5 Tips for Comfortable Sleep in Your Third Trimester

From the earliest days of pregnancy, family members, friends with kids, and passersby have probably warned you to “sleep now because you won’t when the baby gets here.” What they likely neglected to mention, however, is that sleeping comfortably can get increasingly difficult as your pregnancy progresses. From calf cramps to numerous trips to the bathroom, many women in their third trimester can’t imagine that waking frequently with a baby could be any more tiresome than their current situation. If you’re facing exhaustion due to third-trimester troubles, check out the tips below for better sleep!

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1. Go to bed early

It may seem obvious but, to feel more rested you need more sleep. If you’re going to be up throughout the night (which you probably are) heading to bed even an hour earlier can help combat some of the morning time exhaustion you’re used to. So, while finishing up the nursery, washing one more load of baby clothes, or putting the finishing touches on the blanket you’ve been crocheting can be tempting, make the choice to head to bed instead and wake up a fresher you.

2. Eat leg-cramp busting foods

Calf cramps are common in pregnancy and can cause some serious nighttime pain. If you’ve been getting frequent leg cramps at night choose foods that are high in potassium (like bananas) and be sure to stay hydrated as these strategies can reduce their frequency. If you wake up mid-cramp, help it pass more quickly by flexing your foot upwards with your heel pointing towards the ground and your toes pointed upward towards your knees. 

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3. Invest in a pregnancy pillow

For accustomed stomach sleepers, the inability to get comfortable with a big belly is serious. Purchase a pregnancy pillow that supports your belly as you rest on your side or, if the price tag seems just too high, gather enough pillows to build a supportive wall that you can rest your leg over as you sleep.

4. Layer your blankets

Late in pregnancy, many women feel their temperature fluctuate as they sleep. If you go to bed comfortable but wake up drenched in sweat, layering your blankets can be a big help. If you typically sleep with a heavy blanket, try laying a few thinner ones instead so that you can remove or re-add them as your temperate dictates.

5. Keep your essentials on the bedside table

Do you seem to always be waking up thirsty? Or with heartburn? Instead of having to get up from bed to head to the kitchen or the medicine cabinet, keep your bedside table stocked with the things you frequently need at night to avoid having to wake yourself fully. 

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Rest easy, mamas!


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5 Tips for Comfortable Sleep in Your Third Trimester

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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