April 13, 2022 6 min read

Getting enough sleep is an essential part of staying healthy, and your health is crucial during pregnancy. Unfortunately, a lot of pregnant women have a tough time getting a good night’s sleep, which can leave you feeling tired all day and take a serious toll on your health. The good news is, investing in the right equipment and finding the optimal sleeping position can help.

Understanding pregnancy sleep positions is an essential part of being able to sleep while pregnant. However, you might also want to consider making some changes to your daily habits and investing in a few good pillows. If you want to know more about the best sleep position in pregnancy, here are some tips.

Side-Sleeping

Most experts recommend sleeping on your side as one of the most comfortable sleeping positions during pregnancy. While stomach sleeping may work for the first part of the pregnancy, it becomes harder as your bump grows larger and starts to get in the way.

While side-sleeping is what most people recommend when it comes to pregnancy sleeping positions, you should talk to your doctor if you have questions about sleeping during pregnancy. Only your doctor can tell you which sleeping position is right for you.

What is the best sleeping position for pregnancy?

Left Vs. Right Side

You have two options when it comes to side-sleeping: the left side and the right side. This might not seem like a big deal, but sleeping on the wrong side can increase pressure and make it harder to sleep while pregnant. Experts recommend sleeping on your left side because it helps improve circulation and relieve the pressure that the liver can put on the uterus.

Which Sleeping Positions Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

Which sleeping positions should be avoided during pregnancy?

Back-Sleeping

For the most part, back-sleeping isn’t one of the recommended pregnancy sleeping positions. You can sleep on your back during the early stages of pregnancy, but you may find it becomes harder to sleep on your back as your stomach grows. Some people find it difficult to breathe when lying on their back during pregnancy. There’s also the issue of your stomach creating pressure on your intestines, which can lead to an upset stomach and other digestive problems. If you can help it, it’s best to avoid sleeping on your back when you’re pregnant.

Stomach-Sleeping

If you want to improve sleep quality during pregnancy, you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach throughout your pregnancy. While it’s okay to sleep on your stomach during the first 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy, your stomach will eventually grow to the point that it may be uncomfortable to lie in that position. The pressure your abdomen creates on your uterus when you sleep on your stomach can lead to discomfort that makes it difficult to sleep. For these reasons, most experts recommend avoiding back-sleeping and stomach-sleeping during pregnancy and opting for side-sleeping instead.

Tips for Finding the Best Pregnancy Sleeping Position for You

Finding comfortable sleeping positions during pregnancy means trying different positions and seeing what works for you. Here are some tips to help you find the best pregnancy sleeping position for you.

1. Invest in a Pregnancy Pillow

The first thing you might want to try when it comes to sleeping while pregnant is investing in a pregnancy pillow. Placing a wedge pillow between your legs while you sleep on your side can help reduce pressure and encourage a good night’s sleep. Plus, there are lots of other wedge pillow benefits, including reduced back and neck pain, relief from acid reflux, and relief from sinus issues.

2. Create an Optimal Sleep Environment & Routine

While the best pregnancy sleeping positions can make it easier to sleep during pregnancy, you still need a good bedtime routine and the right environment to sleep in. Make sure you’re taking some time to wind down at night and avoiding TVs, computers, and cell phones for a bit before bed. You might also want to invest in a white noise machine to help drown out some noise while you sleep.

3. Don’t Take Sleep Aids

As tempting as it may be, don’t take any sleep aids while you’re pregnant. Sleep aids in general can have lots of negative side effects, and it’s better to fix the root causes of your sleep problems instead of bandaging them with sleeping aids. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.

4. Try Relaxation Techniques

If you haven’t already, try meditating, stretching, or using an app that walks you through relaxation techniques before bed. Helping your body relax before you lie down at night can help you get a better night’s sleep, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

Tips for Finding the Best Pregnancy Sleeping Positions For You

5. Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine can cause serious sleep problems, so limit the amount of caffeine you’re drinking if you’re having trouble sleeping. It’s especially important to limit your caffeine intake as the day goes on because drinking caffeine at night can make it hard to sleep. Talk to your doctor about how much caffeine you can safely drink while pregnant.

6. Hydrate to Prevent Leg Cramping

Sleeping during a leg cramp is nearly impossible, so prevent those pesky leg cramps by drinking plenty of water. Choosing the right pregnancy sleep positions can also help prevent leg cramps, but making sure you’re hydrated is the best way to stop cramps.

7. Elevate Your Head to Improve Breathing

If you’re having trouble breathing when you lie down at night, try using pillows to elevate your head a bit. Certain sleeping positions can restrict your airways and make it harder to breathe in addition to worsening sinus problems and snoring. By elevating your head, you can make it easier to breathe at night so you don’t have to worry about snoring or a clogged nose obstructing your breathing.

Pregnancy Sleeping Positions: FAQs

What is the best pregnancy sleeping position?

The best pregnancy sleeping positions vary a bit from person to person, but experts generally recommend side-sleeping on your left side. Sleeping on your left side helps relieve some of the pressure that your belly can cause on your uterus and organs, and it can also make it easier for you to breathe at night. Sleeping on your right side isn’t typically recommended because it can create more pressure in your abdomen as a result of your liver sitting on your uterus.

Which sleeping positions should I avoid during pregnancy?

For the most part, you should avoid sleeping on your back and stomach when you’re pregnant. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with sleeping on your stomach for the first 16-18 weeks of pregnancy if that’s what you’re most comfortable with. Just remember, you’ll have to switch to side-sleeping when your belly gets too big, so it may be easier to start learning how to sleep on your side before you have to.

Why does it hurt to side-sleep during pregnancy?

Sleeping on your side during pregnancy can hurt because it puts pressure on various parts of your body. To avoid this, you can use body pillows and wedge pillows to help provide cushioning between various parts of your body and relieve some of the pressure caused by side-sleeping. With the right pillows, most people can find a comfortable way to sleep on their side during pregnancy.

Can I hurt my baby by sleeping on my right side during pregnancy?

While most experts don’t recommend sleeping on your right side when you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you have to strictly avoid it. Sleeping on your right side during pregnancy is generally considered fairly safe, although there is some risk of IVC compression if you sleep on your right side. Always remember to talk to your doctor before you make any serious decisions regarding your health during pregnancy, whether that’s a change in your diet or new pregnancy sleeping positions.

Pregnant woman sleeping

Final Notes

When you’re pregnant, most experts recommend sleeping on your left side. During the first 16-18 weeks of pregnancy, however, some people may prefer to sleep on their stomach, which is fine. Generally, stomach-sleeping and back-sleeping aren’t recommended beyond the early stages of pregnancy.

If you’re having trouble sleeping while pregnant, consider talking to your doctor about finding a comfortable, safe sleeping position during pregnancy. You can also try the MedCline Therapeutic Body Pillowto help you get a better night’s sleep. There are lots of ways to use the MedCline pillow, whether you need support between your legs or you want to elevate your head. If sleeping during pregnancy is a struggle for you, contact MedCline to learn more about how a pregnancy pillow can help.