10 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep During Pregnancy

Anybody who tells a woman in the third trimester to get her sleep while she can is clearly speaking from a place of total ignorance. Sure, it sounds like a smart idea to rest up before the middle-of-the-night feedings start, but the reality? Not even close. Most women I’ve talked to will confirm that sleep in the last weeks of pregnancy goes like this: struggle to find a comfortable position on your left side, drift off, have very strange dreams, wake up 90 minutes later with left hip and shoulder aching from the weigh pressing them into the mattress and bladder screaming to be emptied, hoist yourself up to pee, return to bed, repeat. It’s more restful than being awake all night but not by much.

I was dreading that phase of pregnancy from the moment my pee stick said “Pregnant” this time, so I’ve been really proactive about finding ways to maximize my sleep. The result is a hodge-podge of pregnancy-safe home remedies I’ve assembled to make nighttime the right time for actual sleep.

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  • Breathe Right Strips 1 of 10
    Breathe Right Strips
    I get really noticeable sinus congestion during pregnancy, and adding an elevated pollen count into the mix doesn't help. I am willing to take allergy medicine if I need to but I've found Breathe Right Strips actually do a better job of keeping the air flowing into my nose overnight. They're not sexy but they keep me from snoring, drooling, and waking up with dry mouth, so they're totally worth it!
    Purchase from CVS for $5.99
  • Body Pillow 2 of 10
    Body Pillow
    Some sort of pillow to prop up your bump when it gets big and heavy is a must. Some people like those small wedge pillows that tuck under your belly or the fancy pillows ergonomically designed for pregnant women, but I prefer the basic body pillow I found at a housewares store.
    Purchase from Motherhood Maternity for $42.99
  • Warm Baths 3 of 10
    Warm Baths
    One of the biggest complaints I've had this pregnancy is aching joints at the end of a day chasing my toddler. My hips and knees can only take so much, and I push them to the edge sometimes. Taking a warm bath before bed loosens up all the tight muscles and eases the pain so I can fall asleep more easily.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Tylenol 4 of 10
    Tylenol
    If a bath doesn't cut the mustard for aches, a couple of Tylenol work wonders. The anti-inflammatory aspect also helps with the sinus issues I mentioned and seems to reduce some of the swelling in my feet and ankles too. Woohoo!
    Purchase from CVS for $8.49
  • Quick Naps (Not Long Ones!) 5 of 10
    Quick Naps (Not Long Ones!)
    Naps during pregnancy are truly a sublime pleasure, but two hours of passing out in the afternoon can keep me up all night. I try to not succumb to the urge for long naps and instead limit myself to 20 minute power naps. They give me just enough of a break to make it through the end of the day but not prevent me from sleeping at night.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Stay Active 6 of 10
    Stay Active
    The more I move around during the day, the better I sleep. I know, I know, that's just common sense, but the combination of late pregnancy and summer weather make sitting still in the air conditioning very tempting. Remembering to get up and move is important!
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Keep Everything Close By 7 of 10
    Keep Everything Close By
    My nightstand looks like a small pharmacy. I've got Tums, Maalox, Tylenol, tissues, and my phone. (You know, in case nothing else helps, and I'm awake and jonesing to check Facebook at 3am.) I figure if I have everything I need to get comfy nearby, I stand a better chance of drifting back off quickly than if I needed to roam the house to take care of my heartburn.
    Purchase from CVS for $9.99
  • Room Temperature 8 of 10
    Room Temperature
    It's June. I'm pregnant. I'm HOT. The a/c is running, the ceiling fan is on, and a second fan runs on my side of the bed. The covers stay kicked to the foot of the bed. And my husband? He does not get to comment on this state of affairs. If he's cold because of my efforts to mitigate the effects of being a human incubator, he can wear flannel jammies.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Have a Snack Before Bed 9 of 10
    Have a Snack Before Bed
    I vividly remember waking up famished during my first pregnancy and needing to stumble to the kitchen for a glass of milk or some cheese. Having a snack before bed keeps that from happening this time. I also find that going to bed with something in my stomach helps keep the heartburn at bay.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Quit Drinking! 10 of 10
    Quit Drinking!
    Yeah, I know we all quit drinking alcohol months ago. But I mean everything, not just liquor. You'll still wake up to pee a few times, but cutting off fluids a few hours before you go to sleep will keep the bladder calls to a minimum.
    Photo Credit: photo stock

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
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Photo credit: photo stock

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