Sleep In Pregnancy: Your Questions Answered
Finding out that you are pregnant is so exciting, and with all this change about to kick in, it's really natural to have a load of questions.
Google is everyone’s first port of call, but it's a confusing one with a million different answers to your questions about sleep in pregnancy.
Here are some of the most asked questions about pregnancy and sleep, with some clear answers, that should help…
How should I be sleeping when pregnant?
According to the NHS, pregnant women should sleep on their side during pregnancy. This is mainly to make sure that your bump isn’t under pressure, and that your vascular system is flowing well, pumping oxygen and blood for you and your baby.
Research shows that it's a good idea to avoid laying on your back when pregnant, so staying on your side is a great habit to get into as early as you can.
Try using a sleeping aid such as a pregnancy pillow to help you stay in the right position, and keep you comfy at the same time. It gives you the best chance of a good night's sleep.
How to use a pregnancy pillow for back pain?
Over the next few months your bump will be getting bigger by the day, and your back will be under more strain than it’s used to. Listen to your body, and make sure you have plenty of time to rest and take the weight off your back when you can.
When lying down try and stay on your side. Using a pregnancy pillow here can help both keep your spine in a healthy, neutral position and also keep your shoulders from rolling, helping that back to take a break.
If you have trouble sleeping, especially in the third trimester when comfort levels decrease, a pregnancy pillow can really improve your sleep quality.
How can I stop leg cramps during pregnancy?
As your hips are moving and your body changes, you will be carrying more and more weight by the day. This can be a lot on your legs and ankles, so make sure you are stretching, wearing sensible shoes, and resting a lot.
When you are sleeping in prenancy positions, a pregnancy aid like a pregnancy support pillow can really help here too. Some cushioning between your legs will ease your hips, and take the stress from your legs.
Our pregnancy pillow, SnuzCurve, has a special section called a KneeBlade which really helps guide your legs into the best position to take that strain away.
How many hours of sleep should I be getting whilst pregnant?
To be honest, the amount of sleeping hours during pregnancy isn’t as important as the quality of sleep.
With the new appetite, new weight, and hormonal changes, it’s very likely you will find yourself more tired than usual, and that's absolutely fine. Listen to your body, and rest up when you need to.
Pregnancy sleeping can be improved by making sure your sleeping environment is as comfortable as possible. Maternity pillows, such as the SnuzCurve, and a good quality mattress are key if you want to comfortably sleep in pregnancy positions and be fully supported.
Why can’t I sleep whilst pregnant?
Not being able to sleep is really common, especially in a time of change. If you can’t sleep, relax, and take multiple rests throughout the day. If you are feeling anxious at night, or are just struggling to find that perfect sleep position, that’s also normal. Try talking to your friends, partner or family about it.
If you aren’t used to sleeping on your side, trying to sleep in this new, correct way, might mean you'll need to adjust your routine. It’s worth making these changes as early as you can, so that they are solidly in place for when you are further down the line.
How to sleep with a pregnancy pillow?
There are a few different ways you can use a pregnancy pillow to help you sleep. Some people like to use it purely for support, so that they can stay on their side during the night without worrying about rolling onto their back.
Others like to use it more for comfort, and will hug their pillow, or even put it between their legs. This can help take the strain off your hips and lower back, which can be a real relief during pregnancy. Many people sleep in pregnancy positions with the support of sleep aids.
And finally, some people find that using a pregnancy pillow for extra support under their bump helps them sleep really well. If you are struggling with heartburn at night, this can be a great way to prop yourself up slightly and get some relief.
When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?
Some people like to use a pregnancy pillow in early pregnancy, as it can help with things like heartburn, restless legs syndrome and sleep disorders.
However, most people find them really useful in the second and third trimesters when your bump is starting to get heavy, and you are struggling to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
If you do want to start using a pregnancy pillow early on, make sure you get one with a removable, washable cover, so that you can keep it fresh and clean.
Hopefully these answers are a help to you. It’s important to know that you can ask questions. Nobody expects you to suddenly have all the answers and be an expert, so make sure you have people around you that you can trust and lean on for help.
The main thing though, is don’t panic. You got this.