better pregnancy sleep

9 Solutions for Better Pregnancy Sleep

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Are you pregnant and wondering how you can sleep better? Are you searching desperately for ways to make side sleeping more comfortable, or to breathe easier at night? If you’re in the third trimester and can’t sleep, these nine solutions will help you get a better night’s sleep!

As if a growing baby dancing on your bladder in the middle of the night isn’t enough to keep you awake, the simple act of breathing and getting comfortable also seems impossible most nights. Whether you’re waking up because of pregnancy congestion, or you are longing for ideas to alleviate back or hip pain, these nine solutions will help a pregnant mama get some much-needed sleep.

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How to get sleep when pregnant

Growing up my husband would always make fun of me for saying “set the bed” instead of “make the bed.” But the following tips are all about setting the stage for your best night’s sleep while pregnant. This means making a few short-term modifications to accommodate your new side-sleeping position:

  • Get a quality pregnancy pillow. The first way to get a better night’s sleep when you’re pregnant is to invest in a decent pregnancy pillow. Sorry, partners, but the time for cuddling is not while a very pregnant mama is trying to get some sleep. As a back and stomach sleeper, it was extremely tough for me to transition to sleeping solely on my side. A pregnancy pillow wedged behind my back and between my legs helped make the position much more comfortable. This pillow is the one I still sleep with at night. But you might prefer this one if you want more support or tend to alternate your sleeping positions from side-to-side. Either way, pups and cats alike sure do appreciate this pillow when you’re not using it!
  • Alleviate hip pain with this trick: Use a twin size 1.5-inch memory foam topper like this one on your side of the bed. We had a rather new, more firm mattress which is extremely comfortable when I’m not pregnant. But sleeping on my side night after night was killing my hips. Some leftover memory foam from our couch cushion re-upholstery project ended up doing double-duty. This pregnancy sleep solution helped me sleep much better in the third trimester. (It did not have the stinky smell that most memory foams have initially.)

Things to keep on your nightstand for a better night’s sleep

Next, there are a couple of items to keep within reach on your nightstand to get a better night’s sleep in the third trimester:

  • A humidifier will help ease congestion. If you don’t have a humidifier, you’ll definitely want to get one. A humidifier like this one will come in handy the first night your baby catches a cold and has a stuffy nose! But in the meantime, it will also help mama sleep better. As a bonus, most humidifiers are covered by Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts, so check to see if yours will be reimbursable.
  • No more mouth breathing with these Nose Strips. I do not know how these Breathe Right Strips work the way they do, but I promise you there is a noticeable difference between when you use them and when you don’t. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was so incredibly stuffy I would snore like crazy and my mouth was like cotton from sleeping with my mouth open. Then I discovered these strips and I refused to sleep without them from that night on. They even have strips that are lavender scented.
better pregnancy sleep

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  • A nourishing lip balm will prevent and repair chapped lips. No matter how much water I would drink during the day, it seemed as though I was always waking up to a dry mouth and extremely chapped lips. I discovered this truly nourishing Green Tea Sleeping Lip Balm Mask and now it’s the only lip balm I use, no matter the time of day. Apply it before bed and when you wake up to help prevent and repair chapped lips. A little bit goes a very long way so it lasts forever. It even comes with a tiny applicator brush.

  • Use a sleep-inducing hypnosis soundtrack or sound machine. Pregnancy insomnia exacerbated by the anxieties of anticipating labor and delivery can make it difficult to relax. In preparing for an unmedicated hypnobirth, I fell asleep often to my daily hypnosis tracks because they were so calming. They had me sleeping within minutes. Listening to a self-guided hypnosis track such as Hypnobabies Peaceful Sleep Now for Expectant Mothers every night at bedtime can guide you into a deep, restful sleep, and train your mind to create and respond immediately to a specific cue to easily fall asleep, get back to sleep if awakened, to sleep deeply and well. Use code hypno1528 for 15% OFF.

    If hypnosis isn’t your thing, another helpful option is to get a sound machine like this one, or this one if you prefer some fancier options. We received two for our baby shower and we kept both, one to use permanently in the nursery and the other in our room to help disguise the sounds of the baby monitor that otherwise keep me awake. Pink noise (or any of the nature sounds it offers) is a soothing way to mask a snoring partner or to simply get a deeper, more restorative sleep. You can choose the sound, color (or no light at all), and even program the sound machine to turn on or off at set times to establish routines.

Comfortable clothing essential for pregnancy sleep

One last way to get better sleep during the third trimester is to change up what you wear to bed. Say good-bye to uncomfortable clothing that rides up, bunches, or makes you sweat. It’s time to get some of the comfiest pajamas, underwear, and bras you will ever own. 

  • Buy yourself some comfy bras. If you need a bit more support with the lady lumps these days, these bras from Target or these bras from Motherhood Maternity will give you the support you need and still be comfortable for sleeping. While you’re at it, I recommend buying another set that is one size up for when your milk comes in and your boobs are uncomfortably engorged. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to make time (or find energy) for bra shopping in the days after you give birth.
  • Breathable, comfy pajamas are a must. These ultra-soft pajamas from Kindred Bravely are both deliciously soft and comfortable and ready for nursing/pumping. Some of their pajamas are even available on Amazon for quick delivery. This bamboo lounge dress is hands-down my favorite for lounging around the house or for traveling. Use code BRAVEMAMA20 for 20% OFF your first purchase.

  • Finally, the final hack to better sleep in the third trimester is making sure you pee yourself as efficiently as possible. Whether you sneeze and pee or your baby decides to do a midnight tango on your bladder, it will happen. You will pee yourself. So when it does happen, get back to sleep as quickly as possible with Always Discreet underwear. These underwear are so comfortable and so absorbent that I wore them almost exclusively during the final weeks of my pregnancy. It saved me from having to change the sheets in the middle of the night and waking Hubs with the embarrassing news that I peed the bed. These were especially a lifesaver when my water broke at 3 a.m. and I didn’t have to clean up a mess between contractions! 

I hope these solutions get you on your way to a better night’s sleep during your pregnancy. Don’t forget to check your Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts to get as many things reimbursed as possible. If you have any other tips to share with mamas like you, comment below. Happy sleeping, mama, and don’t forget to subscribe for more great tips!

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