It can seem almost impossible to get a good night's sleep when you're pregnant. But, don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Follow our tips and sleep like your baby.

It is easily understandable that a pregnant woman feels tired all the time. Physiological anemia, tachypnea with frequent and shallow respiratory cycles, ballooning belly, back pain, bathroom breaks during the night, frequent insomnia, are some of the symptoms that make a pregnant woman feel more exhausted and wide awake at night, mainly in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

So, in today’s article, I am going to tell you the most common sleeping problems during pregnancy and show you that sleeping well during pregnancy is not an impossible task.

silhouette of pregnant woman near the beach during sunset

Sleep Disorders During Pregnancy

Expecting mothers seem to be among some of the most afflicted when it comes to sleep loss. Approximately 40% of people sleep less than 6 hours a night, compared to the 7-9 hours considered the ideal amount of sleep for the general public.

Worse, 78% of women reported a more disturbed sleep while pregnant than at any other time. So, let’s take a look at some of the most frequent sleep disorders during pregnancy:

  • Insomnia during pregnancy is one of the most common sleep disorders leading to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Pregnant women often report symptoms of insomnia due to stress and anxiety about labor, delivery, motherhood, and balancing parenting with work or school.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep as a result of an obstruction of the upper airways. As a consequence, there are partial awakenings from sleep that reduce the overall quality of sleep and contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness. This pathology is worsened during pregnancy since women who are already overweight will have added weight gain and an excess build-up of fatty tissues in the throat.
  • Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn are a frequent complaint among pregnant women. Due to hormonal changes, the digestive system slows down, the esophageal muscles loosen up and a growing uterus will put pressure on the stomach. These symptoms can be worsened during sleep as the sufferer lays down, allowing the acids to move up more easily into the esophagus.
skin cream on pregnant of woman that is lying on bed

Tips for Getting a Perfect Night’s Sleep

To improve the quality and quantity of sleep during pregnancy, I would like to share with you several useful tips:

  • Maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle even on weekends.Adopt a relaxing activity such as reading, writing, take a warm bath, or any other relaxing activity before going to bed.
  • Take short naps during the day, no more than 20-30 minutes long, and don’t nap too close to bedtime.
  • Lay on your left side with hips and knees bent and place pillows between your knees, under your abdomen, and behind your back.
  • Sleep on your left side during the 3rd trimester of sleep to increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. This is the best sleeping position for pregnant women.
  • Use sheets that will absorb the excess of heat and sweat, namely those produced by Marialma, enriched with nanotechnology products. Use pillows to increase your comfort.
  • Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise will increase circulation, improve mood, release endorphins and help you fall asleep easier at night. Yoga and Pilates are recommended.
  • Learn to relax with relaxation and breathing techniques (link para artigo de meditação), which can also help when the contractions begin.
  • Cutback on fluids at bedtime to reduce late-night trips to the bathroom.
  • Avoid spicy, acidic food and heavy meals before bedtime. If you’re feeling hungry close to bedtime, try eating a light snack.

It’s not rocket science, right? Give it a try and share with us what worked the best for you!

Written by:

Alexandra Matias, MD PhD

Senior Consultant of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Especialised in Fetal Medicine, Invasive Techniques and Anti-ageing

Associated Professor, Porto Medical Faculty, Porto, Portugal

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We hope you have enjoyed our article on how to sleep better during pregnancy. Feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board and subscribe to our newsletter, so you can be the first to know about our latest articles. And don’t forget: sleep well, live well!

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