Iowa Sleep Blog

Sleeping for Two: Pregnancy and Sleep

Monday, April 04, 2016

Pregnancy is an exciting time for new mothers and their families, as their bodies are growing, changing and preparing to carry your little bundle (or bundles) of joy. As you progress through the three trimesters, your sleep habits will begin to change, and at some point, it might feel downright hard to sleep at all. To help prepare for sleeping while being pregnant, we’ve gathered up some of the most common pieces of advice we give to new mothers.

  • Get comfortable in different sleeping positions. This is especially important for stomach sleepers, who will quickly need to adjust to sleeping on your side instead of your growing stomach. Doctors recommend the left side, as it improves circulation to the heart.
  • Take time to relax and stretch. No matter what do you for work each day, it is important to make sure you are taking time to relax and stretch out your body. We like some of these easy yoga stretches you can do a couple times a day.
  • You’ll have to get up and pee, a lot. You will find yourself needing to get up and pee many times throughout the night. This is not something to be alarmed about, but don’t cut back on how many fluids you’re taking in during the day. Instead, cut back on how many fluids you drink within three hours before bed. Talk to your doctor if it burns when you urinate or you continue to have the urge to pee but only produce a few drops.
  • Sometimes, sleep just doesn’t come easy. You might find in your first and third trimesters, that it will be downright hard to sleep. Between changing sleep positions, frequent urination, and the increased hormone levels, staying asleep throughout the evening will be difficult. If you do experience insomnia, make sure to leave your bedroom and do a relaxing activity, such as reading, until you feel sleepy again.
  • Heartburn is more common than you think. Many expecting moms will experience heartburn after eating a meal and into the night. To combat this, avoid laying down vertical for at least two hours after eating, and avoid spicy foods when possible.
  • Get lots of pillows. There are many sleep positions that can make sleep easier, and many of them involved using pillows to prop up your back, legs and arms to sleep comfortably. We also suggest getting a body pillow or a pregnancy pillow to help you get comfy and provide extra support.

At the end of the day, remember that sleep is sleep, no matter how you get it. If you find it’s easier to fall asleep propped up in a recliner, or by taking a nap in the middle of the day, that’s okay! As long as you are feeling energized to take on the day, that’s what is most important. Have a question on sleep? We’d love to help. Send us your questions through our easy online form, or call our Ankeny or West Des Moines offices to set up an appointment.