There’s no surprise that pregnancy can be exhausting. With all of the extra weight you are carrying, not to mention the emotional and physical changes that come with being pregnant, it is more important than ever that you take care of yourself by getting a good night’s sleep.
There are many ways you can go about getting a sound night’s rest during your third trimester. Our first and most important piece of advice is to make sure you’re having enough quality (and enough!) sleep each day. Aim for around 8 hours per night during this time!
What else can help? There are a few things to keep in mind.
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20 Third Trimester Sleeping Tips – Best Ways to Sleep in the 3rd Trimester
1. Stay cool
You may find warmer temperatures more comfortable as your pregnancy progresses, but at night it’s best to keep the thermostat low (around 65 degrees) which will help you sleep. This is especially true during your third trimester when the body naturally produces more heat.
2. Use linen spray
Linen sprays are natural deodorizers that can leave your linens smelling fresh and clean. They’re also good for helping to eliminate odors like pet urine, smoky smells or other common household smells that can linger on bedding after they’ve been washed.
3. Keep the room dark
Make sure your room is as dark as possible while you sleep…if light from streetlights or a clock/alarm disturbs you, use a mask over your eyes instead of sleeping with a mask over your eyes.
4. Try to keep your legs and feet elevated
As simple as this sounds, it can help you feel more comfortable at night! If you’re having trouble sleeping flat on your back during the last few months of your pregnancy, try raising the upper half of the bed with blankets or pillows under the headboard or put blocks underneath each side of the headboard so that it is raised ever so slightly.
5. Avoid foods that cause heartburn before bedtime
Sleep Moment suggests that if you have a tendency towards heartburn during pregnancy, watch what you eat right before going to bed…chocolate, onions, citrus fruits, or tomatoes are some common culprits that can lead to discomfort while you sleep if consumed too close to bedtime.
6. Use pillows to support your body
If you’re having trouble sleeping during the third trimester, use pillows to try and get comfortable…sit on the side of the bed with your back supported by one or two pillows so that you can lie back against them if you feel like resting for a bit before getting up again.
7. Sleep on your side, not on your back
Sleeping flat on your back after around 28 weeks of pregnancy can increase swelling in the legs and feet, as well as blood pressure problems…if you need to sleep at some point during the night, keep yourself propped up at least 30 degrees off of horizontal.
8. Try not to nap during the day
If you need to take a nap, try not to do so during the day when possible…this will help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle.
9. Eliminate distractions in the bedroom
Of course, there are things that can disrupt sleep even more than usual when you’re pregnant…tossing and turning because you need to use the bathroom or worrying about your baby’s health all night are two of them. If anything is disrupting your sleep at night, make sure it is taken care of before bedtime so you can get some quality sleep!
10. Relax before bed
Try not to overschedule yourself during the day if you know it will leave you frazzled at night. Try going to bed a few hours earlier than usual so you can wake up refreshed and rested in the morning, and especially on those days when your body may need a little extra bit of rest.
11. Quit smoking and drinking caffeine
If you’re trying to get pregnant, quit smoking and avoid caffeinated drinks: these habits may increase the time it takes to conceive…and once you are pregnant, stop drinking alcohol and caffeine. It can cause problems for your growing babies, such as premature birth or low birth weight.
12. Exercise at the right time of day
Exercising during the day is a good idea because it will help you sleep better at night. Be careful, though: some forms of exercise may leave you feeling more awake and energized than if you had stayed in bed! Find out what types of exercise are best for pregnant women.
13. Get comfortable
Experiment with different positions and pillows to find those that help you get comfortable so that you can get a full night’s sleep. If your back is aching or you’re having trouble breathing, adjust the pillows under your head and between your knees.
14. Get your partner to assist you
If you’re having trouble sleeping, ask for help from your partner: he may be able to help rearrange pillows and blankets so that you’re more comfortable. Once pregnant develop a good relationship with your spouse! It will make the next nine months (and years) much easier.
Read: Baby Shower Checklist
15. Drink herbal tea
Sip on some soothing chamomile or raspberry leaf tea at bedtime…chamomile is known to induce sleep. Just skip the green and black teas; because of their caffeine content, they can actually keep you up at night!
16. Go easy on the food
Don’t eat big meals right before bedtime, but do try to have a light snack unless you are experiencing nausea. If your baby isn’t getting enough nutrition because you’re not eating enough during the day, he or she may wake up around 2 or 3 AM looking for something to eat…and you’ll be awake too!
17. Keep away from snacking
If you need to curb your appetite at night, avoid snacking after dinner…and especially junk food snacks that will leave you feeling lethargic and bloated in the morning. Instead of raiding the fridge after dinner, grab some fresh fruit or vegetables instead.
18. Use massage oils & sesame oil
You can also use massage oils and sesame oil to help induce sleep…just rub a little on your abdomen before bedtime. If you like, experiment with different aromatherapies for relaxation (lavender is another good choice).
19. Make sure you’re not overworked
Trying to do everything in the house when pregnant can leave anyone exhausted…if you’re feeling completely worn out at night or your back is killing you, try hiring someone to help with the daily chores that need to be done around the house.
20. If all else fails…call your doctor!
Try not to worry yourself sick about sleeping troubles during the third trimester of pregnancy, but if they continue for more than two weeks or so without relief see your doctor or midwife find out what’s going on with you and how it might be addressed. The right treatment could make all the difference in getting better quality sleep, allowing you to feel rested and energized during the day.
Good sleep is essential for a healthy pregnancy. The third trimester of the pregnancy can be challenging, but with these tips, you should have no problem getting a good night’s rest and being well-rested to take on your day!
Let us know if we missed any important points in our list or if there are things that work particularly well for you so we can share them with other readers as well. We’re always happy to help out new moms who need some quality advice about how to get better sleep during their third trimester.