There is no process more natural than pregnancy. Yet, while the journey has many beautiful elements, it’s not without its trials. If you are or have ever been pregnant, you’ll know the challenges of getting a full, comfortable night’s kip.
As your baby continues to grow, pushing up against your ribs and bladder, sleep becomes increasingly elusive. Fortunately, you don’t have to continue to suffer. With the right ritual, routine, and sleeping position, you can be sure to get your all-important rest before the baby comes.
Best Sleeping Position When Pregnant
When you’re pregnant, your sleeping position determines how successful your night’s sleep is. It may not matter to begin with, but as your baby gets bigger and bigger, you need to find the comfiest position.
Research indicates that sleeping on your left side is best while you’re pregnant, as it helps to improve blood and nutrient flow around the body and to your baby.
Can You Sleep on Your Back While Pregnant?
Sleeping on your back is A-OK in the early stages, but experts recommend staying away from it as you enter the second and third trimesters. This may be confusing, as it might seem like the most comfortable position, especially when your back has been hurting all day from carrying your baby, but here’s why:
A 2019 study found that sleeping on your back in late pregnancy may be linked to stillbirth. However, we don’t fully understand this relationship, and the research on it is limited. Nevertheless, experts suggest that the reason behind this may be that the weight of the baby pushes against the vena cava vein. This is a major vein responsible for transporting blood from the lower body back to the heart. If the baby were to prevent this blood flow, this could have repercussions.
But while the position you sleep in is important during pregnancy, it’s not the only strategy to use to get a good night’s sleep while pregnant. We also advise following these four top tips.
4 Top Tips on How to Sleep When Pregnant
If you’re finding sleeping while pregnant a challenge, it’s time to employ these all-important top tips:
Tip 1. Set a Sleep Routine
Sticking to a regular sleep routine is important at any stage in life, but it’s especially crucial when you’re pregnant. Right about now, you’re probably wondering, “How will a sleep routine help me get comfy at night?” Ever heard of a thing called “body clock”?
Our bodies have an internal body clock, scientifically known as circadian rhythms, that helps our bodies to know when it’s night and day, and thus when to sleep and be awake. When we go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning, our internal body clocks get used to this cycle, meaning that we can fall asleep quicker at night.
Tip 2. Try to Exercise Regularly
You may be sick of seeing exercise as a tool for improving your health and fitness. But we shouldn’t underestimate the power of regular exercise on our sleep, especially during pregnancy.
This doesn’t mean running a marathon or a sprint. Instead, try forms of moderate exercise like prenatal yoga or walking. These can help to alleviate some pregnancy aches and pains and tire you out enough to get a full night’s shut-eye.
Tip 3. Keep an Eye on Your Diet
A woman’s diet during pregnancy can go one of two ways. We either pride ourselves on only putting nutritious foods in our bodies, or we experience extreme cravings and want to eat everything under the sun.
But did you know that your diet plays a crucial role in your sleep during pregnancy? Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can go a long way to improving your sleep. So, remember to avoid these things before bed:
- Large meals
- Drinking lots
Instead, aim for a smaller dinner early in the evening and remember to hydrate yourself throughout the day.
Tip 4. Stick to a Calming Bedtime Ritual
Calming bedtime rituals are fundamental for a good night’s sleep during pregnancy. They tell your mind and body you’re ready to rest, which enables them both to switch off and prepare for slumber.
Some of the best activities to do before bed are reading, taking a warm bath, or listening to your most calming tunes.
Final Word on How to Sleep When Pregnant
One of the main trials of pregnancy women report is lack of sleep due to discomfort. So, if you’re struggling to sleep, know that you’re not alone.
By employing techniques like laying on your left side, creating a sleep schedule and sticking to a nighttime ritual, you can be sure you get as much slumber as possible before the baby comes along.