As anyone who has been pregnant can affirm, sleep can sometimes suffer during pregnancy. There can be challenges when you’re sleeping for two. Are you finding it hard to get comfortable in bed as your belly grows? Are leg cramps waking you at night? Does poor quality sleep lead to you feeling overly tired during the daytime, or make it difficult to concentrate? November is National Sleep Comfort Month, so let’s talk about how to get better pregnancy sleep -starting now!
One of the best ways to improve your sleep, ironically, has nothing to do with what you do at night. Instead it relates to how you spend your days. If you’re mostly sedentary during your week it can lead to poor sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, research shows that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week provides a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality, makes leg cramps while sleeping 68% less likely, and makes it easier to fall asleep more quickly .[i] But is it safe to exercise during pregnancy? Yes! You can begin now, no matter what trimester you’re in. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that healthy pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. [ii]
Dancing For Birth™ is a class created specifically for pregnancy and postpartum, with stretches and gentle-but-challenging moves that feel wonderful on your changing body and your shifting center of gravity. These moves not only feel good and help you get your exercise so you can sleep better, they are also designed to help your baby attain the optimal fetal position for birth, and to teach you how to use movement during birth, to make birth easier and more pleasurable.
Julie Mudd, from New Hampshire says, “I’m so pumped to share another amazing DFB™ story. One of my Mommas, happily pregnant at 38 weeks with twin girls, came to her last class on Sat. She was amazing, a rockstar! Those 6+lb. baby girls made an amazing entrance in an un-medicated vaginal delivery 3 HOURS after class! Amazing stuff, Miss Stephanie! (Did I mention that I LOVE teaching DFB™ ?!)”
Getting into an active pregnancy lifestyle takes intention. You may arrive at Dancing For Birth™ class tired after a long day, but you’ll leave feeling energized, satisfied, and ready to sleep deeply at bedtime. The class is 90 minutes and you can attend multiple times a week throughout your pregnancy, right up until you give birth…and then come back to the same class with your baby and share the benefits together.
An added benefit of dancing is that the feel-good hormones your body produces when you’re dancing (especially the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin) can help you get to sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and, as a bonus, have sexy dreams.[iii] This is because oxytocin is also the hormone of lovemaking, birth and bonding. Cool, right?!
What are your best tips for better pregnancy sleep? Share in the comments below.
Stephanie Larson is a leading world expert on supporting pregnancy, birth and new parenthood through movement and instinct. She is the Founder and Master Trainer of Dancing For Birth™ the global pre/post natal class. Larson calls for an end to forced lithotomy position, and a worldwide shift to primal, powerful, euphoric birth and conscious parenting. Her speaking engagements and TV appearances include DONA International, Lamaze International, CAPPA, ICAN, CIMS, ICEA, CAPPA Canada, AWHONN, CBS, NBC and FOX. She ‘danced out’ her four babies in birth center, hospital and home births.