Sleeping during pregnancy can sometimes have its challenges. If this is your first pregnancy you are probably much more anxious about certain things and that can impact your sleep quality. If this isn’t your first time than you probably have little one’s to care for that make you extra tired. Keeping you from getting the quality of sleep you need too. This is why there are pregnancy sleep tips you can utilize throughout the day. As well as before you go to bed and even while you are sleeping. They will help make sure that you are content, comfortable and getting the quality sleep your mind and body need and crave.
Pregnancy Sleep Tips – Sleeping Each Trimester
Throughout your pregnancy your body is changing and so will some of your sleeping patterns and needs. During the first trimester you will be very tired and will not only be craving certain foods but also more sleep. Luckily during this time your body hasn’t changed much yet and regular sleeping positions and patterns shouldn’t be affected.
Your second trimester you will have more energy and not feel the need to sleep as much. You also will still feel comfortable in your changing body for the most part. This will allow you to still change your sleeping positions a little. And being more comfortable overall should allow for plenty of good sleep overall.
By the third trimester you may be a bit more uncomfortable. This is when you may need to alternate a few pillows and support options to get you comfortable. You may also be more anxious with your due date approaching. As well as be extra tired, especially getting all the odds and ends tied up before your little one comes home.
Below we have a comprehensive list of very useful and helpful pregnancy sleep tips. This list includes things that can be done throughout your day to ensure that by the time you are going to sleep you will be physically and mentally ready. As well as tips on what you can do right before bed to help you fully relax and prepare for sleep. There are even a few tips on how to make yourself more comfortable while sleeping to make sure that you wake up as little as possible too.
Pregnancy Sleep Tips: During The Day
#1 – Morning Routine
First things first, it is a good idea to have a regular morning routine to start each day. Waking up at the same time each day, regardless of your schedule, will help you go to bed easier at night. When your body is programmed to get up and go at the same time it is less stressful on you and your baby than waking up by an alarm or sudden jolt. Having a routine that allows you to wake up naturally will help ease you into the day and also help you feel refreshed and not disturbed.
#2 – Limit Your Caffeine
As a pregnant woman I am sure you already know that there are limitations on what the healthy recommended max is on your caffeine intake. Switching to decaffeinated coffee may be a bummer or if you can limit yourself to the two cup 8oz maximum than maybe you’ll be just fine. Regardless, if you are indulging in a bit of caffeine it is best to do so in the first half of your day. Anything after 3PM may disrupt your sleep pattern and leave you wide awake instead of dreaming and resting.
#3 – Stretch
Stretching your changing body might be the best advise I can give you on what may make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible. Taking a pregnancy yoga class or just finding a few simple stretches to incorporate daily will make a huge difference, especially by the time you get into your third trimester.
If you are able to feel comfortable and limber it will greatly increase your sleeping comfort as well. If you have the time, stretching when you wake up as well as an hour or two before you go to sleep, make it much easier on your changing body. Below find a few places to find some easy stretches to incorporate sooner than later to make sure your body stays comfortable throughout your pregnancy.
#4 – Try Not To Nap
If you are anything like me during your first trimester you will want to nap every day around the same time. Caffeine is limited and your body is using all its energy to grow your little one and you will be wiped out. As much as you want to you also don’t want to disrupt your sleep schedule.
In the first trimester if you can work a nap into your schedule, than by all means go for it, but if a nap is something that you only can do on occasion it might do more harm than good. If napping pushes back your regular bedtime and morning routine than you should try to avoid taking one. If it doesn’t and your body is craving more sleep, than by all means go for it.
#5 – Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
This is an easy daily habit that will help make sure that you and your baby are getting certain nutrients and some of those nutrients will benefit your sleep as well. Making sure that your changing body is getting the staples it needs to run smoothly and efficiently. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting proper nutrients is important regardless of being pregnant.
But having a little life growing inside you makes it even more important. Getting your daily dose of vitamins will also affect your sleep. As well as your bodies ability to regenerate cells and keep growing your baby while you are dozing too.
#6 – Enjoy A Good, Quality Diet
Again, this is a step that should be followed for everyone throughout there life but is extra important while you are pregnant. Having a good, healthy nutrient rich diet will allow your body to grow your baby strong and keep you strong as well. It also ensures that you have plenty of energy through out the day and allows you to sleep comfortably at night.
