How to sleep when pregnant

Get comfortable and ease aches with our tips for sleeping during pregnancy

In Pregnancy

    3-minutes read

    Quick points for mum

    30 minutes of daily exercise releases chemicals for better sleep

    Pop a pillow between your knees to support your hips

    And when supporting mum

    Give a nightly massage to relax and help ease aches

    Invest in maternity pillow for your partner

    Sleeping when pregnant can be a problem for most mums to be. Changes in your body, aches and pains, and a baby doing Kung Fu can make things a bit unsettled. But trying new pregnancy sleeping positions and following these tips can help you with a good night’s sleep.


    What you can do to help get to sleep

    • Switch off your TV or laptop at least an hour before you sleep to rest your eyes and brain from screen glare. Enjoy a warm bath or a good book instead

    • Trade your afternoon and evening cuppa for some warm milk with cinnamon or nutmeg, or camomile tea

    • When possible, go to bed around the same time each night to establish a routine

    • Try a breath of fresh air with 30 minutes of gentle exercise in the great outdoors

    • Before bedtime, ask your partner to give you a back rub or foot massage to help you relax. Remind them if you get a better night’s sleep, so will they!

    What to do if you can’t sleep

    • If worrying is keeping you awake, get up and make a list. Jot down everything on your mind, and then park it until the morning

    • Waking up in the night? Try plugging in to white noise or the BBC World Service to help clear your mind

    • If you and your partner are in the mood, enjoy some intimacy. Having sex releases chemicals proven to help you sleep

    • Getting leg cramps? Stretch your calf muscles before bedtime and increase your potassium and calcium intake by eating a yoghurt or a banana just before bed

    What are the best sleeping positions during pregnancy?

    Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be a pain. Literally. So here are a few tips to help you.

    • After 16 weeks, try sleeping on your side. Lying on your back can not only be uncomfortable but can make you feel faint as your uterus presses on your main blood vessels

    • Try pillows placed between your knees and in the small of your back to support your legs, hips and back and relieve discomfort

    • Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may want to prop yourself up with pillows until you’re almost sitting – this can help with heartburn or if you’re feeling short of breath

    • Finally, treat yourself to a maternity pillow. It’s worth every penny

    “Just when I was ready for a bit of shut eye, he always seemed to be wide awake and practising cartwheels.”


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    Important advice to mothers

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.