How do you deal with sleep disturbances?

Caitlin - Midwife at The Baby Academy

Pregnancy is a tiring time! On top of everything else you do in your daily life, you’re putting even more energy into growing a human inside of you. Therefore, when it comes to sleep during pregnancy, the more the better! Unfortunately, pregnancy can bring with it many sleep disturbances that prevent you from getting much-needed rest. To help you through this time, we have compiled a list of common sleep disturbances during pregnancy and how to deal with them:

Getting Comfortable

The first possible contributor to sleep deprivation in pregnancy is an inability to get comfortable. This may be due to nausea, hemorrhoids, or simply the big bump you’ve grown. Many women find that pillows are a lifesaver in this situation. There are different pillows available that can provide hip, knee, or back support. Other full-body pillows can help you get into a comfortable position and relieve pressure in your joints.

Restless Leg Syndrome

A second possible cause may be restless leg syndrome. This is common in pregnant people and involves a consistent need to move their legs or feel them be heavy or itchy. Iron and calcium have been shown to relieve some of these symptoms so increasing your intake of these should help! On top of this, avoid any potential causes of restless leg syndrome, such as caffeine, which should be limited to less than 200mg per day


it’s important to reach out for support as it may be a symptom of perinatal depression. to it’s important to reach out for support as it may be a symptom of perinatal mental health illness

A third explanation for sleep deprivation may be anxiety. This is common in pregnant people and natural, given the tremendous changes your life is going through. Getting to bed earlier may help this situation as your optimal sleep window begins at approximately 9 pm. This will optimise your levels of melatonin which will allow you to get to sleep quicker, before your thoughts begin to wander. You could also try some meditation before bed to calm and centre yourself. If you are constantly experiencing high levels of anxiety or are being disturbed by your thoughts, it’s important to reach out for support as it may be a symptom of perinatal depression.


Fourth, you may be experiencing heartburn during the night. Many pregnant women experience this unfortunate ailment and it can severely deteriorate your quality and quantity of sleep. Reducing your intake of food before bed should help the situation. Also, try to avoid any particularly spicy or greasy food. Other women have found that elevating their head while they sleep also helps.

It’s crucial for both you and your baby’s health that you get adequate sleep during pregnancy. Your body needs to rest during this new and unfamiliar experience, in order for your baby to grow and for your body to prepare for labour. Reach out to your support system and your healthcare provider if you are experiencing constant restless nights so that you can get the support you need and deserve!