A diet that is too rich might leave you with a tummy ache. And a diet too high in sodium can leave you with water retention. A diet too sugary can cause gestational diabetes. Even a diet with too much spice can give you indigestion and heartburn. All of these things already can creep up during pregnancy so eating a diet that keeps them at bay is best. The last thing you want while your are trying to sleep is an unhealthy diet that keeps you up at night.
#7 – Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Eating less food more frequently will help in the digestion process and will also help with any pregnancy heartburn or indigestion too. This will allow your body to be more comfortable and easier for you to sleep if you don’t have any added unnecessary discomfort. It also helps your body feel more consistently fueled which will also help you not feel hungry while sleeping.
#8 – Get In 30 Minutes of Exercise
Getting in a daily dose of physical activity is great for everyone. It is that much more important while you’re pregnant for several reasons. For starters keeping your weight gain in check during your pregnancy is healthy for you and your baby. Excess weight can be hard on your body and cause more discomfort than necessary.
It is also important for you to get moving and get your heart rate up and allow your body to feel the need to regenerate after tiring out your body naturally. Let’s not forget the added boost that endorphins provide and the added glow that will make your feel good at every stage of pregnancy.
#9 – Enjoy Nature’s Vitamin D aka: Sunshine
Sunshine has an amazing effect on your mood the natural levels of vitamin D it provides are priceless. Your skin absorbs this vitamin when exposed to the sun and having a enough vitamin D means you have stronger bones and absorb calcium better. This is also a necessary for good sleep. Having inadequate amounts of this vitamin can result in restless nights and insomnia. So it is best to get out and get some sunshine when you can!
#10 – Enjoy Your Love Life Too
Continuing to do all the same activities you did prior to your pregnancy is good for you and your body. This includes sex. Not only are you continuing to share a bond with your partner but it is also like exercise in that it can naturally tucker out your body. It also doesn’t hurt that the hormone prolactin is released during an orgasm which helps induce sleep and relaxation.
The continuation of the act that got you pregnant in the first place will continue to benefit you long into your pregnancy. Some even suggest sex to being a great way to induce labor. If nothing else, you and your partner should get a good night’s sleep afterwards.
Pregnancy Sleep Tips: Right Before Bed
#11 – Address Any Stress Or Anxiety
Stress and Anxiety are a natural part of life. However, when they become too overwhelming they can threaten your health, happiness and even sleep. Figuring out what is the best way for you to cope with any stress and anxiety is important and better figured out sooner than later. When your anxious thoughts follow you to the bedroom it can leave you restless and lacking the necessary sleep to get through the day. Allow your stress and anxiety to be left outside the door to your bedroom and make sure that you aren’t only taking care of your physical health, but mental health too.
#12 – Limit Your Liquids In The Evening
This may seem like a no brainer, but as a pregnant woman your bladder is already overactive with a little one pushing down on it. So trying not to add more to it than absolutely needed before bed is a good idea. As we all know, you need to keep hydrated and get plenty of fluids. However, quenching your thirst right before bed may result in a restless night that keeps you running back and forth from the bathroom.
This could be even more cumbersome if you are in your last few months and getting in and out of bed becomes more time consuming than you’d like. Don’t dehydrate yourself, but limiting your intake of fluids to where you feel comfortable is a great idea to ensure your sleep isn’t interrupted. Also, if you do want one more beverage before going to sleep try an herbal tea. Chamomile or peppermint are good choices. Chamomile will help you relax and peppermint will help if you have any stomach ailments as well as help calm any nerves.
#13 – Relax Your Body
Relaxing your body may mean different things to you throughout your pregnancy. Stretching, a foot massage, a warm shower are just a few ways that can help your body feel more relaxed. Allow yourself to be pampered a bit, especially before bed. Letting your body relax will naturally help your mind relax as well and this will result in getting to a more restful sleep sooner.
Make sure that whatever way you choose to relax is safe, depending at where you are in your pregnancy and any restrictions you may have. Massage during the first trimester is not recommended, also very hot baths are not on the list for any point during pregnancy. It is best to check with your doctor, but there are plenty of other ways for you to relax, several that your spouse can help with too.
#14 – Relax Your Mind
Just like relaxing your body it is important to relax your mind. Allowing yourself to feel free of stress and unnecessary worry, especially before bed, will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. This is somewhat similar to addressing any stress or anxiety but also goes beyond that in finding a way to let your mind drift a bit to fully relax you. Avoiding anything with a screen is a good idea too. Bright lights and noise can stimulate your mind instead of relaxing it.
