as it could be one of the best investments you make during your pregnancy, and beyond. Alternatively, a mattress topper can help give your body extra support. Look for memory foam options that mould to your body shape. Firm pillow Ditch saggy pillows and get yourself a really firm pillow for optimum support during pregnancy. Propping your head and upper body up with the support of a firm pillow reduces pressure from the diaphragm, making breathing easier and lessening the symptoms of heartburn. Maternity pillow A popular choice for pregnant women is the maternity pillow. This is a long, v-shaped pillow that is designed to support mum-to-be and bump whilst lying on one side during sleep. The pillow is placed under the bump and between the legs for maximum support. Many of these pillows can also be used as nursing pillows once the baby has been born. Sleep positions It is harder to move around at night, but the best sleeping position for expectant mums is on the side. This helps reduce pressure on the tummy, aids better breathing and reduces the risk of getting backache. Some research even suggests that lying on the left hand side can increase blood flow and nutrients to the baby. Avoid sleeping on your back, as this puts most pressure on your body and makes breathing more difficult. It can also increase symptoms of nausea. Temperature control You feel the heat more during pregnancy, so adjust the temperature in your room so that it doesn't feel too stuffy, as this can affect your quality of sleep.
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