Tips and Tricks to Help You Sleep During Pregnancy

Sleep during pregnancy can feel like a nightmare for many of us moms. Some of us experience an energetic baby moving in our womb, sleeping on our left side for too long, an active brain, restless legs, charley horses, and nasty nausea. There are so many factors that keep us up that we probably dread going to sleep. Today, we want to provide some sources and tips to help you in your sleep journey throughout pregnancy.

First of all, it is important to know how to sleep safely during pregnancy for you and baby. The moment your cute baby bump emerges, sleeping on your back is no longer safe. This is because the largest vein in your body, called the vena cava, carries blood from your lower extremities back to your heart. When you apply too much pressure on that vein, this can trigger dizziness or nausea for some women, and restrict blood flow to the uterus. Blocking this vein could lead to a risk of blood clots or fetal distress.

So instead of sleeping on your back, lay on your left side, for the vein is positioned on the right of your spine. Laying on your left side will help with blood flow and better circulation. Now you may be experiencing a sore left side overtime, it is okay to switch to the right side here and there. Also, don’t panic if you wake up finding yourself laying on your back, it happens, just adjust back to your side.

Now let’s talk about things you can do to promote a better sleep. Here are some suggestions that you can get started on.

  • Pregnancy Pillows: Get a pregnancy pillow or use big pillows to help support you in between your legs and prevent your from rolling to your back. Pregnancy Pillows can also help alleviate back pain and keep hips more aligned. They can be shaped as a “U” or a “C”. Here’s a link for some pregnancy pillows on amazon to get started on: Pregnancy Pillows on Amazon
  • Get More Exercise: Starting your day with some exercise can actually promote tiredness to your body later in the day. Even some light stretching or yoga before bed can help release tense muscles. Asking your spouse/partner for a nice foot rub can also improve circulation, reduce swelling, and of course feels so good!
  • Less Day-Time Napping: Napping for long periods of time can make it difficult to sleep at night. A short nap here and there does not hurt, as long as the room is not dark, so it doesn’t throw off your wake-sleep rhythm. Sometimes even eliminating your naps and going to bed and hour or two earlier can help promote better sleep as well.
  • Being Mindful of When you Eat and Drink: If you eat a large meal before bed, this can lead to indigestion and heartburn, which can definitely keep you up at night. Women in pregnancy are encouraged to try not eat anything past eight in the evening. Now if you are craving a snack later into the eating, have a small helping of healthy fats – such as spoonful of almond butter or a half-cup of whole-fat yogurt can be able to satisfy your hunger. If you struggle with heartburn, try propping yourself up with more pillows to help limit the reflux you experience. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (diluted with a few ounces water) before each meal can also help with digestion. Also avoid chocolate and caffeinated beverages past lunch times, for these also can keep you awake at night. Tart Cherry Juice as been known as one of the best sources of natural melatonin. A delicious Tart Cherry Bomb recipe will be attached at the bottom of the article as a fun drink to help you in your restful sleep. Supplementing your diet with magnesium can also help with sleep, restless legs, relaxation, and can help ease morning sickness.
  • Turn Your Bedroom Into a Restful Retreat: Limit technology, such as phones, TV’s and other electronics on the bed. Our room starts to be associated with them which can stimulate the brain and reduce a restful and sleepy brain. Turning up the AC or opening your windows can also help with sleep, for cooler temperatures between 60-67 degrees, promote better sleep. Blackout curtains to block out any light will also help. Having white noise in the background like a fan or baby noise maker can help drown out outside noise. The more you can make your bedroom a restful retreat, the better.
  • Adopt a Nighttime Ritual: To develop healthy rest habits, it is important to keep a consistent schedule each time you wake and go to bed. This can help your brain to develop tiredness when it is time to go to sleep and more alertness when it is time to wake up. Here are some activities you can adopt into your nighttime routine: taking a warm bath or shower will help soothe your tired muscles and send signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep; setting a time to brush and floss your teeth can help send signals to your brain that you done eating; drinking chamomile or lavender tea can help calm your body as you prepare to sleep; taking time to stretch or a light yoga can release tension and can help you focus on deep breathing to clear your mind; and finally, reading a good book can promote more effective sleep than music, going for a walk, or a warm cup of tea.

Of course, every pregnancy is different and brings out their own challenges. Mine definitely was difficult and I personally was not able to implement most of these suggestions due to how sick I was in my pregnancy. Our word of advice here is to focus on what you can do to help promote better sleep. These are not a checklist of you must do to sleep better, but what can help you. You are doing wonderful mama! Insomnia may feel like an eternity, but just know that this will only be a short chapter in your life (also talking to you postpartum moms!), it won’t last forever. Cherish this moment to bond with your baby, for they grow up so fast! If you are still unsure how to implement this in your sleep routine, reach out to one of our midwives or other supports, we will be happy to help you in your sleep journey.


*Inspirations for the article come from the book “The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth” by Genevieve Howland. (Week 19 – Catch Some ZZZs, pages 192-199).

Click Here to Get: The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Tart Cherry Bomb Recipe

*optional -add whip cream for a nice cream soda as a light replacement for dessert 🙂

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