Doctors always tell you to rest well before baby comes but what if you are struggling to get enough sleep in the third trimester of your pregnancy? When pregnant I had no problem sleeping until the third trimester when I became very uncomfortable. It’s certainly a challenge to get comfortable when baby is ready to come out in to the world.
I hope the following tips help you to sleep better during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Sleeping Problems Us Women Face during our Pregnancy
Pregnancy for some can be smooth sailing, for others it can be a difficult time depending on how things are going. Sleep is so vital for us all but when pregnant sleep is so very important for you and baby. Some of the most common problems that women face during pregnancy in the thrid trimester regarding sleep include:
- As your belly grows and the little life inside you moves about you get uncomfortable and find it hard to get comfortable.
- As you belly grows the pressure on your back becomes more significant and the pain can increase particularly on your lower back.
- Some women experience restless leg syndrome when pregnant. This can mean you find it hard to get to sleep as you are no longer calm.
- Expecting a baby means your internal organs are pushed up, this can result in heartburn.
Sleeping Positions that you can adopt during the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
The third trimester of pregnancy is often the time when it becomes difficult to move and your belly gets in the way of finding a comfortable position. So finding a comfortable position where you can relax and not feel like you are hurting yourself or your baby is important. Below I’ve listed some options to consider to help you rest, these are based on my own experience and options that I used.
- I found sleeping on my left side was a a good option for me. I found out that this option is also good ensure a good blood flow supply to your baby. Of course this goes for sleeping on your other side too!
- Sleeping on your back is not the best option for two reasons, firstly it can increase your ability to snore which can waken you and/or your partner!
Tossing and turning isn’t something that you can do when pregnant when your belly is at the size it is during the third trimester. However there are always options when you have an array of pillows at your disposal. You can use these to prop yourself up behind your head, between your legs and to keep you on your side.
You can also opt for a specially designed pregnancy pillow. I opted for this fantastic pregnancy pillow which held me in the correct position so I could get a good night’s sleep. It also helped me to stop sleeping on my back. I’m a snorer so this was also a great relief to my husband! As already mentioned sleeping on your side is probably the best for you and your baby.
Get creative with pillows and purchase a pregnancy pillow
Wakening at night
To be honest as your belly grows it is inevitable that you will waken at night to go to the loo. This is because the weight of your growing baby is pressing down on your bladder. Don’t get worried about this, it is a very normal process. Having the right pillow will ensure you can get back to the correct position quickly.
It’s also important to stay hydrated, I would keep a glass of water by my bed so I could sip on it when I wakened at night. i also tried to keep my water intake up during the day too. Remember though to visit the bathroom before bedtime!
Something else I found useful was to place a night light in the hall to guide me to the bathroom. I used these very reasonably priced lights from Amazon. It’s a great light that will turn on and off so no need to worry about that when you are still half sleeping!
What to eat
Alas during pregnancy I suffered heartburn and indigestion during the third trimester. This is also a problem when trying to sleep. Propping yourself up is a good idea. Another tip to avoid heartburn and indigestion during the third trimester is to avoid eating spicy meals late at night or close to bedtime.
Of course during the third trimester your body will be tired however a good idea is to go for walks. I also write about walking on my blog Walking body and mind where you can find some walking tips for when you are pregnant. This should help you relax and get a better night’s sleep from that little bit of exercise. Exercise in a light form is also great to help reduce leg cramps.
More tips for getting a better night’s sleep
I have a blog post all about other tips for getting a better night’s sleep, from making sure you turn off your devices, getting the right temperature, staying away from caffeine, plus many more ideas.
Staying relaxed is very important when expecting. Having a bedtime routine is important to drifting off and getting in the right frame of mind so head over to my blog post and download a free ideas checklist for starting your own bedtime routine to get a good night’s sleep.
When you have a baby sleep deprivation is to be expected so getting enough before baby comes is very important!
Sleeping Tips in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Here are some of my tips to get a good night’s sleep during the third trimester of pregnancy that worked for me, I hope they work for you too:
- The light from our electronic devices is called blue light, it is short-wave length, and this means that means it affects the levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin causing us to feel wide awake. If you want a good night’s sleep then I highly recommend you turn your devices off at least an hour before going to bed.
- Taking a relaxing bath with plenty of bubbles is a must several times a week for me. I often use bath salts in my bath too as they contain magnesium which can be beneficial to aiding sleep. The temperature of your bath can also aid sleep. Have the water as warm as you can take it.
- Writing your thoughts or your to do list down in a notebook not only helps to calm your busy mind but it allows your mind to switch off and for you to acknowledge that the contents are for tomorrow.
- Sleep on your sides, preferably on your left. You can wedge pillows between your legs to make yourself more comfortable however I really recommend this pregnancy pillow
- Drinking tea and coffee close to bedtime can interfere with your body and is actually a stimulant which could have you running around the bedroom rather than sleeping! Calming drinks before bedtime is better for you and your body. It will also help you drift of to sleep and wake up refreshed such as warm milk.
- Avoid foods that are too spicy. These can keep you up at night and make you feel uncomfortable.
- Keep drinking water during the day and keep it by your side at night.
- To ensure a great night’s sleep, make your bedroom a room which you can relax in. Consider your décor, your lighting, your bed linen, all these make a huge difference to making your bedroom a place where you can relax and unwind.
Pregnancy can bring such changes from physical to mental. I hope the above tips will help you deal with any sleep issues you come across during the third trimester of your pregnancy. I hope they help you get the sleep you need before your little one comes along.