One of the things that’s most unfair about pregnancy is how hard it is
to sleep. You’re supposed to be getting your rest and saving up your
energy for having a newborn on your hands, but hormones give you weird
dreams and make you feel nauseated, too hot, or too cold. The doctors
and the What To Expect When You’re Expecting book make you feel that
the only safe way to sleep is on your side, your chest is tender,
you’re getting pounded by feet from the inside out, and more often than
not, you’re in pain from sciatica or some other nerve that’s not used
to being pinched. Here are a few suggestions to make sleeping easier during pregnancy:
1. A Body Pillow
Body pillows are long cylindrical pillows that you can wrap your limbs
around like a sleeping partner, but they’re lighter so your arms don’t
fall asleep, and they don’t wriggle and squirm. They help take pressure
off of overtaxed nerves and can really make the difference between a
good night’s sleep and misery. You can get a utilitarian version at any
store that sells maternity clothes, or Ralph Lauren makes a decorator
version for more upscale new moms.
If you have access to a recliner, sleeping partially reclined — feet
up, back just slightly back — can be the most comfortable position for
women in their third trimester. If not, get someone to take you for a
long car ride and duplicate it as best as possible for a long nap.
3. A Supportive Bra
Don’t underestimate the pain that a tender chest can cause you during
pregnancy. A good supportive bra will help immeasurably with this
problem. There are many styles you can find that are adaptable as
nursing bras after you have the baby.
4. Comfortable Maternity Clothes
Temperature control during pregnancy is difficult due to hormonal
changes. The best way to handle the roller coaster of being hot and
cold is with layers. Get a long-sleeved tee shirt and put it over a
camisole. If you wake up hot in the middle of the night, it’s easier to
go back to sleep if you just have to pull a light layer off in the dark
than doing a full change.