Pregnancy sleep can be a real struggle, and if you’re here reading this chances are you know all too well how difficult getting a good night’s sleep during pregnancy can be.
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You may have questions and concerns like, “Am I getting enough sleep in pregnancy?” “How much sleep is TOO much sleep during pregnancy?” “Which positions are safe to sleep in?” and so many more.
But – that was early on in your pregnancy when sleep was probably coming pretty easily to you. Now that you’re struggling to get ANY sleep at all, all you want to know is “How do I get good sleep during pregnancy?! Or any sleep at all?!”
Typically, in early pregnancy, you will be able to sleep the night (and day) away with no problem. Your body is busy working to protect and nurture your developing baby that you’re likely feeling pretty exhausted, and sleep is most likely coming pretty easily at this point.
Pregnancy insomnia can strike a woman at any time throughout her pregnancy (even early on), but it most commonly occurs during the later months.
If you’re exhausted all day but find you can’t sleep at night, there’s a good chance that you could have pregnancy insomnia.
I’m sure you already know, but:
Being tired all the time during pregnancy can really take its toll on your body – even when you WEREN’T growing a human being, tiredness made life a whole lot more difficult.
Tiredness can significantly alter your mood. While pre-pregnancy you may have been happy-go-lucky, lately your patience could be becoming short and you may find you’re snapping at the smallest of things. That could be a big sign that you’re missing out on some serious sleep (and it could be from all the hormones rushing through your body – that’s pretty significant, too).
Getting good sleep during pregnancy can feel IMPOSSIBLE, and if you’re here in a frantic search looking for HOW to get some sleep while pregnant, let’s be friends and find a solution to this pregnancy problem… because if we’re being totally honest, this part of pregnancy can flat out suck.
Early on in pregnancy sleep came easier than walking or talking for me. It seemed like no matter what I was doing, whether I was working, walking, or running errands, I was always tired, and more often than not I would fall asleep wherever I was without realizing it.
Then around mid-pregnancy, I started waking up EVERY single night at 3 am and wasn’t able to fall back asleep for over an hour.
I would spend hours of the night tossing and turning, then when I would finally fall back asleep it was at 5 am when little baby would start kicking up a storm. That was when I knew that sleep was a goner and it was go-time.
Whether you’re struggling to fall asleep, STAY asleep, or get any sleep at all, being tired all the time is not fun.
Trying some different sleeping positions during pregnancy (though they’re pretty limited) might help you get better sleep at night.
Here are 7 tips to help you get better sleep during pregnancy.
Sleeping positions during pregnancy
Studies show that the best sleeping position during pregnancy is sleeping on your left side. This allows an increased amount of blood and nutrients to reach the placenta and your baby, rather than if you were to sleep in other positions.
If you can’t keep yourself sleeping on just the left side, “SOS” (Sleep On Side – either side) is deemed safe, too.
It doesn’t help that you’re not supposed to sleep on your back during pregnancy… and sleeping on my back is one of my favorite ways to sleep (along with sleeping on my stomach which doesn’t happen these days, either).
Sleeping on your back can cause problems with backaches, breathing, low blood pressure, hemorrhoids, and causes a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. (This is caused by your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels.) (Source)
With all these pregnancy sleep “rules” it can feel impossible to get ANY sleep at all during pregnancy – and isn’t this the time that you want to be getting the most sleep? Because once that little babe comes you’re going to go right back to not sleeping a whole lot.
So, what does one do to get some sleep during pregnancy?
There are sleeping pills and medications that are deemed safe during pregnancy, but I prefer to steer clear of any unnecessary medications during my pregnancy, so finding a NATURAL way to sleep during pregnancy was a must for me.
If you’re pregnant and looking for natural ways to get some sleep too, you can find them below.
How to Finally Get Some Sleep During Pregnancy
Pillows. Use ALL the pillows. This is one of the best ways that I have found to help me sleep at night.
With a growing belly, sleeping can be extremely uncomfortable some nights and I’ve found that surrounding myself with pillows helps take away some of that discomfort.
