I'm not sleeping. How can I get more sleep?

It’s common to feel unusually tired when you’re pregnant, and it can be very frustrating if you can’t get to sleep.

Here are some tips for better sleep:

  • When you’re lying on your side, it may be more comfortable to sleep with a pillow supporting your bump and a pillow between your knees.
  • In late pregnancy, you may be most comfortable to sleep on a few pillows so you are half sitting.
  • Get some exercise during the day or just increase your level of activity (it doesn’t have to be an organised exercise class).
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, energy drinks) in the evening
  • Don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol. All of those things can harm your baby and they can stop you sleeping as well.
  • Try some relaxation exercises before you go to bed. Look online for an app that will help with relaxation or see if you can borrow a relaxation tape, CD or DVD from your library.
  • Try not to stress about sleeplessness when you’re in bed – worrying about it can make it even harder to go to sleep. Lack of sleep is almost inevitable in pregnancy, but it won’t affect your baby. If it’s possible, try napping at other times of the day.
  • If the sleeplessness is persistent, do chat with your GP or midwife as there may be medication that can support you.
  • After 16 weeks, try to sleep on your side not your back. Sleeping on your back may make you feel faint because your womb presses on one of your main blood vessels.

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Last reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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