Tricks for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep During Pregnancy

by Elizabeth Bennett on May 29, 2020
pregnancy sleep. ongoing fatigue

Your body is working hard to nourish your baby and sleep is a time of rejuvenation

Getting a good night sleep can be tough, even when you’re not pregnant. So, once you find out you’re expecting, peaceful slumber can seem even more elusive. In between your growing belly and all the changes that accompany pregnancy, you might even feel like you will never sleep again.
Luckily, that isn’t true. It can be hard to get comfortable, especially during the second and third trimester. But you can do better than just counting sheep all night long.

In this article we will speak about:

  • The Effects of Sleep on Pregnancy

  • Dance, Exercise, and Stay Active During Pregnancy

  • Learn the Top Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy to Drift off to Dreamland

  • What Sleeping Postures to Avoid When Pregnancy so you Wake Up Refreshed

  • Set the Mood for Blissful Slumber During All Trimesters of Pregnancy

The Effects of Sleep on Pregnancy

restorative sleep

Every before you conceived, you needed quality, restorative sleep to feel your best. And it's pretty safe to say that if you didn't get a good night's sleep, you felt tired and sliuggish the next day. The same idea holds true now. In fact, it's even more important that you sleep well. Ongoing disrupted sleep cycles can lead to a variety of medical conditions. Some that only affect pregnant women. It's estimated that approximately 10 percent of expectant mothers suffer from sleep apnea.

Mothers tend to experience disrupted breathing patterns throughout the night. This sometimes result in continual waking with or without knowledge that they are gasping or choking. Sleep apnea puts pregnant women at higher risk for preeclampsia, pulmonary hypertension and gestational diabetes. Expectant moms who don't have sleep apnea but still sleep poorly are more prone to experience brain fog and bouts of anxiety and depression.

Dance, Exercise, and Stay Active During Pregnancy

dance during pregnancy

What you do during the day can impact how well you sleep at night. Unless you've been told to avoid exercising, you should be exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. If you're in your second trimester and you're feeling good, it's okay to perform moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, as long as you have medical clearance. This can include using an elliptical, treadmill and light weights.

If you're in your third trimester, you probably don't feel like exercising. Lingering tiredness can make even the simplest of exercises seem like you are climbing a mountain. However, it just might be what you need to feel more energized and to sleep better. Brisk walking or even casual strolls are equally effective in relieving stress, clearing your mind and even improve your pregnancy sleep.

Learn the Top Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy to Drift off to Dreamland

sleeping positions during pregnancy

Getting healthy sleep during pregnancy can be challenging. As your belly continues to grow, finding a comfortable position to sleep can seem hopefulness. And without adequate sleep, it's not uncommon to feel fatigued, listless and completely unmotivated. Sleep deprivation can also lead to falls, which is something no expectant mother wants.

Trying to wrangle your body into certain body positions that you used to prior to becoming pregnant is almost impossible. In fact, there are sleeping positions to avoid, especially towards in your last trimester. You need to account for your expanding uterus, which can make certain sleeping positions out of the question.

In your second and last trimesters, the best sleeping position is on your side. In fact, it’s even better if you can get comfortable on your left side. Sleeping on your left side increases blood flow to the placenta and baby. Simply place a pillow in between your legs and if needed, under your belly as well. Statistically, a lot of expectant mothers do experience reflux. If you’re one of them, try propping your upper body and head on pillows. If you’re headed towards the end of your last trimester, you might even feel short of breath occasionally. You can use extra pillows under your head and shoulders to make breathing just a little easier.

What Sleeping Postures to Avoid When Pregnancy so you Wake Up Refreshed

sleeping postures to avoid

Sadly, if you are a tummy sleeper, you're going to have to wait this one out. It's not a good idea to sleep on your tummy when pregnant, especially when you're close to delivering. Not sleeping in the right position can lead to heartburn, back pain, difficulty breathing and even hemorrhoids. If you just can't sleep without your tummy touching the mattress, you can lean against a pillow. This way you will protect your baby and make sleeping more comfortable. Your main goal should be not feeling fatigue in the morning, especially if you spent 8 to 10 hours in bed.

