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How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

By the end of our guide, you'll know a bunch of different tips, tricks, and techniques to getting a full night's sleep during pregnancy.
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Last updatedLast updated: October 08, 2021
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Before having children, it’s pretty common to think that pregnancy is a beautiful thing. And for the most part, that’s true. But ask any mother out there, and they’ll tell you about how hard pregnancy is. There are tons of things that can make pregnancy hard, and one of them is sleep.

During pregnancy, hormones, stress levels, and your body systems can all have an effect on your sleep. There are even some studies that show that pregnancy can worsen sleep apnea and snoring Trusted Source The Consequences of Lack of Sleep During Pregnancy Learn how poor sleep or lack of sleep during pregnancy may affect the health of the mother and the unborn baby. www.verywellhealth.com . This leaves many soon-to-be moms wondering how to sleep during pregnancy.

While scientists aren’t sure why we evolved to sleep, they know that it’s crucial to our physical well-being, especially when pregnant. In our guide, we’ll show you a couple of different ways to sleep during pregnancy to keep you as well-rested as possible!

The Importance of Sleeping During Pregnancy

Sleep is incredibly important to humans. It helps us recharge and reenergize. While we sleep, our body produces hormones, regenerates damaged cells, and other physiological processes that are very important to our health. And when you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to stay well-rested.

A lack of sleep is common during pregnancy. During this time, your body goes through a lot of changes, making it hard to get a full night’s rest. However, it’s essential to get as much rest as possible to keep yourself and the baby as healthy as possible.

Different studies have shown that the way you sleep during pregnancy in your first trimester can affect your third trimester. Many experts recommend that pregnant women get at least 5 hours of sleep every night to reduce the risk of complications down the line.

Does Lack of Sleep Have an Impact on Pregnancy?

A lack of sleep during pregnancy can lead to complications such as high blood pressure, fatigue, and others. However, it’s also important to note that lack of sleep during pregnancy can also result in longer, complicated deliveries Trusted Source Sleep and Pregnancy - familydoctor.org Sleeping well may be difficult while you’re pregnancy, but is important. familydoctor.org .

Finding the Best Sleeping Position

When trying to learn how to sleep better during pregnancy, it’s essential to consider your sleeping position. Here are common sleeping positions and how they affect your sleep during pregnancy.

Stomach Sleeping

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

Using a donut-shaped pillow (with a hole in the middle) may help you sleep comfortably on your stomach.

When wondering how to sleep during early pregnancy, you won’t have to worry too much about sleeping positions. Stomach sleeping is okay as long as you’re in early pregnancy. However, early pregnancy (before the bump appears) is the only time sleeping on your stomach is normal. Once you feel the baby bump developing, it’s best to start switching to a different position.

While it isn’t recommended, we recommend using no pillow or a thin pillow if you do sleep on your stomach during the first trimester. That way, your spine stays as aligned as possible. We’ve compiled a list of the best thin pillows today to help stomach sleepers keep their bodies aligned when at rest.

Back Sleeping

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

This can cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and cause a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby.

Just like stomach-sleeping, it’s fine to sleep on your back in early pregnancy. As long as the bump hasn’t appeared, this is an okay way to sleep while pregnant. However, as you carry on with the pregnancy, you’ll eventually have to switch.

Left-or-Right Side Sleeping

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

This position allows for maximum blood flow and nutrients to the placenta, which means less pressure on the vena cava.

If you’re wondering how to sleep during pregnancy in your second trimester and third trimester, it’s on your side. This puts the least pressure on your back and is also how to sleep with sciatica pain during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend sleeping on your left side during pregnancy, as it keeps your uterus off the liver.

How to Sleep in Every Trimester

Sleeping changes throughout pregnancy. How to sleep during pregnancy in your first trimester is different from how to sleep during pregnancy in your third trimester. As your body goes through changes, it’s essential to adjust. Here’s how to sleep during the different chapters of your pregnancy;

First Trimester

For your first trimester, you don’t have to worry too much about sleeping positions. Doctors recommend that pregnant women sleep in whatever position they find most comfortable during the first trimester. Since no baby bump is present, any sleeping position works fine. However, once a bump starts forming, it would be best to change sleeping positions.

Second Trimester

Once you reach your second trimester, it’s important to start sleeping on your left side. This is the optimal position for sleeping during pregnancy. During your second trimester, you’ll likely end up trying to switch back to your natural sleeping position in the middle of the night. Don’t worry; this happens all the time, and if you’re worried about moving to your back, simply put a pillow behind you to prevent you from rolling.