You can put pillows between your knees, under your belly, behind your back (this helps support your back and also helps lower your chances of sleeping on your back), and wherever else you feel needs a little extra support.
If you don’t have that many extra pillows around your house or the use of 4+ pillows drives your hubby NUTS (my husband despises all the pillows I use), you can try sleeping with a pregnancy pillow.
They’re those large C-shaped pillows that tuck under your head, around your back, under your belly, and between your legs and pretty much do everything that 4 regular pillows do, except you won’t have a million loose pillows laying around your bed.
Pregnancy pillows are pretty expensive, but you can get one for $50 off here with the coupon code deliberatelyhere50 .
Don’t drink much before bedtime
Staying hydrated through your pregnancy is extremely important, but when you’re waking up several times throughout the night to make trips to the bathroom, it’s only going to screw up your pregnancy sleep cycle even more.
The best thing to do is to drink lots of fluids throughout the day, but slow down and don’t drink much in the couple hours leading up to when you go to bed.
This will help you stay hydrated, and hopefully, help you sleep more soundly at night.
I have always had a difficult time drinking enough fluids, and that didn’t change when I became pregnant.
If you struggle to drink enough fluids throughout the day, try getting one of these to carry around with you wherever you go. I find it helps me drink more water and stay hydrated when I carry it around with me through the day, rather than when I have to get up to grab a glass of water (because if that’s the case – chances are I won’t get up to grab a glass of water).
Lavender is a very commonly used essential oil to help with sleep. You can either rub a few drops of this lavender essential oil on your feet, temple, and wrists. Or if you don’t want to put the oils on your body you can buy an oil diffuser to diffuse the oil in your room while you sleep.
Essential oil diffusers can be terribly expensive if you go to buy one from an oil company, but you really don’t need anything fancy – just something that gets the job done. A diffuser like this one would work just fine.
Use a Sound Machine
If you find a bit of background noise helps you sleep, a relaxing spa sound machine could help you drift off to sleep faster.
I, for one, love to have a bit of background noise and find it helps shorten the time it takes me to fall asleep by a LOT.
Avoid using your phone, computer, or TV before bed
Laying in bed watching a movie or scrolling through Facebook is a pretty common nighttime routine for many people, but doing this can actually make you have an even more difficult time getting to sleep, since it’s “waking up” your brain, rather than letting your brain unplug and slow down before going to bed.
Unless your doctor has advised you not to, exercising during pregnancy has endless benefits, with a few of those being – it will help you feel more awake during the DAY and will help you sleep better at night.
It’s a win-win!
But, working up the motivation to get up and work out can be difficult. The best way to exercise regularly during your pregnancy is to set a routine.
Whether it’s during your lunch break, after work, or before work, have a set time that you exercise EVERY day. Set alarms on your phone to alert you when it’s time to exercise.
When that alarm goes off, stop what you’re doing and go out and exercise.
You could do anything from a light at-home workout, to going to the gym, to going for a 30-minute walk.
The exercises don’t have to be long and certainly shouldn’t be hard (it’s a good idea to find pregnancy-safe exercises), but doing just a little bit each day will help you sleep better at night, and will help you feel much more refreshed throughout your day.
Your midday nap might be the only thing keeping you sane these days, but napping during the day undoubtedly makes it harder to fall asleep at night.
If you can manage to make it through a day without a nap, you should have an easier time falling asleep in the evening – you may even be able to fall asleep a couple hours early (and people say that an hour of sleep before midnight is the equivalent of two hours after midnight).
There was no way I would have been able to function in my first trimester if I didn’t have a nap every now and then, but back then sleep didn’t come difficult to me – even at night.
Now that I struggle with sleeping during the night, I have to force myself to stay awake all through the day, even when my brain wants to completely shut off (yup – it gets THAT bad some days) and I sit staring at a computer screen getting absolutely NOTHING done.
Some things, like going for a midday walk or drinking a couple glasses of water can help wake you up when you feel your body wanting to fall asleep midday.
Does it feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING out there that claims to help ladies get better sleep during pregnancy? Have you found something that works for you?