No one ever said sleeping when you’re pregnant is easy! In fact, it is one of many things that feel more difficult as the months pass. This is especially true if you’re used to sleeping on either your back or stomach. It can feel impossible to get comfortable! To help, we wrote a dedicated article on pregnancy sleeping pillows.
Your body goes through some pretty remarkable changes during pregnancy. You don’t need less sleep when you’re pregnant, you need more! our body is hard at work right now. If sleep is essential for healthy functioning in a regular body, just imagine how crucial it is for a body that’s growing a baby! Lack of sleep during pregnancy has been tied to a number of complications, including Preeclampsia. The amount of sleep you get while you're pregnant not only affects your health and your baby’s growth and development, but could impact your labor and delivery as well. In a research study, pregnant women who slept less than six hours at night late in pregnancy had longer labors and were more likely to have cesarean deliveries.
Sleeping on Your Back While Pregnant
“Can I sleep on my back while pregnant?” This is a question that medical experts and sleep industry professionals hear quite often. The answer depends on how far along you are. You can sleep on your back in the beginning of pregnancy, but as your pregnancy progresses, sleeping on your back while pregnant can cause problems. As your uterus gets heavier around mid-pregnancy, it's best to switch to the side position.
Lying on your back allows your growing uterus to compress the Inferior Vena Cava, which brings blood from your legs back up to your heart and keeps your circulation going. This could theoretically interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and developing baby. It can also result in decreased blood flow for you, causing dizziness, shortness of breath, and a quick heart rate. Sleeping on your back while pregnant can also contribute to other circulation problems, like varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swelling. As well, muscle aches and snoring, which can lead to Sleep Apnea, as you put on weight are not uncommon either.
Sleeping on Your Stomach While Pregnant
This one is a big “don’t!” Sleeping on your stomach is okay for as long as it's comfortable, but that's not likely to be long! Sleeping on your stomach while pregnant, once your belly is big enough to show, is definitely against the rules. It’s easier said than done for women who typically sleep on their stomachs. As you fall asleep, you’re not in control of what position your body rolls into. This is where a pregnancy pillow is a huge help, because it wraps around your body and stops you from rolling over once you’re drowsy.
Sleeping on Your Side While Pregnant
The best position to sleep in when you’re pregnant is on your left side. This improves blood flow and, therefore, nutrient flow to your baby. Sleeping on your side promotes blood circulation, something that’s extremely important for pregnant women. If you’ve been a stomach or back sleeper, it can be hard to adjust to sleeping on your side. Even if you’re used to sleeping on your side, it can become uncomfortable with your growing belly. Again, a body pillow for pregnant women helps.
Bedding Essentials that Improve Your Sleep Quality While Pregnant
More than anything else, you’re going to want to invest in a high-quality pregnancy pillow. Here at City Mattress, we sell a few different options for pregnancy pillows. One of our favorites is the Malouf Wrap Around Pillow. This C shaped pregnancy pillow fits the natural contours of your body to provide support and relieve sleep pain. It's ergonomically designed to wrap around your body and support your head, neck, back, hips, and belly. Also by Malouf, the Horseshoe Body Pillow is another fantastic option. This is a U shaped pregnancy pillow which wraps both sides of the body to offer support. It is filled with a soft down alternative that is hypoallergenic and won't shift or clump.
During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to snore even if they have no prior history of snoring. Weight gain during pregnancy can cause expanding blood vessels in the nasal cavity which can become problematic. Snoring does more than wake up your partner next to you. Snoring can cause high blood pressure, which puts both the mother and the unborn baby at risk. This means waiting until you’re no longer pregnant isn’t the solution.
Eating a healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding screens before bed can go a long way to getting a good night of sleep, and the perfect sleep setup doesn’t hurt either. You’ll want to turn your bedroom into a slumber oasis! This can be done with a few sleep essentially, like a high-quality mattress, a great new pillow, and of course- and adjustable bed base. Adjustable beds are by far the best way to prevent snoring and reduce the type of swelling that is a result of circulation issues.
Don’t forget about your sheets! Many pregnant women find themselves with sudden hot flashes, either from gaining weight, racing hormones, or a combination of the two. When looking for bedding essentials, be sure to consider moisture-wicking bamboo sheets made especially to keep you cool at night. If you’re really struggling to stay cool, you can always add the I Love My Pillow Out Cold Copper Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper.
To say that the later months of pregnancy are pretty uncomfortable would be quite an understatement. Heartburn, Restless Leg Syndrome, swelling, hormones, and a big basketball where your stomach used to be can make sleep feel impossible. We encourage you to shop for the sleep essentials you need in order to sleep well throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, visit your nearest City Mattress and discuss your options for a better sleep system with one of our Sleep Experts. You may need a more supportive mattress, cooler bed sheets, or more. You can also order a pregnancy pillow online, directly through our website!