Sleep and Pregnancy

How to Sleep Like a Baby While Pregnant

The standard advice for pregnant women: get plenty of rest. Unfortunately, getting a good night of sleep while pregnant can be easier said than done. If you’ve tossing and turning there are steps you can take to get a better night of sleep. Learn why you may be having trouble sleeping an how you can take control here.

Why Am I Having Trouble Sleeping?

Sleep difficulties during pregnancy are, unfortunately, very common. With a new baby growing inside you, feeling uncomfortable is unavoidable. Your growing bump, along with hormonal changes, frequent urination, heartburn, bizarre dreams and, of course, the roller coaster of emotions you’re likely to be going through don’t add up to an easy, restful time. There are things you can do to help ease the discomfort though (see below).

Which Side Should I Sleep On?

General advice is to sleep on your left hand side. Once your pregnancy progresses it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sleep on your front or back due to comfort, so it’s a good idea to get used to sleeping on your left side early on.

How Can I Get a Better Night’s Sleep?

There are lots of things you can do to help yourself sleep more soundly. Sleeping as well as possible is important, because, if you are feeling run down or anxious, a good rest can help you feel more in control and able to deal with things. Try these tips:

  • Use a full body maternity pillow to help support you as you sleep. Having the pillow between your legs, as well as supporting your bump, can be really comfortable. Good quality pillows are not cheap but it’s a worthwhile investment if you find sleeping uncomfortable.
  • Try antenatal yoga or meditation. Yoga can help your body prepare for birth and also teach you useful relaxation techniques that may help you to unwind and relax into sleep. Ask your midwife about courses in your area.
  • Try listening to a relaxation CD or some classical music when you go to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine, especially in the evening, as it can make it harder for you to sleep, and can also contribute to you waking up for the toilet more during the night.
  • If back pain (common pregnancy problem) is making it difficult for you to get to sleep, try following the tips on how to relieve pregnancy back pain.

Finally, do be aware of symptoms of depression, as sleeplessness can be associated with it. If you are at all worried you should speak to your doctor or midwife.

Related: Foods To Avoid While Pregnant: What’s Really Off-Limits?

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