Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy Third Trimester & Safety Tips

How to Sleep During Pregnancy in Third Trimester – Positions & Safety Tips

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sanjana Sainani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Nursing your newborn and sleepless nights go hand in hand. But, the truth is that your rendezvous with sleepless nights begins way before your baby is born, somewhere around the third semester to be precise. Your baby is growing, and with that, is your tummy. This means that your body is going to face some physical restrictions, even while sleeping.

Video: How to Sleep During Pregnancy in Third Trimester – Positions & Safety Tips

During pregnancy, your body needs a lot of love and care, and most of all – good rest. Sleep is vital for you and your baby’s health. This is why you need to be aware of the importance of sleep and have some knowledge about different sleeping positions, which we shall talk about in this article. Read on to know more.

Problems Women Face While Sleeping During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not always smooth sailing, more so when it is your first time. As mentioned earlier, sleep is vital, and when something affects your sleeping routine, it is bound to affect you negatively. A few sleeping problems that women face during pregnancy include the following:

  1. One of the most common issues that women in the third-semester face, is the fact that their belly is growing bigger, which makes it uncomfortable for them to sleep.
  1. Backache is a common complaint most women have during pregnancy. With the size of your stomach becoming more significant, the pressure on your back, especially your lower back, increases. This causes a backache – one of the most common complaints of pregnant women.
  1. You tend to snore a lot during this stage.
  1. Many women complain of restless leg syndrome during pregnancy. Here, the legs (and sometimes other parts of your body) experiences uncomfortable sensations. This causes you to keep moving your legs or the affected part of your body. This, in turn, makes it difficult for you to fall asleep.
  1. Heartburn is another common problem that affects your sleep cycle.

A lot of women experience vivid dreams and nightmares during pregnancy. This is another common factor that ruins sleep.

It may be difficult to get a sound sleep during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, when your tummy is growing substantially. You may try the sleeping positions given below to reduce the discomfort and get some sound sleep.

Sleeping Positions for Women in Their Third Trimester

As mentioned earlier, the third trimester of pregnancy can be hard, considering that your baby is growing. Your sleeping posture must be taken into consideration during this time to avoid discomfort. Here’s what you must keep in mind.

Pregnant woman sleeping on her side

  1. Sleeping on your side, especially the left side. This sleeping position is one of the best as it ensures proper flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Sleeping on the right side is good too, but you must sleep on your left side once in a while.
  1. Sleeping on your back is not the best option, as it may impede the flow of blood to your uterus due to the growing weight of the baby. This obstructs the supply of nutrients and oxygen and can be potentially harmful.
  1. At all costs, try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. This can be uncomfortable for you and harmful to the baby.

If you happen to be someone who sleeps on your stomach or back, try to cultivate the habit of sleeping on your side. This will work in your favour and for your baby as well. If you roll over to your back in your sleep, simply turn on your side as soon as you are aware of it. You could even place pillows around yourself to prevent turning in your sleep.

We have some more tips that can help you sleep appropriately to ensure your body rests well and doesn’t hamper the health of the little one inside your womb.

Sleeping Tips for Women in the Third Trimester

Getting good rest is vital, so here are a few tips that will come in handy, and ensure that you get some much-needed rest.

  1. Most of us get into bed along with our phones, working or surfing on it till we fall asleep. Try to avoid this as much as possible. Your mind needs to be conditioned to realise that the bed is meant for sleeping. Getting your phone into bed and staying awake for hours is not going to help you. Keep your phone aside as soon as you get ready to hit the sack.
  2. Get some mild exercise. This will help you get rid of mental stress, improve blood circulation and help you sleep better.
  3. You know what they say – have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. And there’s a good reason for this. Make sure the last meal of the day is light. This will ease digestion and allow you to sleep comfortably.
  4. Sleep on your sides, preferably on your left with a pillow wedged between your legs to make yourself more comfortable. You may use a pregnancy pillow which is designed for this purpose.
  5. The kind of clothing you wear can help too. Wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. Also, make sure you wear skin-friendly fabrics.
  6. Drink a glass of warm milk or warm water before going to bed. It has a calming effect and can soothe your nerves.
  7. Avoid foods that are too spicy. Too much spice can cause you to have heartburn, which in turn can hinder your sleep.
  8. Since your baby is growing, your womb tends to press against the bladder, and you will find yourself making a number of trips to the restroom. While it is important to hydrate yourself through the day, during the night, lower your water intake just a little bit. Also, empty your bladder before you go to sleep, so you will not have to wake up in the middle of the night to ease yourself.
  9. Avoid coffee. We’re all aware of the fact that coffee helps keep you awake, so the last thing you need is a stimulant that refuses to entertain a good night’s sleep.
  10. Maintain a consistent sleep routine. Try to fall asleep at the same time every night.
  11. A nice warm water bath can help you sleep better too. It helps calm the nerves and loosen any tight muscles. You’ll also feel cleaner and fresh.
  12. Negative thoughts can keep you awake all night, affecting your positivity. Ensure you keep your focus on positive thoughts at least during pregnancy. You may read a good book or listen to some calming music to relax and sleep better.
  13. No alcohol. Your drinking habit should go out of the window once you know you’re pregnant – Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioural, and intellectual disabilities. A lot of people turn to alcohol for sleep, but this isn’t something that a pregnant woman should consider. You could unconsciously sleep in positions that could affect your baby.
  14. Make sure the environment around you calm and quiet. Too much noise can disturb you. The same goes for light as well. The room you sleep in must be well ventilated, free from excess noise and free from excess light.
  15. If you cannot sleep, do something that will keep your mind occupied, like writing, reading, knitting, etc. When you start feeling sleepy, ensure you clear the bed and only then lie down.

Pregnancy can surely brew a storm of emotions, and the physical changes that you go through can scare you. But, nothing changes the fact that you are strong, and all of it will be worth it when you see your little one. Use the above tips to get yourself some rest – you will need a lot of it. If you happen to be suffering from sleep disorders or have trouble falling asleep, then consult your medical practitioner, as it could be a sign of an underlying issue.

References and Resources:

Also Read: Sleeping on Back During Pregnancy – Is It Harmful?

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