• Sleep and Expecting Moms

    by Lauren King, PsyD
    on Jun 22nd, 2017

Sleep During Pregnancy

Lauren King, Psy.D.


Pregnancy is a very exciting time for expecting mothers and their families. However, pregnancy can also produce some normal worries or fears. When you are pregnant, your body is experiencing a lot of changes. It is not uncommon for a pregnant woman to experience sleep difficulties during parts of her pregnancy. During the first trimester, excitement, anxiety, and physical changes can make sleep more difficult. On the other hand, some expecting mothers sleep considerably more during this time.


Some causes of sleep problems during pregnancy include awakenings due to frequent urination, increased size of abdomen making it difficult to find a comfortable position, back pain, and acid reflux/heartburn. Some expecting mothers may be tired from not sleeping as well. However, some may be tired even when they are getting adequate sleep. Fatigue during the first trimester may be related to lower levels of iron.


Significant changes to sleep during pregnancy and after the birth of the child can negatively affect quality of life. Therefore, it is important to try to prioritize sleep. Problem solving the sleep issues is important to increase the likelihood of adequate sleep during this important time in a woman’s life.


Tips to help you sleep better throughout your pregnancy: 

  1. Sleep on your side to relieve discomfort and pressure on your back and stomach. Sleeping on your left side will improve the blood flow and nutrients to your baby.
  2. In the evening before bed, eat smaller meals that are not excessively spicy or acidic. This will help prevent acid reflux and further discomfort trying to sleep at night.
  3. To ease the pressure on your hips, place a body pillow between your legs.
  4. Reduce daily caffeine consumption and limit fluid intake after 7 pm to reduce having to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  5. Have a nightlight in the bathroom. Turning on fewer lights will help prevent you from becoming too awake when you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  6. Add short daytime naps if you are not getting adequate sleep and are feeling excessively fatigued during the day.
  7. If you are experiencing acid reflux, prop yourself up with pillows in bed until the reflux is resolved.

If you are having trouble sleeping during your pregnancy, contact Bluepoint Medical Associates today at 703-385-8222 to speak with one of our sleep specialists. For more on sleep please see Dr. Lauren King https://youtu.be/7Ng_-IHmDic

Author Lauren King, PsyD Licensed Clinical Psychologist, CBT-I Provider

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