Struggling to find the right sleeping position?
A good night’s sleep is essential for both you and your growing baby, but it can feel like it’s easier said than done. When you’re dealing with nausea, unpredictable hormones, a kicking baby and a bump that gets in the way, it can be hard to fall asleep. We’re here to help share some tips and tricks that will help you get the rest you and your little one need.
The benefits of sleep during pregnancy
From newborn babies to the elderly, sleep is so important for both our physical and mental wellbeing. This is especially true for pregnant women, who require more sleep than usual to maintain energy levels and support the growing baby. A good night’s rest can help to:
- Combat fatigue
- Reduce stress levels
- Promote your baby’s growth and development
- Calm the mind
- Improve your overall health
- Boost energy levels during the day
What’s the best sleeping position during pregnancy?
Many of us have a preferred position to sleep in, and anything else can make it nearly impossible to nod off. Maybe you can sleep on your left side but not on your right, or you can only fall asleep flat on your stomach. But what happens if your bump becomes too big to sleep like this? Pregnancy can add an extra complication to your bedtime routine, and may leave you searching for a new position to get comfortable at night.
So what is the best way to lie when you’re trying to sleep at night?
Sleeping on your left or right side
A number of experts suggest that laying on your side (preferably the left) is the ideal position for sleeping during pregnancy. The position allows your blood to flow easily to the placenta, providing your growing little one with nutrients and essentials while you rest. It also helps to enhance kidney function, which in turn can reduce swelling in your feet, hands and ankles.
Sleeping on your back
Though not all healthcare professionals agree on the matter, many suggest that it can be detrimental to your baby if you sleep on your back. In fact, according to the NHS, after 28 weeks you can double the risk of stillbirth if you fall asleep on your back, likely due to the reduced flow of blood and oxygen to your baby.
That being said, don’t worry if you wake up and find yourself lying on your back! It’s the position you fall asleep in that has the biggest impact, as this is how we’ll remain for most of the night. If you wake up on your back, simply turn on to your side before going back to sleep.
How do I make my sleeping position more comfortable?
Trying to sleep on your side may feel unusual if you’re not used to it, and sleeping in general can feel uncomfortable during pregnancy. There are a number of ways you can make it easier to fall asleep in the correct position:
- Pregnancy pillows – you may find that you need a little extra support when falling asleep, in which case a pregnancy pillow can help to make you feel comfortable. They’re specially designed to improve the alignment of your spine, back and hips, and to relieve pressure while you sleep.
- Extra pillows – whilst not the same as a dedicated pregnancy pillow, you may find that a few extra cushions or pillows are all you need to help you drift off. Try placing a cushion behind your back, or between your legs, to ease any discomfort.
- Bend your knees – many pregnant women find that they’re most comfortable lying on their side with their knees bent, promoting healthy circulation. You can also try this in combination with one of the options above.
Don’t worry if you’re struggling to sleep
Many women have trouble sleeping during pregnancy – you’re not alone. Feeling exhausted is stressful enough without adding extra pressure on yourself to get a full night’s sleep. Simply closing your eyes and taking time to rest – even if it’s not full-on deep sleep – will do more for you than nothing at all.
If the tips above don’t help, it may be worth talking to a doctor or health professional to ensure you’re as happy and healthy as possible.
For more advice and pregnancy tips, you can find plenty of articles over on our blog.
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