Woman laying in bed

Given all the changes that occur during pregnancy, it's no wonder you might have trouble sleeping. The American Pregnancy Association estimates that up to 78% of pregnant women struggle with insomnia. There are various sources of discomfort that can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep, including heartburn, back pain, hormonal changes, anxiety and frequent urination. 

It's crucial not to skimp on sleep when you're expecting. Even though a temporary bout of insomnia is usually nothing to worry about, you should still make sure to adopt the right habits to combat your symptoms. In this guide, you'll have all your questions answered and learn how to sleep while pregnant. 


Why Sleep During Pregnancy Is Important 

Pregnancy hormones play a key role in numerous areas of your health and well-being, from your appetite to your energy levels. It's perfectly normal to experience changes in sleep habits as a result of hormonal fluctuations. Your estrogen levels tend to spike during the third trimester, which can cause your blood vessels to increase. As a result, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as swollen legs and feet, nasal congestion and irregular breathing patterns, all of which can negatively impact your sleep. 

Another pregnancy hormone that supports your baby's growth is progesterone. Progesterone can cause heartburn, frequent urination and other unwelcome symptoms. Particularly high levels of this hormone may even limit the amount of time you spend in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the most important phase of sleep for cognitive function. 

High-quality sleep is crucial to promoting overall health, mitigating stress, and strengthening the body's ability to cope with the various demands of pregnancy. Moreover, establishing healthy sleep patterns boosts your growing baby's health and as well as your own physical and mental well-being. 


Tips for a Good Night's Sleep During Pregnancy 


Adjust Your Sleeping Position 

According to sleep experts, sleeping on your side is the best sleep position while pregnant. This is primarily due to the circulation benefits. Be sure to add pillows for extra support, and position one between your legs. It's also a good idea to use a pillow to better support your belly. If you're wondering which third trimester pregnancy sleeping position is the best, keep in mind that sleeping on your side is the healthiest choice over the course of your pregnancy. 


Establish a Bedtime Routine 

Another helpful strategy is to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid spending time on electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime. Instead, engage in a soothing activity, like reading or meditating. This will signal to your body and mind that it's time to sleep. Once you find a routine that works for you, you'll be well on your way to achieving high-quality, restful sleep. 


Monitor Your Fluid Intake and Diet 

To boost the quality of your sleep, it's important to look at your diet. The food you put into your body significantly impacts how well you sleep at night. To recharge more effectively, adjust your daily diet. Healthy foods that help improve sleep quality include milk, yogurt, bananas, almonds and berries. Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water over the course of the day. Hydrating helps prevent joint pain and nasal congestion. 

It's also important to avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime. Eating a large meal before falling asleep might lead to indigestion, stomachaches or acid reflux. 


Limit Caffeine 

Caffeinated beverages can be a lifesaver in terms of providing a much-needed energy boost. However, be careful not to rely too heavily on them. It's best to limit all caffeine after 3 PM. Any coffee you consume after this time may interfere with your sleep, as it can take up to 6 hours for half of the caffeine in your body to leave your system.


Create a Sleep Haven 

Creating a cozy sleep environment is essential to promoting healthy sleep hygiene. When your bedroom is as comfortable and inviting as possible, you won't be able to resist snuggling under the covers! Start by choosing a firm mattress and pillows that are specifically designed for pregnant women. This will help ensure that you have the proper support for your back and belly while you sleep. In addition, be sure to maintain a cool, dark and quiet bedroom. We also recommend using blackout curtains and a white noise machine to further promote quality sleep. 


Stay Active 

Designing a healthy exercise routine can have incredible benefits for your health and well-being. By engaging in regular, moderate exercise, you can enjoy longer and more restorative sleep. Exercising also helps decrease sleep onset, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. That said, make sure to avoid vigorous activity too close to bedtime. 


Contact Your Healthcare Provider 

Although it's very common to have trouble sleeping while pregnant, consult your healthcare provider if your insomnia significantly interferes with your daily life. Speaking with a professional can help you manage your sleep in a safe, healthy way. Your doctor will also provide access to custom-tailored treatments for your needs. Additionally, they might prescribe you an antidepressant if you have an underlying mental disorder affecting your sleep. 


Stay Well Rested While Pregnant 

There is no singular reason why so many women struggle to get a good night's rest while pregnant. Whether you're experiencing pregnancy stress or fluctuating hormones, there are a number of factors to consider. It's important to stay in tune with your body to find the relief you need from pregnancy-related sleep troubles. Once you have a better understanding of what your unique needs are, you can enhance the quality of your sleep and keep you and your baby healthy. 



Q: Can you lay on your back while pregnant? 

A: Generally speaking, it's safe to lay on your back while pregnant, especially during the early stages of pregnancy. However, during the second and third trimesters, it's recommended to sleep on your side to improve blood flow to the baby and placenta. 

Q: Can you lay on your stomach while pregnant? 

A: As your pregnancy progresses, lying on your stomach becomes increasingly uncomfortable and impractical due to the growing size of your abdomen. However, during the early stages of pregnancy, it's generally safe to lie on your stomach for short periods of time. 

Q: Why can't I sleep on my right side while pregnant? 

A: Some women feel discomfort while sleeping in this position, such as acid reflux or heartburn. If you experience any adverse effects while sleeping on your right side, we recommend switching to your left side. 

Q: How do you sleep with a pregnancy pillow? 

A: Sleeping with a pregnancy pillow is a comfortable way to support your body and alleviate common discomforts. Feel free to experiment with different positions and pillow placements to find what works best for you. 

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