Set the Mood for Blissful Slumber During All Trimesters of Pregnancy

When pregnant, focus on sleep as ‘me’ time and pamper yourself by setting the mood for a blissful slumber.

In addition to the above-mentioned tips, you also need, at least one hour prior to lights out, turn off your phone. Also, dim the lights to create a feeling of calm. If you're someone who is always thinking about what you need to do the next day, create a list and keep it next to your bed. That way, you can write it down instead of thinking about it all night.

Here are just a few ways to attain a good night’s sleep during pregnancy:
  • Only go to bed when you feel sleep
  • Have your pillows and bedding ready to get comfortable
  • Avoid caffeine and other beverages before bed
  • Make the room dark
  • Eat a light meal before bed

The Takeaway

Helping a pregnant woman sleep isn't always easy, but with a little forethought, it is possible. You’ll manage to avoid pregnancy insomnia and feel rejuvenated during every trimester of your pregnancy. If you're still having trouble sleeping after implementing good sleep hygiene, talk to your obstetrician and see what other tips they suggest.
by Katie on July 05, 2020

All true. I need my sleep!

by Jael Kerr on June 24, 2020

I had trouble sleeping in my third trimester due to leg cramps. I took magnesium and potassium supplements before bed and occasionally a cup of tonic water. After that no problems!

by Chelsea G on June 23, 2020

This has been the biggest struggle for me in my pregnancy – I already had insomnia before and now I feel like I’m losing it! Sometimes listening to sleep tracks on youtube help but I think I might get a weighted blanket. Part of it is anxiety and joint pain too.
Benadryl is also an okay option at low doses i would think…
Thanks again for your contest and email reply!

by April Bailey on June 19, 2020

I’m a mom of 4 premie babies. Had alot of stress and anxiety even panic attacks. If I felt restless or not relaxed when it was time to zzzz. I would listen to sleep hypnosis and storm videos on YouTube. Worked every time!!!

by Jess Walker on June 08, 2020

Pillows pillows pillows. They are so important for comfort when pregnant.

by Monica Vides on June 08, 2020

I am 29 weeks pregnant and because I mostly sleep on my right side or turn to the left side I sleep so peacefully ! Especially with a body pillow! That’s my best friend!

by Brittany Hunt on June 08, 2020

Will be 5 weeks tomorrow and my breast are super tender and I’m so tired all the time

by Danielle on June 07, 2020

This was really helpful and had good advice.

by Janey Kidder on June 07, 2020

Very helpful. This is my first pregnancy.

by Alishea Usery-AWright on June 07, 2020

I am excited about this contest. Thank you for the blogs

by Ajh on June 06, 2020

Thank you, I NEEDED this!

by Katherine McGuire on June 06, 2020

Very excited for the contest! Because of COVID money has been tight so every little bit counts!

by Julia mathew on June 05, 2020

16w and been struggling with some insomnia, that isn’t helped by a teething 18mo. Thanks for the tips on getting better sleep!

by RICHARD SKUSE on June 05, 2020

good to know

by Autumn on June 05, 2020

I’m days away from 20 weeks and I’m laying in bed wide awake and it’s almost 7am, I have been awake since about 530am because I woke up to pee. I’m exhausted constantly and have a 5 year old, 3 year old, and almost 2 year old to tend to during the day and I just want some sleep before the new baby comes!

by Lindsay mayer on June 04, 2020

This was so helpful as I have been struggling with sleep lately.

by Sarah on June 01, 2020

This was actually very helpful, as lately sleep has been challenging for me.

by Brittany on May 31, 2020

I sleep less now that I am pregnant than I did before

by Christina on May 29, 2020

I’m 25 weeks pregnant and getting a good nights sleep is almost impossible! This info is super helpful.

by Anna on May 29, 2020

I’m nearly in my second trimester but I’ve been having a harder time sleeping more recently. The thing that keeps me going is that I’ll get to hold my little one in my arms in a few months