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Well-rested mama: 6 ways to sleep better while pregnant

It’s hard to sleep when you’re pregnant, which seems super unfair since you know that life with a newborn is likely to be even more sleep deprived.


(Hey—maybe you can think of it like good practice?)

Still, there are several products and strategies that can help you to get your rest as your due date draws near. ?

Here’s why you can’t sleep while pregnant + tips that help.

You're exhausted.

A photo posted by R O Z A N N E (@mrs_haarlem) on

Early pregnancy has its own unique sleep issues—often experienced as a crushing fatigue that plagues you all day long. If you overindulge during nap time, you might find it harder to get to get down and stay asleep at night.

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Try this: Set an early (really early; we’re talking 8 pm) bedtime for yourself, and skip the nap during times of fatigue if you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night. You might find you feel more rested if you get that one REALLY long chunk of sleep.

You're gonna throw up.

The waves of morning sickness can make it really hard to fall asleep. Or to do anything, really.

Make your bedroom really dark (light sensitivity can make you feel worse), and try listening to soothing, ambient sounds like ocean waves. We felt a little bit better listening to the music of nature.

You can't get comfortable.

Gonna be honest: We started to feel like flipped turtles by our third trimesters, with our pathetic little limbs desperately trying to get us right-side up. (Thank goodness for husbands).

The only way to avoid Pillow Mountain (that assortment of fluff that overtakes your bed in a valiant effort to keep your belly comfortable) is to invest in a pregnancy pillow.

Try this: Motherly mamas love the Snoogle (one called it her Husband 2.0), but there are a lot of pregnancy pillows on the market to help keep you comfortable.

Be sure to pick up a Snoogle cover to wash and keep your Snoogle clean. You two are about to get reaaaaal close.

You get woken up by painful leg cramps.

At different times during your pregnancy, you might have sudden muscle spasms in your legs or feet. They usually occur at night. (And they hurt like a ?.)

What can you do?

The pregnancy experts at March of Dimes suggest this: “Stretching your legs (especially your calves) before going to bed can help reduce your chances of getting leg cramps. When you feel a cramp in your leg, straighten your leg, heel first, and wiggle your toes. Avoid pointing your toes when stretching or exercising.”

You have to use the bathroom ALL the time.

An increase in the rate of urination is a normal part of pregnancy, but it can be super annoying when you’re trying to sleep through the night before baby arrives.

Try this: Stay hydrated throughout the day (and avoid caffeine), and then cut yourself off two to three hours before bedtime and try to completely empty your bladder before bed by leaning forward a bit when you pee.

Unfortunately, though, frequent urination is one of those “features” of pregnancy that you most likely will just have to wait out.

Your mind is racing.

We know that pregnancy and the transition to motherhood can be fraught with fears and anxieties and OMG I can’t believe this is really happening.

First, it’s important to know that you can be suffering from prenatal anxiety and depression. Depression is common during and after pregnancy (about 13% of pregnant women and new moms experience it), so be sure to talk to your doctor about what you’re going through.

Try this: If your worries are of a more common variety, you might want to check out natural ways to relax and de-stress. We love the Headspace meditation app; its short meditations make it much easier to de-stress on demand. (This will also come in handy during your life as a new mama!) The breathing exercises can also help during labor.

Tell Motherly: Why are you up at night while pregnant + what helps you get back to sleep?

Daytime naps might last just a few short hours, but they can affect all 24 hours of a child's day. Naps can improve a child's mood and reduce fussiness, crying, whining and tantrums. Studies show that children who nap daily also get sick less often, grow taller and are less likely to be obese when they grow up. Naps enhance attention span and brain development.

Naps can also help make up for any shortage in nighttime sleep. Even a one hour shortage in overall sleep hours can have a negative effect on a child—compromising alertness and brain function and increasing fussiness and fatigue.


There are many ideas for helping a child to take a nap, but the best idea in the world may not work for you if the solution doesn't address the reason that your child won't nap. There is not just one reason that babies and young children refuse to nap—there are hundreds of different reasons.

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