Pregnancy symptoms vary for every woman, but one thing that most pregnant women have in common, especially as their bellies continue to grow, is difficulty getting comfortable while sleeping. Finding a sleeping position that provides enough support for your belly and also allows you to rest comfortably can be a challenge. We’re taking a look at the different sleeping positions, things you can do that might help you rest comfortably, and sleep aids, like support pillows and eye masks.
Research shows that sleeping on your left side is the ideal sleeping position with your legs curved slightly. Sleeping on your left side helps to promote blood flow to the uterus, heart, and kidneys and also improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. While sleeping on your right side might not facilitate the same benefits, it is still perfectly fine.
Try to avoid sleeping on your back. The weight of the growing baby can put pressure on your spine and back muscles, causing pain. It also puts pressure on the vena cava, one of the body’s biggest veins, which can cause dizziness and lack of blood flow. If you start out sleeping on your sides and happen to wake up on your back, do not worry. And if you were a stomach sleeper before becoming pregnant, it might be time to find a new position that you can get comfortable in because a growing bump doesn’t lend itself to comfortable stomach sleeping after weeks 16-18.
Getting comfortable in bed might not be the easiest during pregnancy. Thankfully there are a few sleep aids that could help you find some comfort. Pregnancy pillows come in all different shapes and sizes. Do some research to find what shape and size might be best for you and the way you sleep. A long, full pillow is great for wrapping your legs around and a wedge pillow is perfect for placing behind you if you have a tendency to roll over on your back.
Setting yourself up for the best night’s sleep might take a few extra steps during pregnancy, but it will be worth it if you get a great night’s rest out of it. Consider blackout curtains or a cushioned eye mask to help filter out any light that might wake you during the night. Keep the temperature cool in the bedroom to help avoid sweat breakouts.
Additional Sleep Pointers
In an effort to improve overall sleep quality during pregnancy, you might also want to consider:
- Reducing or avoiding the intake of spicy foods, caffeine, or large meals before bedtime.
- Prioritizing sleep, setting a schedule, getting to bed at roughly the same time every night, and taking naps earlier in the day, so as not to interfere with nighttime sleep.
- Avoiding screen time at least an hour before bed.
- Reading a book, taking a bath, or doing some slow, calming stretching before bed.
- Listening to white noise while falling asleep.
- Staying active during the day or exercising earlier in the day.
Talk to A Midwife
The Certified Nurse-Midwives of the City of Oaks Midwifery give comprehensive care to women before, during, and after pregnancy in the Raleigh, NC area. We want your transition into motherhood to be as smooth as possible, including making sure you can find comfort at night and are receiving enough sleep during pregnancy. If you need further guidance, call us at (919) 351-8253 to make an appointment.