Alaska Sleep Education Center

Sleeping During Pregnancy: TOP 6 tips

Posted by Jennifer Hines

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on Sep 20, 2022 10:41:40 AM

Smiling husband looking at his wife while relaxing on bed

Pregnancy can take a toll on your body. But while you need sleep during pregnancy, it's not always easy. If you have a pregnancy test and it comes back positive, you may be wondering what to expect next. This is where the due date calendar comes into play. With some basic information about your last period and cycle length, the pregnancy calculator can help you work out your estimated date of birth. This information is also useful when considering your baby's due date before trying to conceive. Now you can learn how pregnancy affects sleep and what you can do to sleep comfortably.

Why can't I sleep during pregnancy?


It's normal to feel tired during pregnancy, so try not to feel depressed about yourself, as depression can lead to more insomnia. Your baby is growing and your tummy is getting bigger, which is understandably making it difficult for you to feel comfortable at night. Hormonal changes can also contribute to early pregnancy fatigue. Heartburn, nausea, and frequent urination are normal symptoms. Also, you may be worried about how your baby’s health, which can lead to those sleepless nights. In pregnancy, bladder issues can manifest in two ways. You may still need to pee more frequently early on owing to hormonal changes during pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your enlarging uterus exerts strain on your bladder, resulting in increased toilet journeys. However, abstaining from alcohol fully before bed might cause leg cramps, so be mindful but drink to make yourself comfortable.

Tips for getting a better sleep in pregnancy


  • Fresh air and exercise. Fresh air and moderate exercise, as long as you're comfortable, can help you feel more sleepy at night. There are other benefits as well. One study found that 35-90 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week during pregnancy was associated with higher odds of vaginal delivery and lower odds of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.


  • Reduce caffeine. Reduce or eliminate caffeine, especially later in the day, and remember that caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks, and some medicines such as cold and flu medicine.


  • Say NO to alcohol. Alcohol is associated with more sleep disturbances, so that;s another reason why drinking alcohol during pregnancy is harmful for your and your baby’s health. 


  • Eat healthy food. Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and you may find herbal teas to help you relax in the evening. Do some research before you drink it, though—while ginger and mint tea can help relieve morning sickness, green tea has the same amount of caffeine as regular tea.


  • Drink up! Drink plenty of fluids during the day, but cut down before bedtime to minimize frequent nighttime urination.


  • Go to bed with a clear mind. Stress and anxiety are the main culprits that prevent a good night's sleep. Remember that worrying won't help you, but talking about your problems will. Find a friend or professional who can listen and help you when issues arise in your life that worry or upset you.


While finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult as your baby gets older (busier), try a few different sleeping positions to see which sleeps you best. Previously, providers advised expecting mothers not to sleep on their backs after the 20-week milestone. The new guidelines suggest that it is perfectly fine to sleep on your back throughout your pregnancy if you are comfortable. If your sleep deprivation is interfering with your daily life, set aside some time to discuss pregnancy-friendly sleep aids with your doctor. After all, getting enough sleep is vital to your health and that of your growing baby! 

The Importance of Sleeping for Two

  For many new mothers, getting adequate sleep is even less likely after labor and delivery. It's critical that all pregnant women prioritize sleep before then. Identifying and treating any sleep breathing disorders benefit both mother and baby. 

A few ways to ensure adequate sleep and defend against sleep breathing problems during pregnancy include:

  • Napping whenever practical.
  • Left-side sleeping, improves blood circulation and helps keep the airway open.
  • Using saline nasal spray for congestion.
  • Getting 30 minutes of exercise daily (per physician approval).
  • Eating a balanced diet for a healthy metabolism.
  • Opting for a bedside humidifier to keep sinuses clear. 
  • Treatment for OSA during pregnancy

  OSA in pregnancy is a dynamic process made apparent by different mWithout proper sleep, a mom-2-be can get OSA during pregnancy.arkers with each passing trimester. A thorough healthcare provider should screen patients at trimester intervals to identify any breathing problems.

  Screening especially during the second trimester has been shown to be effective in pinpointing sleep breathing problems, and comparisons of BMI in the third trimester can reliably predict the new onset of OSA. 

  Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is considered the safest and most effective treatment for OSA, but it does require diagnosis and a prescription.

  Don’t hesitate to tell your caregiver about bedtime stuffiness, loud snoring, nighttime choking or gasping, morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening, or excessive daytime sleepiness.

Don't put your and your unborn baby's health at risk.  If you have any signs of sleep apnea, call Alaska Sleep Clinic for a FREE sleep assessment.

Women and Sleep How ASC Focuses on Our Sleep Issues

Topics: alaska sleep clinic, Sleep Tips, pregnancy, alaska, alaska sleep, alaska sleep center

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