Trying to keep your phone at bay and TV’s outside of the bedroom is your best bet. Finding a good book, not pregnancy or parenting related, is a great start. Getting lost in a world outside of your own is a good way to disconnect and let your mind fully relax. This will help you slip into sleep much easier and will also distract your mind from any heavier thoughts.
#15 – Help Relax With Essential Oils
Scent is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to mood and relaxation. Inviting essential oils into your bedroom can be just the help you need to unwind and relax. Oil diffusers are a great way to add specific fragrance into your room. You can customize the blends to make the perfect combination that not only smells great but also inadvertently relaxes your mind too.
These oils are so helpful that they have even been added to certain products, like pillows that are infused and as well as lotions and soaps. Regardless of what method works best for you, there are plenty of ways to incorporate these relaxing, natural scents into your bedroom and sleep routine.
#16 – Maintain a Good Bedtime Routine
This is similar to your morning routine and just as important. Establishing a good bedtime routine means choosing a time to get ready for bed as well as what time to turn off the lights to make sure your body knows it’s cues to sleep.
This allows for you to plan for plenty of sleep to make sure that you wake up feeling refreshed and rested. It also helps you create a schedule that won’t need to be dictated by the snooze button on an alarm. It is also important to allow for plenty of time in your bedtime routine to relax and unwind and do what you need to do before going to sleep. Creating a good balance before hitting the hay will help you sleep better.
#17 – Practice Deep Breathing
This is beneficial for two reasons. Practicing deep breathing before bed allows you to practice for delivery day, but it also allows you to relax and unwind before bed too. Nothing is better than getting two birds with one stone. Deep breathing is best by slowly inhaling through your nose and slowly exhaling through your mouth. Focus on your breathing and allow your body to relax with each breath. Even focusing on different parts of your body relaxing with each breath is a great way to stay in tune with your body and relax.
#18 – Spend Time With Your Baby
Okay, so your little one isn’t here yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time with them. While I was pregnant with my daughter I spent much of the day on my feet and it wasn’t until I lied down in bed that she started moving around. This was a great time for me to enjoy feeling her move about.
And gave me some uninterrupted time to just take in the wonder of what was happening inside of me. This also was like clockwork and allowed my husband the opportunity to feel apart of the process and see and feel her moving around too. This became apart of my bedtime routine and really allowed me to relax and go to sleep with a positive happy heart.
Pregnancy Sleep Tips: While You Sleep
#19 – Have Several Pillow Options
Throughout your pregnancy your comfort and preferences for sleeping positons, room temperature and pillows will change. Having a few different pillow options on hand is a great idea to make sure that you are always prepared to shift when needed. Sometimes when sleeping on your side you’ll prefer a pillow between your knees, other times not. Sometimes you’ll have acid reflux and propping yourself up with an extra pillow will be best. As long as you are prepared, than you can easily transition and not lose any sleep.
#20 – Sleep On Your Left Side
It is recommended at all points in your pregnancy to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your back puts added pressure on your organs and sleeping on your stomach is possible for the first few months but is no longer an option once you’re belly is too big, for obvious reasons. So what’s left, sleeping on your side.
Sleeping on your left side is preferred because it is will increase the amount of nutrients and blood to your growing placenta. Sleeping on your left side also helps with your circulation too. This is because less pressure is being put on your vena cava, the largest vein carrying blood into the heart and can allow blood to flow easier.
#21 – Ignore Crazy Dreams
Sometimes your hormones are raging and your emotions are all over the place and this can even spill over into your dreams. Even at times creating very lucid, real feeling dreams that can leave you in a state of panic. It is good to realize this before it happens so if and when it does you can reassure yourself that everything is just fine. Waking up in a panic can definitely be hard to come down from and potentially could cost you precious sleep time. Allowing yourself a moment to calm down and breath before trying to toss and turn back to sleep is your best bet.
#22 – Use A Sound Machine
White noise may be one of the things that may be missing from your room that might actually help you sleep better. Many people think perfect silence is the answer, but in comparison, having background noise might be even better. Granted, finding the right white noise may be key to helping you drift off to dream opposed to being distracted to annoyance. Many people have found that the subtle hum of a simple fan not only helps circulate the air but sets a rhythm to sleep to.
Adding a sound machine may be a great way to avoid counting sheep and starting getting sleep. This might also be beneficial in preparing for your baby. If your baby will be sleeping with you it is a great idea to have a sound machine to help them sleep too. So using one while pregnant will be an easy transition to using one when your little one arrives too.
