The Biggest Sleeping Challenges When Pregnant & Top Tips To Sleep Better
When you're wide awake at 3am, thinking "Why me?!", it's nice to be reminded that there are other pregnant women out there who are or have, gone through exactly the same. To provide a little comfort, we spoke to sleep experts, consultants, influencers and mumpreneurs about their biggest sleeping challenges while pregnant and their top tips to get through the night.
• Hadley Seward (@hadleyinface)
“My biggest challenge was that I found it very uncomfortable to sleep on my side, as I was accustomed to sleeping on my stomach. I finally got a huge, full-body pregnancy pillow that made a world of difference. (Though my husband hated it and banned it as soon as our son was born!). It does take up quite a bit of room in bed, but enabled me to comfortably prop myself on my side all night long.”
• Lucinda Hutton (@nurturingmums)
Biggest challenge: “It's those middle of the night wake-ups when you need the loo... it's not just the getting up, it's the getting back to sleep…”
Top Tip: “Charge your phone out of your room so you're not tempted to check it. I definitely fall asleep quicker when there's less technology around…”
• Lacy Bennett (@lacy_joy)
“Fighting pregnancy insomnia? You are definitely not alone! I felt like a walking zombie my whole pregnancy due to discomfort and my dozens of nighttime bathroom breaks! The things that helped me most were long bubble baths before bed, sleeping with a body pillow between my legs, & making sure not to drink too much water an hour before bedtime. But if these tips don't work for you, the 9-months of sleepless nights are so worth it!”
• Dee Booth (@sleepfairydee)
“My biggest sleep challenge during pregnancy was hideously painful hip and calf cramps. By the afternoon and evenings in my second and third trimester, my hips gradually got more and more painful. My lovely husband would spend up to an hour massaging my lower back and thighs with coconut oil almost every evening when he got home from work at 10pm. Without that, I don't think I would have been able to walk or sleep. But as the night wore on, the pain would come back and I would wake in the night. I would usually get up once (or even three times) to pee and would spend five minutes in the bathroom stretching the backs of my legs and lower back. It would ease the pain briefly but it would gradually build up again. Then added to this, I started getting calf cramps in my third trimester, when I would suddenly wake up with agonising cramp and literally fly out of bed in a second to stretch my calves. It was insane, considering it would normally take me about 5 minutes to even turn over in bed!
Top tip: "Try to stay as active as possible, do yoga, pilates, stretch and walk as much as you can. And if you can get your other half to massage your painful areas, do it as often as possible. I swear, the massage was what got me through the last few months."
• Julianna Woehrle (@julianna_woehrle)
“Sleeping and pregnancy are pretty much opposites, they just don't go together. Sleeping while you're pregnant can be so frustrating when you're so exhausted and just want to rest. One of my biggest struggles with sleeping during pregnancy is those constant bathroom breaks. I often feel that just as soon as I fall asleep, I'm awoken to use the bathroom. When this happens multiple times a night, it's so hard to feel rested in the morning! One thing I do to cut down my bathroom breaks is to make sure I'm not drinking too much in the couple hours before I go to bed. I have a sip a water here and there but really try hard to not drink an excess amount to avoid those constant trips to the bathroom.
Another thing that can be so difficult while pregnant is trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in. With your growing belly, you're so limited to the positions you can comfortably lay in. I found that extra pillows are a pregnant woman's best friend! Putting one in-between your legs while sleeping on your side does wonders. I often put a pillow under the side of the belly while sleeping on my side as well. Having some extra cushion around your bump can make all the difference! Overall, sleeping and pregnancy can be really difficult but hopefully these two things help you sleep a little better, because do we pregnant mama's ever need it!”
• Rachael Longman (@lailah.and.i)
“I love how everyone says 'enjoy your sleep before you have a newborn keeping you up!' When in reality the newborn is alive and kicking in your tummy keeping you up all night! I like to think they're preparing you for the lack of sleep that's about to come."
Top tip: "Sleep when you can! Whether that means go to bed at 6pm or take a day nap whatever you can do to get some rest in before the new arrival is a must. Don't think you're wasting time because you gain it all back when the baby arrives and you are in a sleep deprived love bubble.”
• Megan Bailey (@littlepeanutmag)
“Sleeping while being pregnant has always been a challenge for me. I'm short and carry my babies all out in front so this makes it even more difficult to be comfortable while sleeping. My previous babies have also been pretty big in size so it puts a lot of pressure on my pubic bone. When I turn side to side in the middle of the night I pretty much have to wake up and make small movements to move from one side to the other. The thing that is key for me to be somewhat comfortable especially during my third trimester of pregnancy is to use pillows between my legs and to help support my belly! If you have access to a body pillow I highly suggestion getting one! It's a huge lifesaver and makes sleeping much more manageable!”
What suggestions do you have for sleeping through the night when pregnant? Your advice could help another expectant mumma out!