Sleep During Pregnancy – First, Second And Third Trimester

7 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Sleep During Pregnancy

The pregnancy phase is the most special in a woman’s life. The beauty of this phase can only be felt by the ones who have experienced this phase at least once. But apart from this, there are several other things such as lack of sleep during pregnancy that can happen due to hormonal changes.

Proper sleep during pregnancy is vital to maintaining the proper health of the would-be-mother. A pregnant woman already experiences fatigue as a pregnancy symptom due to hormonal changes. Add lack of sleep to the mix and you can have a tough time during pregnancy. In this article, we take you through the various influences of good sleep during your pregnancy and how you can ensure to get a good night’s rest.

In This Article

What Does Pregnancy Fatigue Feel Like?

Fatigue is simply the lack of energy throughout the day. You feel like sleeping for the most part of the day and lack the energy to do anything productive. Fatigue is often an integral part of pregnancy. There are days when you simply don’t feel like getting up from bed. From the time you wake up, you feel like you are simply dragging through the day with low energy levels.

Pregnancy fatigue can be attributed to the changing hormone levels that are also important to maintain your normal healthy pregnancy. Progesterone and estrogen levels go through changes that support your pregnancy, improve blood supply to the uterus and ensure that the fetus is growing healthily. These hormones are also responsible for pregnancy fatigue. Most often fatigue is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and some women can experience fatigue throughout their pregnancy.

How Can Pregnancy Affect Sleep?

How Can Pregnancy Affect Sleep

Are you witnessing issues in sleeping during your pregnancy phase? If yes, then these can be a sign of insomnia. Insomnia is a condition in which a person is deprived of sleep or can’t sleep. During pregnancy, lack of sleep may be because of several reasons such as

  • Hormonal changes
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Body pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Discomfort in stomach
  • Stressfulness
  • Vivid dreams
  • Acidity
  • Cramps

For some women, difficulty sleeping may start during the first trimester itself. Most expecting women suffer from sleep problems during pregnancy and hence this might not be a normal thing if you are witnessing it constantly. Sleeping during pregnancy matters a lot because it ensures the good health of your baby and yourself. Pregnant women should get more sleep during their pregnancy period, otherwise, there will be a constant feeling of lethargies and fatigue throughout the day.

What Are The Common Sleep Problems During Pregnancy?

There might be several reasons why you must not be getting proper sleep during pregnancy. You may be suffering from a disorder that even you would not be aware of. Some of them will be discussed below.

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If you are overweight and suffer from constant nasal congestion, then you must be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. In this disorder, women start snoring during pregnancy which might even be a risk factor for high blood pressure. Another factor causing obstructive sleep apnea is gasping and repeated lapses in breathing which eventually results in loss of sleep or insomnia, disturbing the overall quality of your sleep. As per research conducted, obstructive sleep disorder is found in 1 in 5 women during pregnancy.

2. Restless Legs Syndrome

Pregnant ladies who are suffering from restless legs syndrome have a constant feeling of itching between the legs, thighs, and even tickling-like sensations which causes the women to move on their legs constantly. This condition makes it difficult for the expecting mother to fall asleep. This condition gets even worse when the pregnant woman is at rest and not moving. Hence this might be the reason behind insomnia.

3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder is a condition in which pregnant women suffer from acidity, heartburn, and other digestion-related issues. It leads to discomfort for pregnant women and sometimes makes it difficult for them to lie down, disrupting their sleeping patterns. This is a common disorder among pregnant women, and some may experience it through all three trimesters.

Sleep Changes You Can Expect During The First Trimester

Sleep changes during first trimester

There are many difficulties in sleeping during the first trimester of pregnancy. Sleep during the first trimester is largely influenced by the increasing levels of progesterone. Well, increased levels of progesterone during pregnancy are necessary but this even makes the pregnant women lethargic. Along with that, rising levels of progesterone lead to the adoption of an early bedtime as your body clocks shift.

