Published on July 01, 2018

Sleeping for Two

Pregnant woman sleeping on side with body pillowEveryone knows not to expect a good night’s sleep with a newborn. But, what about during pregnancy? That little bundle of joy can disrupt your sleep months before the big debut. Here’s how to catch some quality z’s.

At Least Eight is Great

“Getting enough sleep is important for mom-to-be and her developing baby,” said Michelle S. Daniels, MD, an OB-GYN with Meritas Health Pavilion for Women. “Pregnant women should try to get about eight hours of sleep every night. However, depending on how a pregnant woman feels overall and which trimester she’s in, she may need a few more hours at night or a daytime nap.”

Sleep Stealers

Each trimester brings exciting and positive changes as well as some challenges that can make falling — and staying — asleep difficult. Those challenges include:

  • Frequent bathroom visits caused by hormonal changes and a growing uterus
  • Heartburn
  • Leg cramps
  • Nausea, which can strike at any time
  • Restless sleep due to increased heart rate, shortness of breath and difficulty getting comfortable

Sleep Solutions

If getting a good night’s sleep is only in your dreams, Dr. Daniels suggests trying the ideas below.

  • Use as many pillows as you need to create a comfortable sleeping position.
  • Limit your food intake right before bedtime to head off heartburn.
  • Develop a bedtime routine that helps you relax and unwind.
  • Only use the bedroom for sex and sleeping.

If all else fails, see a sleep specialist. You may have a sleep disorder that, with treatment, can help you get the rest you need.

Related reading: Get a Good Night’s Sleep