Do you have erratic sleep issues, feel tired when you wake up, sleep more deeply than normal, or wake up frequently during the night?
Carrying a child presents a variety of newly discovered symptoms and discomforts. Your body works hard to support the growing one in your belly, and you can feel it in just about every nook and cranny possible. It’s normal but can be uncomfortable!
This unique set of sleep issues ebbs and flows as your body changes throughout your pregnancy. Body pillows, pillow tricks, diet and nutrition, and nightly routines all can support a better sleep. A better sleep is a better you!
As Pelvic Health specialists we see patients prenatal and postpartum with sleep issues that a body pillow alone can’t conquer. Rather, practicing prenatal yoga before bed can ease your mind and body, and prepare your body to sleep deeply and most comfortably.
We’ve detailed eight of our favorite yoga poses to help you sleep better during pregnancy!
8 Yoga Poses to Help You Sleep Better:
1. Supine Twist: Lie on your back drape one knee over and across to other side. Placing a block or stacked blankets for the knee to rest for support. Take arms out wide to each side and your gaze looks in opposite direction of your draped knee. Repeat to other side.
2. Happy Baby: Lie on your back bring legs up and bent knees fall out wide. Keep tailbone on floor and hold legs behind calves slightly drawing down toward the floor. Should feel a gentle opening and stretch in the hips and inner thigh.
3. Sitting Side-Body Stretch: Finding a comfortable sitting position on the ground. Legs can be drawn in or lay wide. Straighten spine and bring both arms up overhead, one arm falls to the side for light support while the other arm reaches up and over to same side as opposite arm. Taking 10 breathes then alternate to other side. Stretch will provide space and opening to your side body.
4. Figure 4 Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor so knees point to the ceiling. Bring your right foot to your left knee, so ankle rests on knee. Flex right toes back toward knee to protect your knee, and right hand gently pushes right inner thigh away from body to feel the opening for your glutes and hops. Repeat to other side placing left foot on right knee.
5. Cat/Cow Stretch: Propping up onto all fours, hands under shoulders and knees under hips, push ground away as you arch your back to the ceiling and tuck your chin. Then inhale as you lower belly and take gaze upward. Exhale as you take middle of back arched and upward and exhale as you release belly downward.
6. Child’s Pose: Lay a few pillows in front of you on the floor and position knees out wide as you fall forward resting chest and head on pillows. Arms extend straight forward and pull shoulders down away from ears. Feel a stretch in hips, inner thighs, and back.
7. Wide-Legged Forward Fold: Take feet wider than hips and fold from hips, releasing crown of head toward floor. A wider stance allows room for belly and if needed, rest forearms on thighs. A release is felt to lower back and a stretch is provided for your hamstrings.
8. Full Squat: Placing pillows beneath your center of body, allow toes to point outward in either direction and knees begin to bend and point outward and away from center. Bring yourself down to sit on blankets positioned underneath you, or, fully squat without support. Sit and hold for a few breathes.
Allowing your body a good stretch through all of these poses will prepare it for a comfortable sleep, one that is ready and anticipating rest.
For more guidance and practice on all of the above poses as well as breathwork and affirmations for you pregnancy journey, visit our homepage for our online class Your Best Birth or to schedule a time with one of our specialists here!