Tips and Tricks to Sleep Better During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it is also hard on the body.
The average pregnancy lasts around 9 months. Between the first trimester morning sickness, second trimester growing uterus, and third trimester gestational diabetes, I was having sleep problems.
You can get extremely uncomfortable and start experiencing sleep disturbances.
You always hear, make sure to get rest before the baby comes, but that’s not always easy when the unborn baby is kicking you in the bladder in the middle of the night.
At only 5 feet tall, my pregnant belly grew outward and pulled down on my lower back.
The extra weight made it difficult to move, walk, sit, bend forward, and get a better night's sleep.
It was hard to find a comfortable position to sleep at night.
Here are some tips and tricks for getting a good night's sleep while pregnant.
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How Should I Sleep?
During pregnancy, we are told not to sleep on our backs because it can harm you and your baby.
This was the hardest change for me because I have been a back sleeper my whole life.
According to WebMD, “After your fifth month, your back is definitely not best. Sleeping on your back puts extra pressure on your aorta and inferior vena cava, the blood vessels that run behind your uterus and carry blood back to your heart from your legs and feet. Pressure on these vessels can slow blood circulation to your body -- and your baby.”1
If you are a stomach sleeper, unfortunately for comfort reasons, you probably need to switch positions. Unless you have a bed with a hole in it, or a special tummy donut pillow, the stomach is probably not doable.
The best position to sleep in is on your left side. You can sleep on your right side as well if that is more comfortable, but the most recommended is the left side.
What Tools Should I Sleep in Bed With?
Sleeping with multiple pillows can help support your tummy and give your body more support. You won’t want to give up your pillows once baby arrives and your experiencing the new baby sleepless nights.
1. Neck Pillow
Your regular pillow for your head may not support you much when you get further on in your weeks of pregnancy.
The strange angle of the neck on a regular can give you pain in the neck and shoulders and lead to sleep deprivation.
A great pillow to fix this issue is a curved head pillow. The curve can allow your head to lay straight while supporting your neck in a more natural position.
There are many different styles and materials to choose from. The type of pillow you go with could depend on the size of your shoulders and the way you place your neck.
Below are some great supportive neck pillow options to give you more support while sleeping on your side.
2. Body Maternity Pillow
A full body pillow is the way to go.
The design can help keep your whole body propped up on your side.
Many maternity body pillows wrap around the front and back if your body to keep you from rolling over.
You can look at only using a body pillow, so you don’t have to invest in other body pillows if you choose not too.
Check out some awesome Maternity Body Pillow Styles Here to help you stay propped up while sleeping.
3. Belly Wedge
The belly wedge was by far my favorite maternity pillow during both of my pregnancies.
The belly wedge looks like a triangle shaped piece of cheese. It holds its form but is also soft to use.
You use a belly wedge by putting the wedge under your belly while laying on your side. You can put it further in and pull it out depending on how high you want your belly to be propped up.
The great part about the belly wedge is it takes the pressure off the muscles surrounding your belly while you’re sleeping.
The wedge holds your belly where you need it so it’s not pushing down into the bed. I also liked how the baby would lay on it at night.
Grab a belly wedge to support your body and your belly during your pregnancy.
4. Leg Pillow
While laying on your side, you may feel the muscles in the side of your top leg pulling down or have leg cramps.
This can feel even worse during pregnancy because of the muscles all pulling downward from the belly.
You may also experience restless legs syndrome during pregnancy which can cause physical discomfort and lead to trouble sleeping.
You can use a regular pillow, but you can also get a leg support pillow.
These pillows go between your thighs to raise your top leg up off your other leg.
The muscles are held up and the pillow supports both legs by separating them into their correct positions.
Amazons sells some great leg pillows that can be used your whole pregnancy.
5. Back Pillow
If you’re like me and have back pain by the time you go to bed, a back pillow would help you sleep.
It can be hard for some women to stay propped up on your back during pregnancy.
I would find myself rolling onto my stomach in my sleep and getting nervous about how long I was on my stomach for.
To decrease the risk of back sleeping, you can get a back pillow to prop your body up.
You could even couple the back pillow with the belly wedge to keep your body supported and secure all night long.
Run on over and grab your back pillow from Amazon below.
6. Feet Pillow
While feet pillow may not be necessary, it can sure be comfortable.
If you are on your feet all day, they can be extra sore from the pregnancy weight.
Propping your feet up can help the blood flow to your feet when you have been on them all day.
You can even use a feet pillow during the day while sitting too tight give your feet some extra rest.
Check out the feet pillows on Amazon that can help during any point of your pregnancy.
7. Stomach Pillows
If all else fails and you just want to sleep on your stomach, you can grab a stomach pillow.
These awesome pillows have a hole cut out in the middle like a donut yo put your belly in.
You can place your stomach pillow right on top of your body to allow you to get a full night’s sleep.
