Put One Or Two Pillows Between Your Bent Knees
Bending your knees can help stabilize you, Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, tells SELF. That way, youre less likely to feel uncomfortable or roll over onto your back. And the pillows? Those are to prevent back pain, which can be a major issue when youre pregnant for a few reasons.
One is the strain your growing belly puts on your back muscles. As your pregnancy develops, your uterus becomes heavier and you naturally bend forward, ACOG explains. To keep you from toppling over, your posture changes, so you might lean backward, causing your back muscles to work harder.
Your abdominal muscles also tend to get stretched out and weaker than usual when youre pregnant, and that can mess with the stability of your spine and increase your risk of hurting your back, ACOG says. Also, during pregnancy, your body releases the hormone relaxin to loosen up the ligaments in joints in your pelvis so the baby can eventually fit through the birth canal. This is a clutch way of your body looking out for you and the baby, but it can also cause pain if your joints become too flexible.
Choose The Right Mattress
The mattress you choose can have a major influence on the quality of your sleep. A mattress thats too firm means youll feel pressure points at your hips and shoulders. A mattress thats too soft doesnt provide enough support for your neck and back.
Get a new mattress if your current one isnt working for you. Be sure to try out the mattress before you buy it so you find the one that is right for you.
Body Changes During Pregnancy
There are many physical and psychological reasons why as many as 94% of women face challenges with sleep during pregnancy, according to research published in Obstetric Medicine. Perhaps this is natures way of preparing expecting mothers for the many sleepless nights they will face once their little bundle of joy arrives.
While most of these changes are a natural part of the process, understanding how they impact rest can help you to better prepare and cope.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has outlined some of the prenatal side effects that may impact sleep, including:
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What Is The Best Second Trimester Sleeping Position
Left side sleeping is considered the best sleeping position for later pregnancy as it allows for unrestricted blood flow to the fetus and kidneys. While this may not be necessary yet at the start of the second trimester, this is a good time to practice switching over to your left side. If youre having trouble finding a comfortable position, a recliner may be a good option.
Stomach sleeping may be fine for the first part of the second trimester, until the growing baby bump makes this position uncomfortable. Starting around week 16, you should try to avoid sleeping on your back. This position puts the weight of the uterus on top of the inferior vena cava, which can cut off blood flow, cause swelling in your legs and ankles.
If youre not a natural side sleeper, you can try using strategically placed pillows to prevent yourself from rolling over onto your back. A pregnancy body pillow or wedge pillow may help you to adopt a more comfortable position. Likewise, smaller pillows tucked under the waist and belly may relieve pressure, and a pillow between the knees can help improve the alignment of the hips and spine.
Safe Pregnancy Sleep Positions
Around the middle of your pregnancy, start to get into the habit of going to sleep on your side. This is because research found that mothers whose baby was stillborn were twice as likely to report falling asleep on their back the night before. This may be to do with the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby .
Don’t worry if you wake up on your back the research looked at the position women fell asleep in, as this is the position we keep for longest. If you wake up on your back, just turn over and go to sleep again on your side .
And just remember, it’s not forever. One new NCT mum says: Even though my baby often wakes me up in the night now, the sleep I do get in-between feeds is so much better than when I was heavily pregnant and just couldnt get comfortable.
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Activities That Can Help You Fall Asleep Faster
The key to picking an activity that will help you fall asleep is to not make it super exciting. You dont want to watch a movie youve been dying to see for months.
You should find something that might naturally be snooze-inducing, like reading some boring scientific journals or watching an old black and white movie you dont think will hold your interest.
Another thing you could do is take a warm shower while youre listening to relaxing music.
Ease New Parent Worries
While pregnancy is often an exciting, special time, it can also be filled with stress. Pregnant moms may lie awake ruminating about childbirth, the babys health, finances, or a number of other things. They may also experience nightmares and vivid dreams, which are common in pregnancy.
To cope with nighttime worry, try incorporating calming practices into your schedule, like yoga, journaling, and breathing exercises. Consider taking a soothing bath or practicing meditation to wind down in the evenings. You might sign up for a new-parent class to help prepare for the changes ahead. It may also be beneficial to reach out for professional support from a licensed counselor or support group. Many women are experiencing the same feelings, and seeking outside help can make a meaningful difference.
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Sleep In The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
Sleep during the second trimester of pregnancy improves for many women, because nighttime urination becomes less of an issue as the growing fetus reduces pressure on the bladder by moving above it. Still, the quality of sleep may remain poor as a result of the growing baby and emotional stress associated with pregnancy.
