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Sleep Problems and Pregnancy

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Sleep Problems and Pregnancy

February 8th, 2023

During pregnancy, there can be a variety of sleep challenges. Learning about these challenges, and how to overcome them, may help you get a better night’s sleep.

Finding Comfort in Sleep

It may become increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position for sleep. This discomfort may peak in the third trimester as the baby continues to grow.

Additional Stress

Stress and anxiety may peak during pregnancy making it difficult to sleep. Pregnant people often experience heightened nightmares or vivid dreams as a result.

Night-time Toilet Breaks

During pregnancy there is an increased need to urinate throughout the day and the night. It generally starts in the first trimester and worsens during the third trimester.


Heartburn and reflux are common during pregnancy and can flare up at night, making it incredibly uncomfortable and difficult to sleep.

Lower Back Pain

Pain in the lower back is common during pregnancy and is generally caused by natural changes in joints and muscle. The pain may worsen at night, making it more difficult to relax and fall asleep.

Nasal Congestion

Often there is increased nasal congestion during pregnancy, which creates a higher chance for pregnant people to snore.

While many of these sleep challenges are common during pregnancy, sometimes sleep troubles can reach the level of a sleep disorder. Talking to your doctor about sleep difficulties is important, as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea are more common in people who are pregnant.

Best Position to Sleep in During Pregnancy

According to the experts sleeping on your side with the legs bent up, is highly recommended for pregnant people. Side-sleeping is usually the most comfortable position allowing the heart to pump more easily. It may be beneficial to sleep on your left side as it improves blood flow to the internal organs and fetus. Experts also recommend that pregnant people avoid sleeping on their back.

To get into a comfortable sleep position, you may find it helpful to place a pillow under your belly or between your legs. Sleeping with a rolled-up blanket or pillow against the small of your back may also help reduce discomfort.

Talk to Your Doctor About Sleep During Pregnancy

It you’re struggling with sleep during pregnancy one of the best ways to promote healthy sleep is talking to your doctor. If you are having consistent trouble sleeping or begin experiencing a new or unexpected symptom, a doctor can evaluate your symptoms and recommend a solution.