#23 – Make Sure The Room Temperature Is Good
This is another tip that is good to note for everyone but one that might be more pronounced for a pregnant woman. It is recommended to sleep in a slightly cooler environment, around 63 to 68 degrees on average. Your body naturally tries to decrease temperature to initiate falling asleep, so giving it a boost by keeping your bedroom a little on the cool side should help you fall asleep easier, as well as stay asleep.
Having your room too cool or too warm may be a distraction from falling asleep, so finding a good temperature that is comfortably cool, if possible, is ideal. If you are too cold, layering on an extra blanket or putting on a pair of socks is better than increasing the temperature. While you’re pregnant you may feel warmer too so keeping the thermostat cooler will make you sleep better and feel more comfortable.
#24 – Also Make Sure The Lighting Is Right
Lighting can affect your mood, create natural cycles and even keep you awake or help you sleep. Making sure that your bedroom has warm, ambient lighting for the evenings and shades or blinds that keep natural light at bay are in place. Natural light can be great if your sleep schedule coincides with the sun.
However, if it doesn’t than having the proper window treatments can help you get the sleep you need by not having the morning sun disturb you. Also, using low wattage, warm lighting before bed can help create a mood of rest and relaxation. Avoiding bright overhead ceiling lamps and over intense bulbs can make a difference when winding down. Keep your lighting in check to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
#25 – Sleep On Good Support & Comfort
Making sure you have a good comfortable and supportive mattress is a must for anyone who truly wants quality sleep. This is something you more than likely will want to address before your 2nd trimester though. As you grow and your body temporarily changes you may feel differently about what kind of comfort and support you will need long term. Finding a mattress that provides plenty of proper support is crucial. Making sure a mattress that allows for correct spinal alignment is important when it comes to support.
You also want to make sure that the top layers that provide the comfort are ideal for you too. If you typically like a firmer mattress but you’re concerned about trying to sleep on your side during pregnancy, than a great temporary solution is buying an inexpensive mattress topper that will help you adjust during those months. Make sure you check out our Mattress Guide and utilize this easy and informative tool for finding a new mattress. And see all our reviewed mattresses too: Mattress Reviews
#26 – Use A Folded Towel For Added Support
This may sound a little strange but during my pregnancy this strategy proved to be a huge help. As my belly grew and my body changed so did the support I needed around my middle while I was sleeping. The mattress we had at the time had always been comfortable to me but around the time I had an extra 20 pounds it started to feel less supportive, especially around my middle.
I had heard this crazy tip about folding a towel into thirds and putting under your middle while you sleep. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and so when I felt like I needed the added support I tried this technique and low and behold it actually was just enough to help me sleep better.
#27 -Focus On Quality Over Quantity
This tip I really want to stress because during my pregnancy everyone kept saying sleep as much as you can now. Which in reality doesn’t help you in the long run. Sleep isn’t something you can store up and use on a day when you need it. Sleep is a daily task that only benefits you for that day. As a new parent you will be at your baby’s beck and call, or shall I say scream and cry.
Either way, you are going to be tired. Probably for several months before your little one gets into a routine. And you know what, it is not a big deal and it is worth it. What I would recommend focusing on before your little one arrives is your quality of sleep. Making sure you figure out and know what works best for you to recharge your batteries is much more beneficial than trying to sleep 12 hours a day.
Why Pregnancy Sleep Tips Work
This is why the above pregnancy sleep tips are so important. You are going to have a new schedule when your baby comes and fully preparing yourself for what methods help you sleep best will allow you to use your limited time for sleeping to get right to it. Knowing that a warm shower and cup of tea sets you up for immediate snoozing.
Or a few minutes of reading a cozy mystery puts you out like a light is a great to know for the months ahead. It also doesn’t hurt that you can even work your bedtime routine into your babies. I am a fan of reading before bed. Knowing this I prepared myself ahead of time. I was able to get a book lamp to attach to my book and read out loud as my daughter fell asleep, and me shortly after.
Sleeping in general is very important, and while pregnant even more so. You are growing a little one inside of you and it isn’t easy. Making sure that your body, mind and soul are rested and recharged each day ensures that your pregnancy will go that much more smoothly. Hopefully many of these tips can come in handy and help you find the methods that work best for you. Happy sleeping to you and your little one!
Check out this article if you want general tips for better sleep