Best Sleep Positions During Pregnancy

Last Updated on July 10, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Pregnancy is a blessing and exciting time in a mother’s life, but it can also be a time filled with discomfort, particularly while attempting to sleep. It is important to understand that while pregnant one is sleeping for two. For the best health of mom and baby it is necessary to understand how to best sleep while being pregnant, as well as what is best to do to promote a great sleep.

I. Importance of a Great Mattress

II. Best Sleeping Poisitions

III. Adjust Daytime Routines

IV. Bedtime Guidance

V. Conclusion

I. Importance of a Great Mattress

Being pregnant and attempting a comfortable night’s sleep can often be a daunting experience, much like Goldilocks seeking the bed that is just right. A mattress that is too firm can also be too hard for the mama to be as it presses on the extremities. Yet a very soft mattress, that may feel comfortable at first, can cause support problems.

The expectant mom is experiencing all sorts of pain and soreness as her belly grows. The mattress needs to be properly supportive, keeping the body in as proper alignment as possible.

Firm Mattress Pain

The mom to be seeks comfort at night for a rejuvenating sleep. The firmer the mattress the more pressure mommy will be feeling on resting joints and bones.

Hips and shoulders get hit the most since they are the parts of the body that stick out most when lying on one’s side. A firm mattress does not allow for weight to be cradled just right so that the entire body is cradled evenly for the best comfort and sleep.

Unsupportive Soft Mattress

The soft mattress can fool one at first as mom sinks in believing that a mattress that feels like a cloud is definitely the comfort that she seeks. Soon though, the sinking sensation becomes a trapped feeling that offers no support and makes it difficult for mom to get out of bed.

The soft bed causes the heavier parts of the body, the back and rear, to sink in instead of gently holding them supportively. With no proper support there is poor weight distribution that will lead to an uncomfortable sleep time.

Universal Mattress Support

When seeking that just right bed, the pregnant mom will find that a universal medium memory foam mattress will be the best choice. Its multi-layer construction allows for a sense of firm support from the bottom layer with a touch of softness built in. All the body parts are held just right without the sinking in feeling.

Getting up to use the bathroom multiple times at night will be easier for mom with the universal supportive memory foam, as she will not be fighting a mattress that is holding her in. Also a nice addition to the layered foam is a cooling factor built in to keep mom cool and comfortable for the best sleep possible.

II. Best Sleeping Positions

Without being pregnant sleep positions can cause issues. Add pregnancy to the mix and your sleep position becomes a vital necessity for a healthy baby and a good night of sleep. Different sleep postures can increase pregnancy discomfort, such as back pain, heartburn, and shortness of breath.

Move to the Left

Sleeping on one’s side when pregnant is recommended, specifically the left side. The American Pregnancy Association promotes sleeping on the left side. It allows for increasing the best flow of blood and nutrients from the heart with a more direct route to the placenta, helping to nourish the growing baby. Sleeping on the left reduces pressure on the liver and the side position alleviates compression on the uterus. Side sleeping also allows for better breathing and back pain relief.

Recline to Back

If the side position is just not doing it for you, or late pregnancy is causing just too much discomfort in bed, then move to the back but in a reclining position. Lying flat on your back is a no, no. This is not healthy as the uterus will press on the spine, muscles in the back, and major blood vessels. Lying flat on the back reduces the flow of blood to the baby, can cause hemorrhoids, and a drop in blood pressure.

Think of the comfort of a reclining chair and replicate that in your bed. The new adjustable bases are perfect for this, but no worries because pillows work too. Prop your upper body up with comfortable pillows. The reclining back position is great for moms suffering from heartburn.

Stay Off Stomach

Although this may have been your choice of sleeping before pregnant, obviously, a growing belling makes it impossible to seek sleep in this position. Your stomach will certainly be telling you to roll over if you attempt this position.

III. Adjust Daytime Routines

Short Naps Only

Babies want to sleep and so does mom with a growing belly. Naptime is great but too long of a nap may keep one sleeping at night. Make sure to not nap for more than 30 minutes to keep the body from going into a deep sleep cycle. Take a few half hour naps scattered throughout the day to help with combatting fatigue.

Organize and Delegate

As the belly grows so do the nesting instincts and need to get things accomplished in anticipation for the bundle to arrive. Take control of the situation by organizing thoughts, and what needs to get done, on a to-do list. Do not try to do it alone. Delegate jobs to household members who want to help prepare for the new arrival. As items are taken care of you will be able to rest.

Light Exercise

Keep the body moving and physical. Light physical activity is known to improve the quality of sleep. It will also help you get back your pre-baby body weight a lot quicker after baby is born. Just make sure to calm the athletics down within three hours of bedtime to allow the body to calm and relax as it readies for slumber.

Improves Circulatory Health

Left side sleeping has been seen as a way to promote better circulation throughout the body by relieving the pressure on the vena cava. The vena cava is the largest vein in the body and is located on the right side. Vein experts promote sleeping on the left side to decrease varicose veins.

Mindful Meals

Think small when eating. Keep portions on the petite side as to not overfill yourself. Instead of three meals a day, consider splitting it into six smaller meals. Large meals can result in reflux pain, especially when it comes to time for lying down to sleep. Keep snacks healthy. Protein based snacks, such as Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and eggs, can aid in helping you to fall asleep. You will also want to stop the caffeine as it can add to the urge to pee.

IV. Bedtime Guidance

Turn Off LED Lights

Electronic and clocks all seem to be powered with bright lights. These lights in a dark room can interfere with the melatonin needed to induce sleep. Turn off or cover any of these small lights. Plus, it is not a great idea to have a clock staring you in the face to watch as it ticks away time as if teasing you about not being able to sleep.

Relaxation Techniques

Teach your body how to relax by turning off your brain that is working overtime. Do some deep breathing exercises as you focus on putting yourself peacefully to sleep. Working up from your feet, contract and then release all of your muscles until you fall into slumber.

Cool Down the Room

Pregnancy plays with the hormones and can make you run hot. A cooler room will invite comfort and sleep.

V. Conclusion

Sleeping positions, as well as routines throughout the day and at bedtime, will help for getting the best sleep during pregnancy. You will want to assure that daytime activities help in how to best sleep while pregnant. When it comes to bedtime sleeping on the proper mattress on your left side is most important.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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