Almost all pregnant women have trouble falling or staying asleep at times. Changing hormones can make you both fatigued and sleepless. Heartburn, backaches, leg cramps, or the need to urinate at night may also make it hard to sleep. Later in pregnancy, you may have trouble getting into a comfortable position. Or you may feel anxious about childbirth or parenting. Learning good sleep habits while you're pregnant can help when your newborn interrupts your sleep after birth.

Call Doctor If:

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Sleep on your side with your knees bent for comfort. This eases backaches, heartburn, and hemorrhoids. Sleep on your left side to improve circulation and reduce foot swelling.
  • Use extra pillows. Put one between your legs. Bunch one under the small of your back to ease pressure. Experiment.
  • If you need to urinate a lot at night, avoid drinking a few hours before bedtime.
  • Take short naps.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day, with your doctor's OK. But avoid hard exercise before bedtime.
  • Soak in a warm bath. Or drink herbal tea or warm milk before bedtime to relax.(Check with your doctor to see which herbal teas you can have during your pregnancy.)
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages after early afternoon.
  • Gently stretch your leg muscles before bed if you have leg cramps at night.
  • Take prenatal yoga or learn other techniques to relax.
  • Avoid eating for a few hours before bedtime if you have heartburn.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on January 17, 2019



March of Dimes: "Your pregnant body: Sleeping problems."

National Sleep Foundation: "Pregnancy and Sleep."

Nemours Foundation: "Sleeping During Pregnancy."

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