best sleeping position during pregnancy – 11 Points to Follow
Are you pregnant and wrestling with various sleeping positions before falling asleep? Well, you are not alone in facing this problem. Every pregnant woman faces difficulty in sleeping and while you are trying to make yourself comfortable, there are positions that you need to avoid. Each trimester has its own share of challenges, and one has no choice but to adapt to them.
Here we bring you information on the best positions to sleep in, and what to avoid during pregnancy. So hold that pillow close, calm down and read on…
Top 11 best sleeping position during pregnancy 2018
1 The Reasons for Discomfort in Sleeping During pregnancy
As the body changes during each trimester, it becomes difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep during pregnancy. Your body experiences a lot of discomfort due to various reasons. Let us examine some causes of discomfort in pregnancy.
- Increased size of your abdomen
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Stress and tension
- Frequent urination
Insomnia affects several pregnant women during the third trimester. So why the 3rd trimester?? According to research in the National Sleep Foundation, 97% of women reported various levels of insomnia in the later stages of pregnancy. The main causes were the baby’s rapid growth, Leg cramps and even snoring. Given below are the best positions to sleep in during pregnancy:
2 SOS or Sleep on side
The best sleeping position during pregnancy is “SOS” (Sleep on side). Sleeping on the left side is the best as it increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. There are other important benefits of sleeping in this position; it reduces heartburn, better elimination of bodily wastes, better lymphatic drainage and back pain relief. So if you’ve been sleeping on the wrong side, correct it immediately.
Sleeping on the side is also beneficial during late pregnancy when you could experience shortness of breath. Try propping yourself up with pillows as well. In fact using a pregnancy pillow is an ideal choice for propping yourself in different comfortable ways of sleeping.
3 Legs and Knee Position for better support
If you find that you are having problems with back pain, try sleeping on your left side with a pillow placed under your abdomen. Keep your legs and knees bent and put a pillow between your legs.
4 Heartburn Issues
If you are finding it tough to sleep due to acid reflux and heartburn issues during the night, try propping your upper body with pillows. This is sure to give you comfort and reduce your symptoms.
5 Wear loose clothes at night as you sleep
It is best to wear loose fitted clothes during pregnancy, especially at night as you prepare to sleep. It allows for freedom in movements and air circulation. Helps avoid heartburn too.
6 Use a Pregnancy pillow for comfortable sleep
These pregnancy pillows have been designed for comfortable sleeping and sitting positions. It is a good idea to get one for you.
While the above mentioned positions are best for you, it is important to keep in mind that you may not be able to lie in one position throughout the night. You may rotate positions as and when required.
7 Sleep Positions to avoid in pregnancy
Don’t sleep on your right side:
Sleeping on your right side could put your unborn baby at risk. In the advanced stages of pregnancy, sleeping on the right side puts you at risk of a stillbirth. Moreover sleeping on the right side can cause pressure on the liver.
8 Do Not Sleep On your Back
Sleeping on your back can cause backache problems, breathing trouble, digestion issues, and low blood pressure. It can also cause a decrease in circulation to you and your baby. In the gestation period between 15- 20 weeks, the growing uterus starts interfering with blood circulation. It compresses blood vessels and veins like the inferior vena cava. This is the large vein running up the vertebral column. It transports deoxygenated blood to the heart from the lower and middle body.
Your aorta can also get constricted when sleeping on the back which can block and decrease the blood supply to the placenta and your body. This can result in you waking up with shortness of breath, heart palpitations and breathing difficulty. Sleeping on the back can also cause hemorrhoids which is an extremely painful condition to develop during pregnancy.
9 Never Sleep On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach can result in decreased blood flow causing dizziness, shortness of breath or a fast heart rate, which is dangerous for you and your baby. Sleeping on your stomach is just as bad as sleeping on the back.
If it is a habit to sleep on your stomach, it can be tough to change. In early pregnancy, it may be ok but as you approach the stage where your belly starts to show, you just have to sleep on your side because it can cause the baby bump to shift in the stomach and compress the Inferior vena cava and aorta.
10 Avoid Drinking water at least two hours before sleeping
Drinking water before sleeping will increase urination, resulting in disturbed sleep. It is better to drink water at least 2 hours before sleep time. The main reason for this is that during pregnancy your kidney are filtering blood 50% more than usual which means you pee for two people. In the later stage of pregnancy your growing uterus increases the urge to pee. Drinking fluid at night before sleeping makes the situation worse decreasing your quality of sleep and increases the chances of holding up while sleeping which isn’t good too. It’s best to drink plenty of fluid during the day but decrease as night approaches.
11 Stay Calm and avoid stress to sleep better
A calm and relaxed mind promotes better sleep. If you are disturbed or tensed, listening to soothing music helps. If possible, close your eyes and meditate for a while. As your mind relaxes, tension subsides and you will begin to feel better.
Pregnancy is one of the most important milestones in a woman’s life. With a little care and right knowledge, minor side effects can be set right. So go ahead, follow the tips and sleep better, for a healthy stress free tomorrow.