Tip #1: Start your bedtime wind down 30-60 minutes prior to actually hitting the hay!
I'll admit this one is tricky for me, with two littles night time is kind of my alone time. It's my time to unwind, research, read, or hang with my man. Too many nights I spend trying to stay awake scrolling pinterest or watching netflix. The biggest way that I'm working on this is to be intentional with my time. Intentionally spending quality time with the hubs, or reading helps me to be in a more present and relaxed space. Putting a boundary on my time helps me to be intentional with my down time so that it can really fill my cup and not just my time.
Tip #2: Set the scene
This seriously only takes 5 minutes but it goes a long way for me. This usually means lighting some candles, taking some meditative breaths, reading an encouraging verse. Whatever it is for you, it's not elaborate, but it helps shift your mind so that your brain knows its time to wind down. This is often when I make my red raspberry leaf tea in a pretty mug and just take a few minutes to let go of the day.
You may not have time every night to do this, but it's a great way to detox and de-stress your body. Epsom salt is full of magnesium, and most of us are magnesium deficient. Magnesium helps us to manage stress better, relax, take away muscle tension, aches, pains, reduce swelling and a ton of other benefits. Just 20 minutes and your body is on it's way to healing itself! I love adding baking soda and essential oils for an added detox boost.
Tip #5: Yoga/Stretching
I do this every night without fail- and if I don't I'm really bummed because I'm up at 2am doing my yoga so that I can go back to sleep. In pregnancy our hips can get really tight carrying around amniotic fluid, placenta, baby and if you have other littles picking them up all day. This makes sleep really hard at the end of the day. A few hip openers, meditative breaths and some stillness can go a long way to connecting with your body, your baby and helping you get a good night sleep. I really like this one, it's only 10 minutes but always brings relief when I have hip and back pain.
Tip #6: Aromatherapy
As I continue my training in pregnancy aromatherapy one of my favorite ways to unwind is to diffuse a high quality oil to help my body unwind. Some of my favorites are lavender, balance, juniper berry, blue tansy, geranium just to name a few. Check out my essential oils page if you're interested in learning more, and always feel free to leave a comment or message me with any questions you have.
If you're doing these things and still struggling to sleep at night. Here are some other things you can try, and I'll be doing a follow up blog post on them so stay tuned...
1. Weekly chiropractic adjustments.
Pregnancy is so hard on our hips and back, especially if we're lifting other little kiddos. Getting weekly adjustments (especially in the third trimester) will completely take away sciatica, and other hip pain that you may be having making your nights and legs restless. It is also a great way to get your baby in optimum position for birth. Weekly adjustments help you to avoid breech baby, posterior or transverse presentations.
2. Stay hydrated
Drinking about a gallon of water/herbal tea in the third trimester will help keep fluids in balance, reduce swelling, and help circulation, constipation and any other issues you may be having! Water, water, water and you'll notice a change!
I know you're getting huge and it's hard to move around, but even a 20 minute walk can release some of the tension your body is holing. Walking helps clear your mind, brings focus and my favorite is that it reduces labor time--- a lot!!! So if you want a fast easy birth, get walking ladies!
I hope these help and bring some insight into some of the issues you may be experiencing. The home stretch can be a tough time even for those of us that are doing all of these self care steps, remember to be gentle with your expectations of yourself and let some things slide--- it's all going to be ok. So take some time to take care of you today and get the rest you need. Sweet dreams!