What’s the best way to sleep when pregnant?

Tiredness and pregnancy often go hand-in-hand, and while the changes your body undergoes can make it more difficult to sleep, there are plenty of things you can try to sleep better during pregnancy.

Use our guide on how to sleep better during pregnancy, and take advantage of our top pregnancy sleep tips below.

What’s the best way to sleep when pregnant?

Wondering what’s the best sleeping posture during pregnancy? It can be difficult to find the best position to sleep in as your bump grows. Many health practitioners would advise that sleeping on your side during pregnancy is the best bet, as this will reduce some of the pressure on your uterus. The American Pregnancy Association also advises that sleeping on the left side while pregnant can help to increase blood flow to the baby.

Still struggling to find the best way to sleep while pregnant? Here’s how to find a sleeping posture during pregnancy that’s comfortable and safe for you and baby.
  • Once you’ve found a side-sleeping position that works for you, relieve any back pain by placing a pillow under your bump for extra support while you sleep.
  • Bend your knees slightly and place another pillow between your legs to help take some pressure off your pelvis and hips.
  • Experiencing heartburn? Try adding some more pillows behind you to prop you up as you sleep.
By now, you may be completely surrounded by pillows! But that’s okay – adapt your sleep environment so that it works for you. Invest in some new luxury pillows for extra support as your pregnancy progresses. You’ll thank yourself for it in your third trimester.

Can you sleep on your back when pregnant?

As you reach your third trimester and bump continues to grow, it’s advised that you avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can cause circulation problems, backache, breathing difficulties, and low blood pressure. This is simply because baby is taking up more space and sitting on top of blood vessels and organs, not to mention pressing on your bladder! So, try not to sleep on your back, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Work on sleeping on your side instead. And if you wake up on your back, don’t beat yourself up. Simply adjust your sleeping posture and drift back off to sleep.

Why am I so tired during pregnancy?

Tiredness and pregnancy, especially in your first and third trimester, are biologically linked. This is due to a change in your hormone levels, specifically progesterone levels. Tiredness during pregnancy is also caused by your body reacting to the production of more blood delivering nutrients to your baby. Your blood sugar levels may also take a hit because of this, sapping you of more energy.

How to sleep better when pregnant

Aim to sleep better, not for longer. It’s natural when you’re tired and pregnant to feel that you need more sleep. And while sleeping for longer can help you to combat tiredness, it’s not always easy, especially considering the challenges that pregnancy combined with a busy work/life routine brings. Fortunately, it’s not the only answer.

Another way to alleviate tiredness and feel more refreshed is to focus on your quality of sleep. While you may not be able to squeeze in an extra couple of hours of shut-eye each day, you can improve the quality of the hours you already get. The key to sleeping during pregnancy is spending more time in Phase 4 sleep – also known as deep sleep – as this is the phase during which your body restores itself, leaving you feeling refreshed when you wake. So, make “quality not quantity” your mantra for sleeping during pregnancy.

But how can you make this happen? Wool bedding, including duvet, pillows and topper, helps you to reach the optimal temperature for restorative sleep sooner and maintain it for longer, helping to enhance the benefits of sleep.

Diet and Pregnancy: Is it linked to sleep?

Chances are you’ve been bombarded with dietary advice since becoming pregnant. But have you considered how what you eat can help or hinder sleep? Hot, spicy foods are common triggers of overheating and night sweats, causing you to wake up unnecessarily. Try to avoid caffeine too, particularly in the hours before bed. It acts as a diuretic, increasing the frequency with which you need to go to the toilet – something you don’t need if your bladder is already causing you problems.

And remember to eat your evening meal early too, to aid digestion and ease the symptoms of night-time heartburn. For more food-related tips on how to sleep during pregnancy, take a look at our advice on snooze foods for better sleep.

Night-time allergies during pregnancy: are they hindering sleep?

Hot sweats, restless legs, aches and pains. There are plenty of sleep disturbances during pregnancy as it is, without adding allergy symptoms to the mix. So here’s one sleep disturbance you should definitely deal with. If you often wake at night with itchy eyes, a sneezing nose or wheezy chest, a dust-mite allergy may be to blame. Standard synthetic and feather/down filled bedding provide a hot and humid environment that’s perfect for harbouring dust mites. Not great if you’re already struggling to sleep.

To dramatically reduce dust mites and alleviate your allergy symptoms, switch to a wool-filled mattress and bedding set. Because wool absorbs and then desorbs moisture, it lacks the qualities that dust mites need to thrive - which is good news for you. Natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy means that there’s one less thing you need to worry about before baby arrives.

How to relax during pregnancy and support good sleep habits

Possibly the best pregnancy sleep tip of all! You’ve never had a better reason to relax and indulge in some me-time, so make the most of it. Set aside plenty of time each evening to unwind – try having a hot soak in the bath with your favourite background music, before settling into bed with another relaxing soundtrack or a good book. The most important thing is to let your worries float away, particularly if you’re stressed about trying to sleep, as this can be counterproductive.

Hopefully our tips for how to sleep better during pregnancy will help you snooze and feel more refreshed. Get ready for your new arrival by reading 7 Sleep Secrets Every New Parent Needs to Know.

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