Trying to stay on top of my sleep goals but also… growing a small human

What’s more fun than trying to improve your overall sleep quality when you have long established bad sleep hygiene practices? Trying to do so while pregnant.

I don’t say so to complain (my partner and I are very excited!), or to dismiss the numerous other challenges to getting better sleep (I’m sure there are those out there who immediately thought “If you think it’s hard while pregnant, wait until you have a newborn!” to which I say, “Been there, done that, and I was far better rested with a newborn than while pregnant.” But trying to sleep with a newborn and a toddler will be a fun adventure, I’m sure.), but I’m just stating it as a fact. All other things being equal, it is harder to get good quality sleep while pregnant than when not.

Between the nausea, weird dreams, the need to pee, a mind racing with a million to-do’s, nighttime fetal dance parties, and all the aches and pains, I have no idea why “Sleep now because you won’t be able to once the baby’s here” has become such popular early parenting advice (for the love of every pregnant person’s sanity, please stop giving this “advice”). Being pregnant during this time a big reason for why I wanted to work on my sleep habits now, so that with any luck I wouldn’t be a walking, overly stressed shell of a human being by the time it came deliver.

But I’m finding it harder to commit to my sleep goals when no matter what I do, it seems like I get terrible sleep anyway. If I’m going to spend my days craving caffeine and wanting to take a nap anyway, then why not spend my late night free time (another commodity that will take a hit once the baby gets here) doing something that I’m fully conscious for?

So then I try to remind myself that even if I aim for 8-9 hours of sleep and get 5-6, that’s still leaps and bounds better than setting myself up for a maximum of 6-7 hours of sleep and ending up getting 3-4. And who knows? Maybe occasionally I’ll get a decent night’s sleep? But I never will if I allow myself to ignore my 10:30pm bedtime.

It’s now June. This is the last month in my sleep-focused quarter. It’s not time to give up; it’s time to buckle down. I don’t have to get a perfect 8 hours of sleep every night to be successful in my goal; I just have to do the best I can.

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