During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. Unfortunately, your regular sleeping positions may no longer work for you during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons for this new discomfort, but there are some sleeping positions that you can try that may help you get your much-needed rest.
- Why Am I So Uncomfortable in My Normal Sleeping Positions?
When you are pregnant your body goes through a variety of changes. These changes tend to disrupt your usual peaceful slumber.
Reasons for your discomfort may include:
- Increased size of abdomen
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- What Are The Best Sleep Positions During Pregnancy?
The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs.
- If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, you may want to try propping your upper body with pillows.
- In late pregnancy, you may experience shortness of breath. Try lying on your side or propped up with pillows.
These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but try them out. You may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night, and rotating positions is fine.
- What Sleep Positions During Pregnancy Should I Avoid?
- Sleeping on your back: This can cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and cause a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby.
- Sleeping on your stomach: When you are farther along in your pregnancy, your abdomen undergoes physical changes and makes it more difficult for you to lay on your stomach.
It is important to find a way to get a good night’s rest while taking care of your body and your baby. Specially-designed pregnancy pillows also provide moms-to-be with wonderful support to get those much need ZZZs. Some pregnancy pillows are body-length, providing your whole body with the support it needs, while others are smaller and more versatile, allowing you to place it wherever you feel like needs the most support.
- Your sleep targets
Getting enough sleep during pregnancy can be tough. Between bathroom sprints, restless legs, and finding a comfy place to rest, the ZZZs may be hard to come by. However, getting enough sleep is a great way to help you recharge and stay alert and energized through the day, as well as boost your health, allowing you to more effectively manage symptoms, and encourage healthy growth for Baby. So, while getting enough may be tough, doing so could make your world a far more pleasant one.
- Why do I have a sleep goal?
Sleep is the time when your body can recover best, and help you deal with certain symptoms that you may struggle with throughout pregnancy. And because your personal health improves when you get enough sleep, your ability to support Baby does as well! Your sleep goal is there to help you regularly get a healthy night’s sleep.
- How much sleep do I need?
Although it differs from woman to woman, many healthcare providers recommend that pregnant moms get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, since this is approximately the amount that your body needs to really recover from the rigors of a difficult day.
10 WAYS TO GET BETTER SLEEP
- Skip the Late-Night Snacks
We know baby’s hungry, but seriously, don’t consume anything—we’re talking about food and drink—less than two hours before bedtime. “There’s the likelihood that it will cause reflux or heartburn,” and that would keep you wide awake and uncomfortable.
- Prop Your Body
Get a firm pillow, and use it to prop your head and upper body up a few inches. This position allows gravity to put less pressure on your diaphragm and help you breathe easier. “Strategically placed pillows help support the stomach and can help you get to sleep—try a full-body pillow for this kind of support.”
- Quit Tossing and Turning
Seems counter-intuitive, but if you can’t sleep, don’t just lie in bed miserable. “Get up and do something that might make you bored for a few minutes,” says Dr. Sugar. Try walking around your house or folding laundry. It might feel weird, but we all know that mundane chores are sometimes a bore—so use it to your advantage. After you’ve calmed down a bit, go back to bed and see if you can fall asleep.
- Make Your Bed Comfy
A comfortable bed is key. Since your spine feels more pressure than normal, get different size pillows and rearrange them to elevate your body or relieve back pain. You might need more to get comfy. Also, if you’re not getting enough support from your mattress because you’re finding that you have a lot of back pain or sore muscles, you might need to add a mattress pad.
- Keep Naps Short and Sweet
If you have time to nap (lucky you!), go for it, but don’t nap for more than 30 minutes, says Dr. Sugar. If you sleep for longer than that, your body will enter the stage of deep sleep and this will make it harder for you to wake up and will leave you feeling groggy. Don’t worry—even though you’re only allowed a half hour for a nap, you can take a few each day. It’s the perfect treatment for daytime fatigue.
- Turn Down the Temp
Your body heat increases during pregnancy. You might be feeling hot all the time, and if your room is too stuffy, you might have trouble sleeping. So, experiment with the thermostat to find a temperature that’s most comfy for you — maybe a few degrees lower than you normally set it to. “For most people, setting the thermostat to the low 60s [degrees Fahrenheit] is an ideal sleeping temperature,” says Dr. Mingrone.
- Unplug Well Before Bedtime
A few minutes before you go to sleep, stay away from any external stimulation — that means books, smartphones, newspapers, television or any potential source of noise or light. Also, you should stay away from doing any strenuous activities like late-night workouts or deep-cleaning the house—they’ll keep you wired.