Some Tips And Tricks For Getting Better Sleep During Pregnancy
Getting plenty of sleep can be tricky when youre pregnant, especially during the later months, and in the first 12 weeks or so it is perfectly common to feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get.
All the changes in your hormones, the excitement or anxiety about having a baby, the physical discomfort of pregnancy, frequent urination in the night, these can all lead to poor sleep whilst pregnant.
It is important to try and get a good amount of quality sleep each night many doctors recommend between 7 and 10 hours in order to limit fatigue and tiredness during the day to a minimum. Sleep plays a very important role in memory, appetite, mood, learning, and decision making, all of which can be crucial to preparing for your new baby.
How Long Does Pregnancy Insomnia Last
Since its possible to experience insomnia and disrupted sleep at any point during pregnancy, you may be faced with a loss of shut-eye for weeks and months with no real end point in sight. But rather than letting this sleep disorder weigh on you, check in with your doctor at your next prenatal appointment for some help and guidance.
Everything To Know About Pregnancy Sleep
Exhaustion is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. So its normal if you feel more tired than usualor if youve never felt so tired in your life.
Because your body chemistry shifts during pregnancy, you need more sleep than ever, right from the start. Youre pumping out more progesterone to build up the uterine lining and prevent miscarriage, and these higher levels can also can lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, making you feel lethargic and queasy.
The trouble is that at a time when sleep is so importantand so wanted!it may be tougher than ever to get. One National Sleep Foundation poll found that 78 percent of people reported more sleep trouble during pregnancy than other stages of their lives. The reasons may be physicalback pain, sore breasts or other body changes keeping you up at night. Or they may be psychological, as youre contemplating a major life change.
Hopefully, each nights sleep will be restful, and youll never need this FAQ. But bookmark it today, just in case.
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Stretch Your Legs At Night
Theres nothing like wildly painful leg cramps to jolt you awake in the middle of the night. While its thought that pressure from your growing uterus may play a role here, We dont really know the exact cause of this in pregnancy, Dr. Greves says.
To help lower the odds youll wake up in agony, Dr. Greves recommends making sure youre well-hydrated and stretching your calves before you go to bed. Ask your ob/gyn which stretches in particular they suggest.
Does Pregnancy Cause Insomnia
It isn’t uncommon to have difficulty sleeping while pregnant. Pregnancy insomnia is more likely to occur in those who had sleeping problems before becoming pregnant. However, anyone can experience sleep disturbances.
Lesley Gilchrist is a registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife. She frequently hears stories about patients not being able to sleep.
She says there are many causes of pregnancy insomnia, and this can begin as early as the first trimester.
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Reduce Fluid Intake At Night Pee Twice Before Bed
How many times have you been getting up during the night to pee?
Chances are, thats not going to change anytime soon, but you can help reduce the number of times you make the dash to the loo.
Reducing your fluid intake at night can help decrease how many times you get up to go to the toilet, but you need to be careful in doing so.
You must ensure youre getting your daily dose of fluids throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated.
You can try to limit your fluid intake for 3 hours before you go to bed and see if that makes enough of a difference for you.
Another trick is to pee twice before bed. Dont screw your nose up hear me out.
Being pregnant can mess with your ability to sense how often you need to pee .
Im assuming you already pee before you go to bed, but try peeing when you first think to yourself Im going to go to bed now, then pee again after youve done all the fussy things before bed, immediately before you go and lay down.
It seems silly but it works! Youll be amazed that you can go again. Its worth a try.
While these might not all work well for you, theyre worth giving a go to see which ones work for you and if anything on this list can help you sleep better during pregnancy.
Disclosure: All advice given on this site is general and does not pertain to individual situations. Please speak with your medical provider about specific concerns and conditions you may have.
Sleep During The 2nd Trimester
The second trimester brings new challenges.
Many women get a blocked nose and feel stuffed up due to hormonal changes. Saline nasal sprays can help.
Leg cramps can also disrupt your sleep. Its not really understood why leg cramps happen, but there are a number of things you can do to ease them, such as stretching your calf muscles, being active during the day and drinking plenty of fluids.
Some women have more dreams than they would normally, or unusual dreams, or nightmares. Sometimes it can be related to stress, or it could be inconsistent sleep. Try to stick to a regular schedule and maybe try different sleep positions or use a pregnancy pillow. If you are having dreams that are disturbing you, it can help to talk to your partner or a friend, or consider talking to a counsellor.
Some start to snore for the first time in their lives. Sleeping on your side and keeping your head slightly elevated can help. Maintaining a healthy diet and not putting on too much weight can also help.
