Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

For a good night's sleep, lay on your side with your knees bent, and place a pillow between your legs.

Now that you’re pregnant, you’ve become increasingly more tired – all you want to do is take a nap. And when you wake up from that nap, you might want to take another nap. You’ve probably noticed by now that the bigger your belly gets, the more vicious your sleep cycle becomes. You might even consider yourself an insomniac, which isn’t healthy for you or your little one.

Finding a comfortable position in bed is rough, especially if you’re the kind of gal who prefers sleeping on your stomach. Your body is undergoing a multitude of changes that can have a significant impact on your sleeping habits and cause discomfort. Reasons for discomfort include:

  • Back pain.
  • Heartburn.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Increased size of abdomen.

When you’re in the search for slumber, the best position is SOS (sleep on side) with your legs and knees bent. For extra comfort and support, place a pillow in between your legs.

If the SOS method is giving you trouble, here are some tips you can try:

  • For back pain
  • If you’re frequently experiencing back pain, place a pillow under your abdomen. This extra padding will provide a cushion barrier between your tender back and your mattress.

  • For heartburn
  • Heartburn is common among pregnant woman, especially when laying down. To curb this type of discomfort, prop your upper body up with a couple of plush pillows.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath occurs later on in your pregnancy. Laying on your side and propping yourself up with pillows will help open up your lungs, allowing you to breath better.

Avoid sleeping on your back

Sleeping flat on your back is frowned upon for many reasons. According to the American Pregnancy Association, sleeping on your back can cause your uterus to place pressure on the aorta and lower vena cava, which simultaneously supplies blood to both you and the baby.

In addition to circulation problems, sleeping on your back can cause:

  • Muscle aches and pains.
  • Hemorrhoids and swelling.
  • Plummeting blood pressure, which increases dizziness.
  • Snoring, which leads to sleep apnea.

If you happen to wake up and find yourself laying on your back, that’s OK! All that tossing and turning will do that to you. Just slowly roll back over on your side and do your best to fall back asleep.

Here are four additional ways to help get a full nights sleep:

  • No late-night snacking
  • Try not to consume anything (other than water, of course) less than two hours before bedtime. This will help reduce the likelihood of acid reflux and heartburn.

  • Don’t just lay in bed
  • If you’re unable to fall asleep, don’t just lay in bed – it’ll drive you crazy. Instead, get up and walk around the house, fold some laundry or plop on the couch and read a book until you start to feel sleepy.

  • Turn the temperature down
  • Your body heat sufficiently increases during pregnancy, which is why you experience hot flashes more often than not. Sleeping isn’t easy when you’re sweating, so experiment with the thermostat in order to reach a temperature that is comfortable for you.

  • Avoid late-night stimulation
  • According to the Sleep Academy, light signals your body to produce less melatonin, which is a key hormone to help regulate your body’s internal clock. That being said, avoid external stimulation like watching TV, playing on your tablet or computer, or participating in strenuous activities like late-night workout. These activities will keep you wired and make it difficult for you to fall asleep.