Third Trimester

During your third trimester, the only position you can sleep in is your side. The baby’s weight will simply cause so much discomfort it will be impossible to sleep on your back. When you go to sleep during your third trimester, you’ll naturally sleep on your side, but try to make sure to sleep on your left side as much as possible.

Throughout your whole pregnancy, comfort should be a key priority. One of the best ways to get comfortable sleep during pregnancy is by using the right mattress. If you’re interested, you can check out our list of the best mattresses for pregnancy to help you find the right bed for such a special moment in your life.

How to Sleep Better If You’ve Got:

There are many things that can get in the way of sleeping during pregnancy. Here are some methods to sleeping when you have certain conditions;

Back Pain

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

Pregnancy back pain typically happens where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint.

To learn how to sleep during pregnancy with back pain, all you need is an extra pillow. When you go to sleep, try putting a pillow between your legs. This will align your spine better and alleviate back pain.

Sciatica Pain

 

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

During pregnancy, sciatica can arise if your growing baby and expanding uterus put pressure on your sciatic nerve; pressure on this nerve can cause inflammation, irritation, and pain.

Many people wonder how to sleep during pregnancy with sciatica pain. Again, all you’ll need to do is put a pillow between your legs. To further alleviate the pain, you can also place a pillow between yourself and the mattress. There are even specific pregnancy pillows that are designed to help alleviate back pain and discomfort.

Heartburn

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

Heartburn in pregnancy may happen because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how your body handles different foods.

It can be tough to figure out how to sleep during pregnancy with heartburn. This is a common symptom for women to experience when pregnant, and one of the best ways to deal with it is to slightly elevate your head to allow the stomach acid to flow down.

Restless Legs Syndrome

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

RLS in pregnancy might be triggered by a lack of enough folic acid or iron.

Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS is another common pregnancy symptom, especially during the second and third trimesters. The best way to handle this is to eat bananas and vitamin supplements that can help with iron deficiency. Remember, only take supplements with your doctor’s approval.

Sleep Apnea

How to Sleep During Pregnancy: Helpful Tips

Sleep apnea during pregnancy can lead to long-term health complications.

Aside from sleeping on your side, another technique to sleep during pregnancy with sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Also known as CPAP therapy, this is considered one of the safest and most effective ways to deal with sleep apnea during pregnancy.

How to Improve Sleeping During Pregnancy: Tips

Here are some other things you can do to improve your sleep during pregnancy:

1. Drink Enough Water

Even when you aren’t pregnant, staying hydrated is a great way to get better sleep at night. Doctors recommend that women drink between 8-12 cups of water a day to stay hydrated during pregnancy.

2. Reduce Caffeine

Caffeine and pregnancy generally aren’t a good mix. Doctors highly recommend reducing, if not completely cutting out caffeine intake during pregnancy. Caffeine can affect your sleep at night, so it’s always best to reduce intake when pregnant.

3. Prevent Heartburn

Sleeping with heartburn is very tough, and there isn’t too much you can do about it once it’s there. However, you can prevent it by taking the right vitamins, eating bananas, and doing safe exercises during the day.

4. Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are a great way to relax during pregnancy. When pregnant, it’s best to practice slow breathing exercises as doctors don’t recommend quick, forceful breaths.

5. Do Relaxing Activities

Relaxing throughout the day is another great way to get sleep at night. Find what relaxed you, such as pregnancy yoga and other techniques that can have you feeling ready to sleep at night.

6. Prepare Your Room

A well-prepared room is a great way to promote healthy sleep. To allow you to get into multiple positions to relax throughout the day, we recommend an adjustable bed frame like this Tranquil Adjustable Frame.

7. Use a Special Pillow

Special pregnancy pillows are another great way to get better sleep at night. These pillows are designed to help you get into the right position with proper support for your back and hips.

8. Sleep In The Same Position

Choosing one sleeping position is another way to get better rest during pregnancy. Quality mattresses like this Nectar Memory Foam mattress are a great way to feel comfortable in bed and choose the optimal sleeping position.

Final Thoughts

That ends our comprehensive guide to sleeping during pregnancy. Getting proper rest at night is crucial when you’re pregnant. Not getting enough sleep can lead to complications down the road and can even lead to longer deliveries when the time comes.

But with these methods on how to sleep during pregnancy, it will be much easier for you to get into the right position and mindset for a full night’s rest. Remember, it’s important to stay as healthy as possible when carrying a child as it’s not just your health you’re supporting; it’s your child’s health as well.

References

1.
The Consequences of Lack of Sleep During Pregnancy
Learn how poor sleep or lack of sleep during pregnancy may affect the health of the mother and the unborn baby.
2.
Sleep and Pregnancy - familydoctor.org
Sleeping well may be difficult while you’re pregnancy, but is important.
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