Furthermore, many women tend to feel tired during the daytime, as the feeling of extreme fatigue strikes them unknowingly. This makes them have difficulty sleeping at night or they might even experience uneven sleep patterns. As per the researchers, women who have daytime naps due to fatigue may have disturbed nighttime sleep.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, you witness never-ending bathroom breaks and other related issues in your body which makes it difficult for you to sleep.

Headaches and other such issues are also on the rise during pregnancy, depriving sleep levels. Furthermore, constipation and bloating can also lead to less sleep during pregnancy.

Sleep Changes You Can Expect During The Second Trimester

Many pregnant women do find it easier to sleep during the second trimester as compared to the first and third trimesters. This is because during the second trimester, hormones become balanced and that is why pregnant women tend to feel stabilized and happy.
You also may get a gentle break from morning sickness and laziness and hence the feeling of fatigue reduces during the second trimester.

You can have a good sleep as your baby isn’t that big in the womb and will not interfere with your sleeping pattern. Along with that, now as you have arrived in the second trimester, your frequent trips to the washroom have been reduced due to stabilising hormones.

Sleep Changes You Can Expect During The Third Trimester

Sleep changes during third trimester

Sleeping might be a tedious task for many women during the third trimester. This is because, during this phase, the women experience the most difficult time in their pregnancy as they have frequent back pains, heartburn, and even sleep apnea. Not just this, pregnant women experience difficulty in getting quality sleep as a result of changes in the body. The belly gets bigger and bigger causing difficulty sleeping.

Some common factors that can cause insomnia during the third trimester of pregnancy include

1. Constant Back Pain And Discomfort

Well, it is estimated that pregnant women suffer from constant lower back pain leading to sore muscles which disturbs their sleep pattern. The ever-expanding uterus puts pressure on the back and legs as well causing constant pain and discomfort.

2. Depression And Anxiety

Insomnia strikes higher during late pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause anxiety, depression, excitement, vivid dreams, nighttime awakening, etc partly due to the changing hormones and also due to the anticipation of the impending childbirth

3. Heartburn

Many moms witness heartburn during pregnancy. This is a condition that renders discomfort as it involves acid rising in the stomach and this can lead to vomiting sensations.

Sleeping Positions to Help You Sleep Better

Sleeping positions to help you sleep better

Sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy may not be ideal, especially during the later stages of pregnancy as it can put undue pressure on the fetus. Some believe that sleeping on your right side may not be ideal.

are the best sleeping positions to help you sleep better during pregnancy.

1. Fetal Position

The fetal position involves sleeping on your side with legs bent and curled towards your body. The fetal position is the most popular sleeping position, and this is good to heal lower back pain during pregnancy. Furthermore, fetal position is also good to reduce snoring during pregnancy.

2. Sleeping to Your Left Side

Most experts and elders believe that sleeping on your left side is the best, especially during the third trimester of your pregnancy as it ensures an excellent blood supply to the little bean growing within you. This position also minimizes pressure on the liver and is the best sleeping position when you are pregnant.

Ultimately though, it is your comfort that matters. Choose the position that feels best for you and allows you to sleep well. You can always talk to your doctor when in doubt about the ideal sleeping position during pregnancy.

Getting proper sleep during pregnancy is extremely important as it will keep you healthy and active and also ensure good health for the fetus growing inside you. Ensure that you maintain proper sleep hygiene so that you can get a good night’s sleep. A few tips like avoiding screen time and caffeine will ensure that you do not sit up those extra hours at night.


1. How Many Hours Should Pregnant Women Sleep?

Pregnant women must sleep for at least 7-9 hours every day.

2. Can Lack of Sleep Affect Pregnancy?

Yes, lack of sleep during pregnancy causes inconvenience. As per some experts, pregnant women who do not get enough sleep during pregnancy are at a high risk to form pregnancy complications.

3. Does The Baby Sleep in The Womb When The Mother Sleeps?

Yes, babies sleep in the womb. Babies spend most of their time sleeping in the womb.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.