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Your Guide to Sleeping While Pregnant

Last updated: February 2024

Sleeping pregnant woman

Pregnancy is a truly magical experience, but it does come with its fair share of unexpected changes to your body and your daily routine, and that includes your sleep. Amidst the enchantment and changes, here's some advice on how you can sleep better whilst pregnant.

The best sleeping positions for each trimester

Your sleeping pattern can change throughout pregnancy due to various factors. As early as the first trimester, hormones begin to fluctuate, which can cause discomfort.

The hormone Progesterone causes sleepiness throughout the day and in turn can interfere with your night-time routine, causing you to wake up frequently.

Common sleep issues during pregnancy

If you’re struggling to sleep well during pregnancy, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel tired when you’re expecting, so try not to get frustrated with yourself.

During pregnancy, sleep is crucial for various reasons, making getting it right more important than ever. Sleep keeps your immune system healthy when it is suppressed to support your pregnancy.

It’s also how your blood vessels restore themselves, which is especially significant now they're under increased pressure from the extra blood flow needed to support your baby.

And sleep controls how your body reacts to insulin. Not getting enough, results in a higher blood sugar level, raising your risk of gestational diabetes. All of this makes overcoming the hurdles to sleep during pregnancy of utmost importance.

So, what issues affect sleeping while pregnant?


It’s common to feel warmer than you normally do usual during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin. You're also likely to sweat more. As a result, you may want to sleep in loose clothing made of natural fibres, as these are more absorbent and breathable than synthetic fibres.


A comfortable mattress is essential for getting a good night's sleep. Ensure yours is as cozy as possible during pregnancy and that it’s the right one for you. Consider using extra pillows, soft sheets and making sure you’ve plenty of room to spread your arms and legs.

Changing sleeping position

As an expectant mum you may find it becomes more uncomfortable for you to sleep on your stomach the further along you are in your pregnancy. And sleeping on your back when you’re pregnant can lead to backaches, breathing issues, haemorrhiods and low blood pressure, as highlighted by the American Pregnancy Association. For this reason, it’s commonly recommended to sleep on your side.


Although it is called morning sickness , you may experience nausea throughout the night. Sickness is caused by the change in your hormone levels, but it can also be intensified by fatigue and stress. This is why it’s vital that you prioritise relaxation time. To help you unwind, this guide has some helpful tips to help you drift off in peace: there is this guide 15 Sleep Relaxation Techniques for Maximum Zzz .

Why does sleep change while pregnant?

How to sleep during the first trimester

Your little one has only just made their presence known, yet you're already feeling exhausted. Despite knowing sleep will be a rarity in the first year after birth, it seems a bit unfair not to catch some rest now!

During this crucial phase of your baby's growth, prioritize rest and health. Limit evening fluid intake, exercise early in the day, and include a well-supported afternoon nap. Explore the best mattress options for a restful pregnancy sleep in this article..

If you're a stomach sleeper, make the most of this position whilst you can, as soon your growing bump will make it impossible. It's generally recommended that you sleep on your left-hand side as this position helps blood and nutrients to flow to your baby and womb and helps your kidneys get rid of waste and fluids.

How to sleep during the second trimester

At this stage your body has become more accustomed to being pregnant, but there are still certain issues. Heartburn as the baby leans on the stomach can be aggravated as you lie down, and leg cramps and vivid dreams can all disrupt your sleep.

Leg cramps can also become common due to the extra weight you are now carrying and changes in blood circulation, plus vivid dreams can become more frequent. All of these can cause disruption during sleep, as you might expect!

How to sleep during the third trimester

As you near the end of your pregnancy, you might find yourself waking up more at night. However, getting good rest now is especially important for a safe labour ahead. Lower back pain may now begin to aggravate you as a baby weighs on your spine.

You may find that you and your partner have very different sleep requirements at this stage in pregnancy and getting out of bed can be a particularly strenuous activity. Adjustable beds with individual settings allow you to get comfortable at any angle and help propel you from your mattress when it’s time to rise.

To take stress off your lower back and increase circulation to your baby, try to sleep on your left side. Pillows between knees, behind your back and under a heavy stomach will ease discomfort, as will frequent stretching.

During this life-changing process it's crucial that your sleep isn't hampered in any way. Following our helpful solutions should relieve some of the sleeping problems commonly associated with pregnancy. However, it's important to be aware of the effect your mattress may be having on your sleep at this time, too. Making sure you and your baby are properly supported is the only certain way to achieve essential rest.

For more information and advice about sleeping when pregnant check out our Dreams guide to Sleeping Position During Pregnancy and How to Sleep After Giving Birth.

Sleep tips for expectant mothers

Here are five helpful tips to help soon-to-be mums get a better night’s rest:

  • Set the stage for better sleep: Create a calm environment, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, and prioritize daytime naps for improved sleep health.
  • Drink plenty of water: Make sure to consume lots of water throughout the day, limiting your intake a couple of hours before bedtime so you don’t have to wake up and go to the bathroom.
Pregnant woman
  • Change your diet. Try cutting out caffeine, refined sugars, spicy foods, and other foods that can cause digestive problems. Once your diet improves, you’ll likely find that your sleep improves too.
  • Consider investing in a mattress that adapts to the changing contours of your body for pregnancy and far beyond, such as memory foam, latex and pocket sprung mattresses. If your mattress is uncomfortable it can cause you to toss and turn and wake up during the night.
  • Avoid taking technology into the bedroom and turn off screens at least an hour before trying to sleep.
Woman fruit

Other sleep solutions for pregnant mothers


One effective and affordable way to increase the comfort of your bed is using mattress toppers. Enhance your mattress comfort and support with a topper for a cost-effective and comfortable night's sleep.

Another favourite sleeping aid used by expectant mums are dedicated pregnancy pillows or even just an extra regular pillow. These can help support your legs or bump when you’re in bed and keep you comfy while your tummy grows bigger. They’re also great for relaxing on the sofa while you’re watching television or reading and double up as breastfeeding support cushions too.

To further help transform your slumber, discover your personalised sleep cycle with our Sleep Cycle Calculator. It guides you in determining the optimal bedtime and morning wake-up time. Did you know, to wake up completely revitalised, an average individual requires approximately 5-6 complete cycles of snooze?