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Sleep Hygiene Tips For The Second Trimester
Regular sleep hygiene advice is just as valid as ever during the second trimester of pregnancy. Create a sleep-friendly bedroom by turning down the thermostat, quieting the noise, and blocking any potential light sources. Save your bed for sleep and sex only, and try to keep a regular schedule of waking up and going to sleep at more or less the same time every day.
In preparation for bedtime, put away the smartphone and laptop. The blue light from these devices delays sleep by fooling your brain into thinking its daytime. Instead of watching TV, try reading a book, listening to music, or practicing meditation and relaxation techniques. A prenatal massage or a warm bath are other ways to relax your body and mind in preparation for sleep.
You probably wont need to visit the bathroom as often as you did in the first trimester, but its still helpful to drink your liquids earlier in the day and avoid caffeine. Likewise, to ward off heartburn, stick to smaller meals, and dont lie down right after eating. Spicy and greasy foods can also trigger acid reflux. If you suffer from heartburn despite all these preventative measures, try sleeping on your left side with your head slightly raised, to keep the esophagus higher than the stomach.
You probably wont feel as tired during the day as you did during the first trimester. However, if you feel the need to nap, try to keep it short and early in the day so it doesnt interfere with your nightly sleep.
Prop Up The Head Of Your Bed
If heartburn is the bane of your existence, you might find it helpful to keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of it. This uses gravity as an advantage and should help you sleep better if you struggle with heartburn, board-certified sleep medicine researcher and neurologist W. Christopher Winter, M.D., of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of the book, The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It, tells SELF.
You can do this by propping up that side of your bed, the Cleveland Clinic says, or simply by placing a mound of pillows under your shoulders.
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Ways To Sleep Better While Pregnant
When youre pregnant, sleep is essential for your health and the health of your baby. The changes in your body, though, can make getting a good nights rest more difficult than it should be.
During the first trimester, your body releases progesterone, a hormone that can act as a natural sedative. This can cause you to feel groggy all day long and interfere with your bodys natural sleep rhythms at night.During the second and third trimesters, the changes in your body begin to become more pronounced. Besides a growing tummy, you have to deal with itchy skin, cramps, back pain, and stress.
Rest easy, though. Mustela is here to help. In this article, we share our favorite tips to improve your pregnant sleep so you can feel your best.
How To Manage Pregnancy Insomnia
You’re probably getting more shut-eye than you think, but it might not feel that way if your sleep is interrupted, if youre tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position, or if youre awake at night feeling anxious about the baby’s birth. To help, here are a couple of ways to manage sleeplessness.
- Get out of bed. If youre not asleep after 20 to 30 minutes, get up and find a small, boring task to accomplish and then try to go to sleep again. You may just be tired enough by that point to get the rest you need.
- Don’t count the hours. Though most people do best on about eight hours of sleep, some feel fine on less and some need more. Do some quick math and check how you’re feeling on the hours you’re getting. If you’re not chronically tired, you may be sleeping the right amount.
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Sleeping While Pregnant: Second Trimester
Ealena Callender, OBGYN
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Our dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article and guide to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date and free of bias.
The second trimester is an exciting time in pregnancy, with morning sickness abating and the baby bump starting to show. For most women, the second trimester is also a relief in terms of sleep quality. Still, there are a number of factors to take into consideration if you want to sleep well during your second trimester.
Well go over whether its ok to sleep on your back and stomach while pregnant in your second trimester. Well also take a look at some of the common sleep conditions that can arise during the second trimester, including sleep apnea and heartburn, and provide advice on how to improve the quality of your sleep.
How Does Sleep Change In The Second Trimester
Most women find it much easier to sleep in the second trimester compared with the first and third trimesters. Stabilizing hormone levels give you a welcome break from morning sickness and tender breasts, and the baby isnt big enough yet to interfere drastically with sleep. Moreover, the uterus has moved further away from your bladder, reducing the frequency of trips to the bathroom.
On average, women tend to get around 7.5 hours of sleep per night in their second trimester. Our advice is to use this trimester wisely, preparing for the babys arrival but also prioritizing storing up energy reserves for the more taxing third trimester.
The second trimester brings a few sleep problems of its own. You may start to experience leg cramps and swollen feet, while weight gain and loosening ligaments in the pelvic area can cause lower back pain. Many pregnant women also have strange, vivid dreams and find that they tend to wake and fall asleep earlier, as in the first trimester. Headaches are also common, but most are benign like migraines and tension headaches. However, be sure to mention them to your care provider as they can sometimes indicate something more serious.
As the baby bump grows and the nasal passages start to get congested, the second trimester can sometimes bring increased snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Constipation and heartburn also plague some women, although the latter is usually worse in the third trimester.
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