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Pregnancy & Sleep: Tips, Sleep Positions, & Issues


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January 6, 2023

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Pregnancy & Sleep

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Pregnancy is a vital phase that marks the beginning of motherhood. However, the relationship between pregnancy and sleep is one thing that eventually becomes a big concern for expecting mothers. Fatigue and the need for more sleep start in early pregnancy, but as the baby grows, the lack of sleep becomes more pronounced. And if it’s your first time as a mother, it might be challenging to know what’s normal and what’s not and how to fix it. 

In this article, we will cover some of the top tips that can help you get a good night’s sleep while pregnant.

Why Does Sleep Change During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a time of physical and emotional change. One change that can take place during pregnancy is a change in sleep patterns. It also makes you concerned about everything from your diet to sleeping position for early pregnancy. However, there are several reasons why this happens. 

One reason for undergoing pregnancy and sleeping too much or experiencing similar fluctuations in sleep cycles is the increase in hormones. Progesterone levels increase throughout pregnancy, and this can cause wakefulness and difficulty sleeping. In addition, many pregnant women experience anxiety about their baby’s health and the upcoming delivery.

Another reason for disturbed sleep during pregnancy is physical discomfort in sleep positions when pregnant. As the baby grows, there is less space in the womb, and this can cause discomfort, particularly at night when you are trying to lie down. Many pregnant women also suffer from heartburn or indigestion, making it difficult to sleep through the night.

What Problems Might I Have When Sleeping During Pregnancy

As your pregnancy progresses, you may find sleeping more uncomfortable as your body is undergoing significant changes and adjusting to the new life growing inside you. This can lead to increased anxiety and worry, making it difficult to fall asleep in a regular sleeping position during pregnancy.

Here are a few problems you might face during this phase –

Morning Sickness

Most pregnant women experience some level of morning sickness, which is usually at its worst during the first trimester. There is no one cause of morning sickness, but it is thought to be caused by hormonal changes. This can further lead to other pregnancy symptoms like fatigue and mood swings. 

Frequent Urination

During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes. One of those changes is an increase in the water you retain. This can lead to more trips to the bathroom during the night. Additionally, your growing baby puts pressure on your bladder, making you feel like you have to pee even when you don’t need to.

Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are common in pregnancy, making it difficult to fall asleep in a regular sleeping position during the first trimester. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to leg cramps, make sure to sleep with a pillow between your legs to support your legs and help prevent cramps. 

Back Pain

As your pregnancy progresses, you might experience more pain in your lower back. This is because your growing baby and uterus put extra pressure on your spine and pelvic bones. 

Disruptive Dreams

During pregnancy, a woman’s sleep patterns can change drastically. You may wake up frequently throughout the night to use the restroom or simply adjust your position. 

Congestion and Snoring

Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes that swell the soft tissues in the nose and throat, leading to airway obstruction and increased snoring. 


During pregnancy, it’s common to experience indigestion. This can be caused by the increased levels of hormones in your body, slowing down the digestive process. As a result, indigestion can cause discomfort, bloating, and burping. 

Why Is Sleep so Important During Pregnancy

Sleep is vital for pregnant women as it helps to support healthy fetal development and promotes the mother’s overall health. There are several reasons why sleep and pregnancy sleeping positions are so important during this time. Firstly, it helps promote healthy fetal development. 

Studies have shown that pregnant women who get enough sleep have healthier babies with a lower risk of congenital abnormalities. Secondly, sleep aids the mother’s overall health and well-being. For example, it can help reduce stress and improve mood, concentration, and memory. So, pregnant women need to ensure they get plenty of sleep to support a healthy pregnancy.

Sleeping on the Left side Vs the Right side

There is a lot of debate about how to sleep while pregnant, especially during the initial months. And if you’re an expecting mother, you might be confused. 

Therefore, you might wonder – can I sleep on my right side while pregnant?

