Practical Tips for Sneaking in a Nap Time During Pregnancy

Image adapted via Flickr/ phalinn

Being pregnant is exhausting, and it totally makes sense when you think about it–you're growing a totally new, working human, and all the energy it takes to create life comes out of you. While I found the first and third trimesters to be the most exhausting, realistically, I needed extra sleep all throughout pregnancy, which is not uncommon for most pregnant women.

In 1998, the National Sleep Foundation released a poll titled Women and Sleep, and 78% of the women who participated in the study said they had more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than any other time in their life. Add that to the draining “growing a human” thing, and it's no wonder finding time to take a nap or two during the day is so important.

{ MORE: Closely Spaced Pregnancies Might Increase Autism Risk }

The catch, though, is finding time to get a normal amount of well-rested sleep, which is challenging enough already, so finding time to rest your eyes and catch extra ZZZs can feel near impossible. Whether you're a work-outside-the-house woman or you stay home with your other kids, there are some practical ways you can sneak in a nap and feel just a little bit more energized and rested.

Image via Flickr/ Johnath

Working parent

Take a nap during lunch: Make sure you eat, but squeeze in some sleep after. Just taking a 10-minute nap can really re-energize yourself. And no one at work will care.

Go into work a little later: Just taking an extra 15-20 minutes in the morning to sleep can set you up for having the best possible day.

Make right after work a power-nap time: Skip the after-work chores and make sleep a priority. Just before you start making dinner, rest on the couch or your favorite chair.

Take extra sleep time on the weekends: Sometimes, sleep during the week is not easy to find, but what about the weekend? Sure, you probably can't stockpile sleep, but catching extras where you can is important.

Image via Flickr/ Schwangerschaft

At-home parent with young kids who still nap

Sleep when the children sleep: I used to hate that advice we hear so often, but when you're pregnant, sleeping when your child is napping is the perfect way to get extra rest.

Call on a friend/family member/ babysitter: No joke. Hire someone or call someone just to watch the kids for 30 minutes (or 2 hours!), and use that time to get some sleep.


Take a 10-minute power nap on the couch: Power naps may be all you need, and taking 10 minutes out of your day to rest on the couch, put your feet up, and close your eyes will work like magic.

{ MORE: You Might Want To Think Twice About That Heartburn Medicine }

Image via Flickr/ Philippe Put

At-home parent with kids who won't nap

Call on a friend/family member/babysitter: If your child is too old to take a nap, call in some extra help for yourself. It's not selfish or a waste. Sleep is important.

Start “quiet time” where the kids play in their room with a book, and you take a rest: So maybe your child doesn't want to nap, but you still can! I used to do this with my kids when I was pregnant every day at 2 in the afternoon for an hour–they would read or play quietly in their rooms while I would rest my head.

Put together activities your kids can do with little supervision and close your eyes: Grab a basket and fill it with crayons, Lego, puzzles, coloring books, and sticker projects–anything your older child can do on their own. Use that time while they're sitting in the living room with you to lay on the couch and rest your eyes. You won't be fully asleep, but when you're tired, any little bit helps!

{ MORE: 6 Things You Shouldn't Say to a Pregnant Woman and Why }

Were you exhausted during your pregnancy? How did you squeeze in extra rest?

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Practical Tips for Sneaking in a Nap Time During Pregnancy

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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