These days, not sleeping is a badge of honour. Executives boast of how they get by on three hours of sleep, and there are entire industries dedicated to keeping us all awake. Between smart phones, energy drinks and streaming entertainment, there is so much that entices us to skip out on sleep.
The Resting Mother: Africology and Sleep
The expectant mother is always warned about the sleepless nights that come after baby arrives – the crying, the constant feeding. There are no surprises there, but what about before the bundle of joy even gets home?
The expectant mother needs so much rest. In the first trimester, fatigue is caused by massive hormonal changes in order to accommodate the new life within. The body is producing more blood to carry nutrients to the growing baby, and blood pressure and sugar levels tend to be lower. Increased progesterone levels make Mom sleepy, and emotional changes can leave one feeling more drained than usual.
And while every woman experiences pregnancy differently depending on her fitness levels, lifestyle and nutrition, there are few that would want less sleep. It is especially important to practice good sleep hygiene in this time.
A few tips to note:
- Keep the bedroom dark and free of blinking lights, as light levels dictate the production of sleep and waking hormones
- An eye mask goes a long way to blocking out light and encouraging the brain to produce the sleep hormone melatonin
- Screen time needs to be limited, and it is recommended that devices be put away two hours before bed time. The blue light from phones, televisions and tablets stimulates the brain into wakefulness, and devices are also an attractive distraction that can derail a sensible bedtime
- As difficult as it can be, trying to establish a regular bedtime and routine will help produce better quality sleep. Your routine can include a bath, some light reading or a cup of chamomile tea to establish a pattern that will teach the body and brain to start slowing down at a certain time
Of course, Nature has intelligently provided, with wonderful aromatherapy to help us sleep. By rubbing Africology Sleep Gel on your temples and the bottom of your feet, the natural peace brought on by our blend will help you drift off.
Whether it is taking a power nap in the afternoon or trying to sleep through the night, it is so important that you get the sleep you need and deserve in this precious time.