There are many things that pregnant woman can agree are hallmarks of those nine months: swollen feet, going to the bathroom nonstop, being super excited to meet that soon-to-be baby, and many more. The entire nine months seem to take too long and not fast enough at the same time. But there is one thing that pregnant women have in common that's not spoken about enough: insomnia and sleepless nights. Once that belly grows, a woman's choice for sleeping positions become slim — not to mention the constant hip and back pain accompanying the night.
According to Healthline there are several reasons why being pregnant might lead to trouble sleeping. Women could be uncomfortable in their new bodies, there's most likely pressure on their bladder, and their mind is probably thinking of everything they need to prepare for before baby comes. In general, sleeping while pregnant seems like a go-to, but it's tough to do with leg cramps and general discomfort.
The good news is there are some things these preggo mommas can try in order to get a good night's sleep. After all, sleep is slim to none when that baby is born, so it's best to try now. From deep breaths, to meditation, to white noise machines — here are 20 tips for sleeping better when pregnant.
20 Meditate/Focus On Your Breathing
What do you do when you get up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep? Thanks to this soon-to-be mom who posted on Reddit, we know that meditating and focusing on our breathing could be a really helpful thing. She said, "I would wake up to pee and that's it, totally awake. Meditation and counting my breaths helped a bit. It got a better at nine weeks, (11 weeks now) but every so often I have a bad night."
Some of us might be pros at meditation and others not so much, but it seems like it could be a good thing to give this a shot.
19 White Noise Machines
Have you ever tried a white noise machine to help you sleep? Trying white noise could be a great way to solve our pregnancy-related sleep issues; at least that's what one momma shared on Reddit.
"White noise was the only thing that helped me... either through a separate machine or through a streaming service like Spotify... If you go with a streaming service, you’ll want to find a really long audio file with no glitchy noises, that will loop on repeat pretty seamlessly."
18 Eat Something That Has Protein Before You Go To Sleep
We all know that we need to eat a certain amount of protein every day, and we can generally get that in whether we follow a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, Keto, or a diet that we don't choose to label. Eating some form of protein before bed could help with sleep quality if you're struggling with getting enough shut-eye while pregnant. This, of course, comes as a suggestion from
That's another suggestion from Reddit, along with taking a product called Natural Calm: "Try this magnesium powder called 'natural calm' and having a protein snack before bed. There are small trial size packets of Natural Calm at Whole Foods for .80 cents."
Do you ever listen to audiobooks? If not, it's something that could really help with sleep during pregnancy. Audiobooks can be super soothing (well, as long as you pick a story that isn't suspenseful or scary, that is) and will absolutely make you feel less alone when you're up in the middle of the night and your partner is fast asleep (lucky them).
As this pregnant woman posted on Reddit, it's a good idea to listen to something when you wake up and can't fall back to bed. "I am almost 36 weeks and waking up every one-two hours is the new normal. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook to help me fall back asleep."
16 Move To The Living Room For A Little Bit
This pregnant woman shared on Reddit that when she experienced insomnia during her pregnancy, she would leave her bed and go into the living room. This can be amazing advice and would cut down on the amount of time you spend lying in bed and wondering why you can't sleep.
"I was up in the wee hours of the morning for months. Usually from 3-5, 4-6, something like that. Annoying and extremely boring. I would not suggest taking any medications. Try to go to bed earlier to make sure you get adequate sleep. I also found that when I came into the living room and sat in a chair or in the couch, I would get sleepy again more quickly. Hang in there. It should get better soon."
15 Try Getting Out Of Bed And Focusing On An Activity
Have you heard the advice that when you can't sleep, you should get out of bed and go into another room and do an activity? For this pregnant woman who posted on Reddit, this was really helpful.
"This may not be the right thing to do, but something I've found that helps is getting up and doing things. Even if I am exhausted. When I lay back down the second (or third...or fourth...) time, I can usually sleep much more easily. It all started the other day when I literally just gave up trying to sleep and started my day at 5:45 working — I had the best nap for almost two hours that afternoon and had been struggling for days to get good sleep."
14 Sleep In A Chair/Recliner Instead Of Your Bed
Parents suggests that when you're having trouble getting that shut-eye in when pregnant, you might want to try sleeping in something other than your bed.
Sure, you might not have thought of sleeping in a recliner, mostly because your bed is typically a lot more comfortable, but maybe it's not. The thing is that during pregnancy, you might have a tough time getting as comfy in bed as you did before, and so a chair or recliner could be a lot better. Whatever works to get your beauty rest is a good thing to do.
Thanks to Reddit, many pregnant women said working out helped them tremendously. There's nothing like doing a nice yoga session to help you sleep better at night, right?
As this person shared, "I took some Reddit advice and started exercising again, and that helped more than I can say."The best part about advice like this is you can literally do any kind of workout that you love (that's been cleared by your doctor); from yoga to pilates to dance, and you'll still reap the sleep-related benefits.
12 Sleep Alone
One of the nicest things about being in a long-term relationship is definitely sharing a bed with someone. It's sweet to fall asleep next to one another night after night, and wake up together every morning.
But it might not be so amazing when you're having trouble sleeping.
It's totally fine to sleep in a separate bed from your person while you're having these sleeping issues, like this person on Reddit: "The only thing that does actually help a little is sleeping in an empty bed. My SO moved downstairs to the futon in the basement because I can't sleep at all with him in our queen bed and was spending my nights awake on the couch until he left for work at 8am."