Well, if you’ve faced a similar dilemma, there are a few things you might need to keep in mind, from knowing the best position to sleep when pregnant to how it can affect your health and sleep. 

According to research, sleeping on your left side during pregnancy is optimal for you and your baby. This position can help reduce swelling in your feet and alleviate back pain. So if you’re wondering how to sleep during pregnancy in the first trimester, remember that the left side is usually best. 

Sleeping On Your Back During Pregnancy

If you’re wondering how to sleep when pregnant, there are a few considerations if you usually prefer to sleep on your back.

According to a research study by NICHD, pregnancy and sleeping on the back, especially during the 30th week, are not linked to the risk of stillbirth, reduced size at birth, or high blood pressure disorders. 

Although sleeping on your back during pregnancy is not the best sleeping position to avoid miscarriage, a little planning ahead can ensure safety if you still wake up in a similar position. Here are a few tips that can help –

  1. Be sure to use a pillow to support your back and hips. 
  2. Avoid sleeping on your stomach or side. 
  3. Try to get up and move around every few hours to keep your circulation going. 

Do’s –

  1. Ensure you listen to your body and do not push yourself too hard. If you feel uncomfortable, it is best to stop and take a break.
  2. Use soft pillows to support your body while sleeping.

Don’ts –

  1. Using an uncomfortable pillow or mattress for sleeping.
  2. Putting extra pressure on your back by using large pillows or other props.

Sleeping On Your Stomach During Pregnancy

Experts say that sleeping on your stomach may not be one of the wrong sleeping positions during pregnancy. However, it may become uncomfortable as your pregnancy proceeds. Therefore, if you still prefer sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

  1. If you’re going through pregnancy and sleeping on stomach, make sure you have pillows under your stomach and hips to support your back. 
  2. Listen to your body and switch positions if you feel uncomfortable.

Do’s –

  1. Make sure you’re comfortable in the position.
  2. Use only comfortable pillows to support your sleeping position.

Don’ts –

  1. Putting any pressure on your abdomen
  2. Using an uncomfortable mattress or pillow to support the body

Tips to Sleep Better While Pregnant

Let’s look at some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep during pregnancy –

  1. Avoid screen time in the hours leading up to sleep.
  2. Establish a regular sleep schedule.
  3. Keep a relaxed, comfortable environment in your bedroom.
  4. Use comfortable sheets and limit noise and light exposure in your bedroom.
  5. Stretch or do relaxation exercises before bedtime.
  6. Avoid caffeinated beverages in the evening.
  7. Eat a light evening dinner several hours before bedtime.
  8. Drink plenty of fluids during the day but limit fluid intake in the evening to avoid having to wake up to use the restroom during the night.
  9. Empty your bladder before going to bed and first thing in the morning when you wake up.


There’s no doubt that pregnancy and sleep are not best friends. Between the constant trips to the bathroom, the tossing and turning, and the overall discomfort that can come with pregnancy, it can be tough to get a good night’s sleep. 

However, there are some things you can do to help make your pregnancy sleep more bearable. From trying different sleep positions to investing in a good body pillow, following the right tips can help you get the rest you need during this particular time!


Pregnant women should aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, many women find getting enough sleep during pregnancy challenging, especially in the later stages. Several things can contribute to this, including morning sickness, back pain, heartburn, and the need to urinate more frequently.

Pregnancy can have a significant impact on a woman’s sleep patterns. For many women, pregnancy is associated with insomnia, which various factors, including hormonal changes, anxiety about the pregnancy, and physical discomfort, can cause. Some studies have also found that pregnant women are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and snoring.

If you are pregnant and have the urge to lie in bed all day, it is probably best to listen to your body and do what feels right. First, however, it is essential to ensure that you are getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet, as both are essential for a healthy pregnancy.

There are a variety of things that can cause sleepless nights during pregnancy. For some women, it may be due to anxiety or worry about the baby. Others may have difficulty sleeping because of back pain or heartburn. Some women may also be awakened frequently to use the restroom. 

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