The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side) because it provides the best circulation for you and your baby. It also places the least pressure on your veins and internal organs. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Plus good circulation helps reduce potential swelling, varicose veins in your legs and hemorrhoids.
How Can I Sleep More Comfortably During Pregnancy?
Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs to relieve the stress on your back.
- If you find that you are having problems with back pain, use the “SOS” position, and try placing a pillow under your abdomen as well.
- If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, you may want to try propping your upper body with pillows.
- In late pregnancy, you may experience shortness of breath. Try lying on your side or propped up with pillows.
These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but try them out. You may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night, and rotating positions is fine.
What Sleep Positions During Pregnancy Should I Avoid?
Sleeping on your back: This can cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and cause a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your growing abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava). You can also develop sleep apnea as you put on weight.
Sleeping on your stomach: When you are farther along in your pregnancy, your breasts become more tender and your abdomen continues to grow, both making sleeping on your tummy uncomfortable. Using a donut-shaped pillow (with a hole in the middle) may help you sleep comfortably on your stomach.
Reasons for your discomfort may include:
During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. When you are pregnant your body goes through a variety of changes causing your regular sleeping positions to no longer work for you.
More Steps to Sleeping Better While Pregnant
- Limit caffeine. Try not to drink coffee or caffeinated tea after 3 p.m.
- Brink plenty of water. Drink lot of water through out the day, but limit intake a couple of hours before bedtime so you don’t have to wake up and go to the bathroom.
- Exercise for 30 minutes. Exercise helps you sleep better, but don’t exercise within four hours of bedtime.
- Relaxing activities. A warm bath, foot or shoulder massage will help you relax.
- Peaceful bedroom. Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool at night will help to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.
Want More Help?
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Nemours Foundation
1. Your Pregnancy Week by Week Fifth Ed. Curtis, Glade B., OB/GYN, et al. Week 16