There are many different belly pillow designs to choose from.
What are Other Tools to Help Me Sleep?
It can take more than just pillows to help you sleep during pregnancy. Sometimes you need extra help when you’re restless and going through hormonal changes.
The added stress and many checklists from planning for a new baby can add to extra thoughts in your mind and sleep disorders.
You may need some help getting enough sleep.
1. Sound Machine
Many people believe sound machines are only for children, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I find that having sound can help clear my mind of my day.
Sound machines come in many styles and there are so many sounds to choose from.
My husband and I personally prefer to sleep with thunderstorms, but you could choose from any sounds you like.
The Hatch System makes a line of sound machines for adults that will help you sleep during pregnancy and after baby is born.
2. Prenatal Massage
If you are finding your body sore and uncomfortable at night, sign up for a prenatal massage.
Prenatal massages are designed specifically for pregnant women to relax the body and get out all those knots.
I enjoyed getting prenatal massages during both of my pregnancies.
I found it much more beneficial to get them closer to my due date.
Do some research in your area and talk to people around your who might know the best place to go for a prenatal massage.
3. Prenatal Chiropractic
A great option to get your body adjusted and get some sleep at night is prenatal chiropractic.
There are Chiropractors who are trained and studied for many years on how to properly adjust a pregnant woman.
It does not necessary mean someone is going to twist and crack your back, which is a common misconception about Chiropractic.
A Chiropractic adjustment during pregnancy can help align the body and prepare it for childbirth.
Many women say their bad a much easier labor and delivery because of chiropractic adjustments. While this is said, this does not necessarily mean you will not have any issues during pregnancy.
Every pregnancy and body is different so do your research and find what is best for you.
The bonus to seeing a Prenatal Chiropractor is some Chiropractors also specialize in Pediatric Chiropractic. As soon as you give birth, your newborn baby can start to see your Chiropractor as well.
4. Prenatal Yoga
I loved doing prenatal yoga during both of my pregnancies.
While pregnant with my daughter, I took a class in a studio. During my pregnancy with my son, I did prenatal yoga at home from a video.
No matter which prenatal yoga you decide to do, you can find your body and mental health are better prepared for childbirth with the light regular exercise.
I found doing my prenatal yoga right before bed helped clear my mind and relax my muscles. I was able to fall asleep much easier with the relaxation techniques I learned.
5. Take a Prenatal Class / Birthing Class
If you’re finding yourself stressing at night about your labor and delivery, take a Prenatal Class with your health care provider or hospital to prep your mind for the big day.
This class will teach you about deep breathing techniques, positions to labor in, what will happen to your body during labor and delivery, and some tips on how to take care of your baby after they’ve arrived like swaddling, diapering, and feeding.
Some classes will also offer a tour of the hospital to see where you will go during labor and delivery and then where you’ll go to recover.
Having an idea of all these things can really help ease the mind of stress and help you to prepare better.
I found taking these classes allowed me to get some sleep knowing I was ready and prepared for my baby.
6. Warm Bath
A warm bath is a wonderful way to relax your muscles and take some pressure off your stomach.
The warm water is great for pregnant people and can help you get better sleep.
It can also help with restless leg syndrome and the relaxation has been known to help with high blood pressure.
If you are experiencing lack of sleep or poor quality sleep, a warm back in the early afternoon or before bed has been known to help.
7. Sleep Aids
If you are not already, you should be taking Prenatal Vitamins..
These vitamins along with the folic acid help with development of the fetus and placenta.
If you feel like you need help sleeping, you can talk to your healthcare provider about natural sleep aids and herbal remedies to help you sleep.
I do not recommend taking anything without consulting with a healthcare professional to make sure the sleep aids are safe for you and your baby. You also want to make sure there would not be any negative effects with different prescription and over the counter medications you may be taking.
There are also prescription sleep aids that can be discussed with your doctor.
How Can I Pee Less Overnight?
During pregnancy, you will want to stay hydrated. It is important to drink plenty of water to stay healthy for you and for baby.
The bad part about staying hydrated is having to make frequent trips to the bathroom every 5 minutes.
If you want to go to the bathroom less at night, drink more water in the morning and afternoon. Slow down the amount of water you drink after dinner.
Do not do this if you do not drink much during the day or if you are very thirsty at night.
You do not want to cut the amount of water you’re drinking, but just drink more earlier in the day.
If baby is sitting on your bladder or you experience a lot of fetal movement, you may still find yourself in the bathroom more than you want to be.
Getting a full night sleep is very important during pregnancy because your body is growing a baby. You need as much rest as possible for childbirth.
Once that baby comes, you will not be sleeping as much as you would like.
Using tools to sleep and finding the best sleeping position can make a big difference in the amount of sleep you’re getting and the quality of your sleep.
What are some tools you used to sleep during pregnancy?
Did you find anything helpful you would like to share?
Let us know in the comments below!