11 Sleep On Your Left Side
What position do you typically sleep in? If you sleep on your left side, then you might not have had any pregnancy-related issues sleeping because this is a recommended position for pregnant women, according to Babble.
"This can be achieved by lying on your left side with a pillow between your knees and another placed under your belly. You can also tuck a pillow behind your back to help you stay on your side and take some pressure off your hip."
10 Create A Way To Chill Out At Night
This story on Parents makes an amazing suggestion: find a way to chill out at night and that should definitely help when you go to bed. We all have one thing that helps us sleep well, right?
After all, the goal is to calm down enough to slumber. This is true for pregnant and non-pregnant women (and for anyone). The last thing that we want when we try to go to sleep is for our minds to race and we all dislike the experience of feeling like we just can't chill out, no matter how hard we try. If we do things at night that make us feel calm and peaceful, we should be able to sleep at least a little bit better.
9 Read Or Watch Fun TV
When this woman on Reddit had trouble sleeping during her pregnancy, she would read a book or watch something fun on TV to help drift her off to sleep.
She wrote that her advice for pregnancy insomnia is, "Mindless TV or reading. It's tough, I know. I struggle with sleep every night and I'm well into the second trimester."
Common advice for people who have a tough time sleeping is to get out of bed and do something, so this advice is in align with that. It's a good opportunity to distract yourself and you also get sleepy when you read or watch something, which is a bonus.
8 Consider A Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy pillows are popular for a reason! The fact that they even exist tells us that, yup, having trouble sleeping during these nine months is a fairly common thing. Sometimes it can be comforting to know that others have gone through the same thing as you.
A pregnant woman posted on Reddit that her pregnancy pillow was instrumental in a good night's sleep. "I did bite the bullet and bought a pregnancy pillow. It truly helped me sleep better. It keeps me secure and snug. I got the Queen Rose Full Body Pregnancy Pillow- Maternity Body Pillow with Washable Cotton Outer Cover. It supports my back and front and truly has given me stability and helped me get comfy."
7 Be Careful With Caffeinated Beverages
Coffee is something that many of us love to drink every day and can't really see why we would ever give it up... except maybe if we get pregnant.
Bellybelly suggests being careful with the caffeinated beverages that you drink since that can keep you awake at night and make it hard to sleep. Of course, most pregnant women seem to agree that avoiding coffee in general during this time is the right thing for them to do, but there are all kinds of drinks that have caffeine other than java, from soda to tea.
6 Ease Leg Cramps When You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night
It's common for women who have pregnancy-related sleep issues to say that they have leg cramps. These cramps typically happen in the middle of the night, too! These can definitely make it tough to sleep, so if you're going through this, an easy way to fix it is a lot simpler than you might think. Tuck says to flex your leg when you have leg cramps. Leg cramps will most likely happen during your second trimester, so stay hydrated and keep on rubbing!
5 Take An Afternoon Nap
Naps can be a glorious thing. Who doesn't love a good nap?! Okay, okay, sometimes you take a nap and wake up even more tired than you were feeling before, and that's not the best feeling. But for the most part, naps can be a good thing, and they can definitely be a part of your pregnancy.
According to this story on Todays Parent, 1-3:00pm is the magic time for taking an afternoon nap. Naps can be good because they allow you to get some sleep when you're exhausted and haven't been sleeping the way that you normally do, and 1-3:00pm is the best time to make sure that you can still sleep at night.
4 Be Productive So Anxiety And Nerves Don't Keep You Up
It can be tough to get some beauty sleep when you're thinking about all of the many things that you have to do, the people that you have to call, and everything that's on deck for tomorrow. This is true for pregnant and non-pregnant woman alike. Many people who experience sleep issues, either on a regular basis or just every once in a while, often say it's because of a racing mind or something that they're concerned about.
Another tip from Bellybelly is to be productive so you're not kept up at night by your anxiety, nerves, or worries.
3 Keep Your Bedroom Super Cold
Do you sleep in a freezing cold bedroom or are you someone who cranks the heat up before turning in for the night? If your answer is the latter, you might want to keep your bedroom super cold.
That's what this pregnant woman shared on Reddit and it helped for her. She said, "I wanted to add, because I just remembered, that I sleep significantly better when it's cold. Like, I need it to be at least 68 or colder to even fall asleep right now, but if it's cold enough that I'd be shivering without a blanket, I'll actually stay asleep for hours at a time, waking up only to pee."
2 Don't Drink Anything Right Before Bed
We've all heard that pregnant women pee... a lot. Many of us can probably agree that during our pregnancies, we've woken up a million times during the night to use the bathroom. Sure, sometimes it's no big deal to fall back asleep, but other times, it's like we've never felt more awake and full of energy. Talk about annoying.
This tip from Babble is to not drink a ton right before bed in order to cut down on those bathroom trips. It sounds extremely simple, but why not give it a try, right?
1 Pick A Later Bedtime
This sleeping tip is courtesy of Todays Parent and involves picking a later bedtime. This way, we're not lying in bed forever wondering why we're not tired and feeling bad about the fact that we still can't sleep. Staying up later will absolutely make us more tired than if we had gone to bed super early.
If you're having trouble sleeping during this super exciting time in your life, why not try some of these 20 tips? Any little bit helps, right? Anything that we can do to ensure that we get as much beauty sleep as possible
Sources: Bellybelly.com.au, Tuck.com, Todaysparent.com, Parents.com, Healthline.com, Reddit, Reddit, Reddit, Babble.