Many women have trouble sleeping during pregnancy. One study found that at least 50% of pregnant women experience some form of insomnia.
In this post, we’ll discuss which sleeping positions are best for you and your baby, along with some other ideas that might help you sleep better during your pregnancy.
Please note – these are just general guidelines. If you’re struggling to sleep during your pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Sleep is particularly important during pregnancy. And while insomnia’s common for pregnant woman, if it’s particularly bad it might mean you have an underlying sleeping disorder.
What Side Should I Sleep On When Pregnant?
Most sources agree that, during pregnancy, it’s best to sleep on your left side with your legs slightly curled. This position encourages the blood flow to your heart, kidneys, and uterus. It also improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your baby.
Can I Lay On My Right Side When Pregnant?
Yes, laying on your right side can also encourage blood flow, and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your baby. However, the health benefits are much stronger when you sleep on your left side. So while sleeping on either side is acceptable, it’s best to try sleeping on your left side.
When Should I Start Side Sleeping During Pregnancy?
You should start sleeping on your side as early as possible during your pregnancy. One study found that women who don’t get enough sleep in their early pregnancy risk developing high blood pressure in their third trimester. A lack of sleep in your early pregnancy may also increase the risks of a premature birth.
Plus, the earlier you start sleeping on your side, the earlier you’ll get used to sleeping in this position. So by the time you reach the later stages of your pregnancy, you’ll already be accustomed to sleeping in the position that’s best for you, your body, and your baby.
Can I Sleep On My Front Or Back During Pregnancy?
As your baby grows, sleeping on your back could increasingly lead to backache. Also, sleeping on your back during pregnancy can place a strain on your blood flow, which could lead to dizziness. Sleeping on your back is fine for brief periods. But you should aim to sleep on your sides as often as possible.
As for sleeping on your front – you’ll probably find this too impractical and uncomfortable once your bump reaches a certain size!
How To Sleep Better During Pregnancy
- Try using extra pillows if you’re not used to sleeping on your side, to get as comfy as possible. You could use a pillow to support your belly, for example, or a pillow between the knees to relieve pressure on your back.
- Keep your sleep schedule consistent. Go to bed at the same time every night. And if you’re going to nap in the afternoon, do so as early as possible so as not to interfere with your night’s sleep.
- Stay hydrated through the day, but cut back on your water intake in the evening. This will make overnight bathroom breaks less likely.
- Get regular exercise – consider using a birthing ball as your pregnancy develops.
- Keep your screentime to a minimum. Don’t take any technology into the bedroom. Instead, do something calming just before bed, such as reading a book or having a bath.
For more information, be sure to read the NHS guidance to tiredness and sleep problems during pregnancy.
Support Throughout Your Pregnancy, Your Birth, and Beyond
We have loads of resources on our Real Parenting blog to help you with many aspects of your pregnancy:
- How many scans will I have during pregnancy?
- When should you start buying baby stuff?
- How to tell a baby’s position by their kicks.
- How to move your baby from an uncomfortable position.
- Hospital bag packing checklist for labour.
Browse our full range of green and comfortable products for you and your baby.