This is important
I want to talk about sleep. I was once that person that partied 4 nights a week, worked 15 hours a day and thought lack of sleep gave you hero status. Not anymore.
Since I left my corporate job in 2016, I realised this is no longer the badge of honour I once thought it was.
How my sleep suffered
My sleep severely suffered during week 32 (not much before then), not because I was uncomfortable but mostly because we got new neighbours and our bedroom wall adjoined to their living room. They are elderly and deaf and like to watch television until gone midnight most nights. Given we are both early risers this wasn’t going down very well. We got earplugs and sometimes slept in the spare room, now it’s not so much of a problem.
I continued to suffer for the following few weeks and then it levelled out where I would only wake between 1 and 3 times a night for a pee. And whilst I know this is also my body’s way of getting me ready for what’s to come it’s bloody awful. I’m also not a day napper, it just very rarely works for me. If I do nap, I often find I wake up groggy and just don’t like the feeling of falling asleep during the day. Towards the end of my pregnancy though I did manage to nap occasionally, anytime from in the morning to sometimes at 6pm. By week 38 it was pretty uncomfortable.
Pregnancy pillow and advice
I had a pregnancy pillow which I used on and off, but being honest it just wasn’t my thing. I was most comfortable sleeping on my front/side with one leg bent. Not the most conventional but it worked for me and I’d encourage you all to do the same. Whatever works. There is a school of thought out there that it’s “best” to sleep on your left hand side, however I always thought what if you just can’t fall asleep on that side and are left panicking because you aren’t. My midwife never gave me this advice, it was more passed on from other people and from doctor Google. The stress you’ll put yourself under from trying to sleep on your left and then not being able to will outweigh the benefits of just getting a good nights sleep in the first place.
The impact on mood
It really is fascinating how a shit nights sleep will impact your mood and productivity levels and this experience definitely showed that. When baby arrives (which is now) the message I am already practising in my head is that this sleep deprived time period isn’t forever, so just ride it out and things will improve. But my main message here is don’t forgo your sleep for other things you might think are important. Sure, every now and again we need to meet up with friends and socialise, because that’s part of looking after yourself too (although at present his is more through video conferencing calls than in person). But if you are burning the candle at both ends often, bail and nap or get an early night. That’s ok too. And you are the only person who will know if it’s the right time to do that or not.