How To Sleep When Pregnant: The Best Positions, Plus Tips For A Restful Night
You hear all the buzz about not sleeping well (if at all!) when you have kids, but it may come as a shock to hear that the same can be true while they’re growing in your belly. Learning how to sleep when pregnant is a whole new ballgame!
Nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and growing pains are just a few reasons you may be lacking in the sleep department during your pregnancy.
In this article, we’ll reveal the best sleeping positions for pregnant women and offer some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep the whole nine months!
The Importance Of Good Sleep When You’re Pregnant
Even if you’re not pregnant, you need a good night’s sleep. Sleep is the time when your body and organs reset and renew.
Plus, your body needs sleep to perform its basic functions, like thinking (pregnancy brain, anyone?). And it helps your mood!
But how does sleep affect you when you’re carrying your little one?
As you may know, your blood flow significantly increases during pregnancy, and adequate sleep helps the blood flow properly to your baby. Your pregnant body also needs rest to fight off any infections and build your immune system.
Getting the right amount of sleep also helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Because of that, the quality of your sleep can play a big role in the outcome of your glucose screening test, which screens for gestational diabetes by checking for high levels of sugar in your blood.
One reason some otherwise healthy moms-to-be fail this test or have to repeat it is that they’re not getting enough (or good) sleep and their blood sugar levels have gotten off track.
Finally, don’t forget the obvious reason you need quality sleep every night: your body is growing a baby!
Now that you know the reasons behind getting good sleep while you’re pregnant, let’s talk about how to sleep when pregnant.
How To Sleep When Pregnant: Positions
Sleeping On Your Side
There’s been quite a bit of back-and-forth banter between which side is the best to sleep on during pregnancy.
We’re here to put your mind at ease! The general consensus is that the left side is the best sleeping position for pregnant women.
While sleeping on your right side is not unsafe, sleeping on your left side helps promote better blood flow to your baby. Plus, your liver is on your right side, so if you sleep on your left side, it can keep your heavy uterus off of that important organ!
Sleeping On Your Stomach
If you’re an avid stomach sleeper, we’re sorry to tell you that it’s not the best sleeping position for pregnant women, and for obvious reasons.
But all is not lost! Studies have shown that it’s OK to sleep on your stomach during your first trimester, but consider a new sleeping position past that point.
Sleeping on your stomach eventually becomes uncomfortable and impossible, anyway. Try other possible sleep positions and see what works best for you.
Sleeping On Your Back
You might also want to avoid sleeping on your back, especially during your third trimester. It’s not ideal during your last few months of pregnancy.
Think about it:
- Your uterus is heavy.
- Your baby is getting bigger by the day.
- Your organs are under all of that weight, and it presses on them during the night, including your bladder.
- And your back is probably not feeling too great.
This sleep position could possibly be one of the reasons you wake up so much at night. To start with, you’re probably uncomfortable. And you’re probably getting up to empty your bladder pretty frequently.
To top it all off, sleeping on your back might make it hard for you to breathe, which isn’t safe for you or your baby. For an alternative sleep position, try our next one: sleeping propped up.
(Note: Don’t worry if you wake up in the middle of the night and realize you’re sleeping on your back. Simply switch positions and get back to snoozing!)
Sleeping Propped Up
Nobody wants to sleep sitting up, but it might be the best way to get some shut-eye while you’re pregnant, especially if sleeping on your back is your go-to position.
For this sleep position, grab a few pillows and make sure the top part of your body is propped up. Avoid lying in a way that puts pressure on your back or belly.
The easiest — and probably most comfortable — way to sleep propped up is to use a cozy reclining chair.
How To Sleep When Pregnant: Tips For A Restful Night
Use A Pregnancy Pillow
To help you sleep better at night, consider using a pregnancy pillow. This type of pillow supports your belly and might even help alleviate some back pain.
Lie on your left side with the pillow between your legs and propped up under the side of your belly for the best quality of sleep.
Tip: Don’t have a pregnancy pillow? Use two or three regular pillows in the same spots.
Eliminate Screen Time At Night
Pregnant or not, staring at a screen before bed disrupts the quality and quantity of your sleep.
To get the best possible sleep while you’re pregnant, stop using any form of technology about an hour before you want to fall asleep.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Make sure you’re getting your water intake for the day!
Now that you’re carrying a baby, it’s even more important to drink a lot of water — not just for you, but for your baby, too. And if you’re not getting enough water, you could wake up with different pains due to dehydration.
That being said, you might want to consider not drinking anything two hours before going to bed so you don’t have to make a few unwanted trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Exercise During The Day
Exercise is important all the time, but especially when you’re pregnant. It keeps your body in good shape and helps you gear up for delivery. Plus, it gives you much-needed energy to fight pregnancy fatigue.
Keep your body moving (safely) throughout the day so that when bedtime comes around, you’re ready to crash and won’t have any trouble falling asleep.
Save your exercises for the morning or afternoon, and skip doing them in the evening. Since exercising can give your body a boost in energy, it might hinder your ability to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.
Finally, always check with your OBGYN before beginning any exercise routine.
Take Up A Relaxing Activity Before Bed
Pregnancy can cause a lot of anxiety in moms-to-be. It’s important to find something that helps your brain shut down and unwind, like reading a book or listening to relaxing music.
Schedule Your Sleep
Just like you set an alarm to wake up at the same time every day, schedule the time you want to go to sleep every night.
And if you’re taking naps during the day, also pencil them into your schedule. But don’t take a nap too late in the day since that may disrupt your nighttime sleep!
Stash Some Snacks On Your Nightstand
Despite its name, morning sickness doesn’t just show up in the morning. Surprisingly, it can even show up in the middle of the night.
If your belly is keeping you up in more ways than one, keep a healthy snack nearby, like on your nightstand, to help with unwanted nausea.
What To Do If You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough sleep while you’re pregnant, first try the different sleep positions we mentioned above and put our tips into practice.
Every mom-to-be is carrying around extra weight during their pregnancy, which can disrupt your sleep patterns and your overall health. Judge your sleep by quality, not quantity, during your pregnancy.
One way to do this is by evaluating how you feel during the day. If your exhaustion is beyond the expected pregnancy fatigue, you might not be getting good sleep.
Sleep apnea could also be contributing to your trouble sleeping. This is a common sleep condition that affects sleep patterns among pregnant women. It can lead to cardiovascular issues and gestational diabetes.
If you have any sleep concerns, discuss them with your doctor right away.
A Good Night’s Sleep For All
Quality sleep is extra important during your pregnancy!
As you think about how to sleep when pregnant, consider your sleep position and how it affects the quality of your sleep. Try putting our tips into practice to see if that helps you sleep better during your pregnancy.
Remember, mom, it’s important to get good, quality sleep when you’re pregnant and discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.
Everyone needs a good night’s sleep, especially your newborn because once that precious bundle of joy enters the world, the quality of your sleep will depend on the quality of their sleep.
With Newton Baby’s sleep collection, everyone can sleep well!