Sleep During the Third Trimester

Waking up at night? Having trouble falling asleep? During the last three months most women may wake up as often as three to five times a night. Don't lose hope - you can have a restful night.

Get comfy

  • Try lying on your left side with your knees bent
    • Lying on your left side also helps blood flow to your baby
  • Tuck one pillow under your tummy and one more between your legs, or snuggle up beside a body pillow
  • If you're wrestling with the bed covers, resting upright in a recliner may do the trick

By being smart - and using a lot of pillows - you will likely find your comfort zone.

The bathroom as second home

To lessen your late-night trips to the toilet:

  • Limit your fluid intake in the evening; but keep drinking the same amount of fluids during the day
  • Clear out your whole bladder each time you pass urine
  • Cut out caffeine (no coffee or colas)

Other sleep snatchers


  • Do a few leg stretches before you go to bed to help avoid waking up with painful leg cramps
  • Working out at set times may also help keep cramps at bay
  • Sometimes sleeping under heavy covers can make cramps worse
  • If you do get a cramp, use heat or massage on the cramped part of your body


  • About 30% of women snore while pregnant due to swelling in their nose
  • This will likely go away once you have your baby
  • For now try propping up your head with an extra pillow


  • Avoid spicy, fried or acidic foods if they give you trouble
  • Eat small meals and chew your food slowly
  • Avoid eating or drinking within a few hours of bedtime
  • Raise the head of your bed by a few inches

Restless legs syndrome

About 26% of pregnant women get restless legs in their last three months. It causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs.

  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Taking extra folic acid may help
  • Make sure you are getting the right amount of iron
  • Sleeping under heavy covers worsens restless legs syndrome
  • Unfortunately, the drug that is often taken to ease the twitching and pain is not recommended for pregnant women
  • These signs most often go away once you give birth

Trouble sleeping

Most pregnant women get insomnia or have some sleeping issues. Chances are you're not the only one tossing and turning in the early hours of the morning. Growing babies are often busy at night, too.

  • If you're having trouble falling asleep, try:
    • A warm bath
    • Soothing massage
    • Gentle stretching exercises
    • A glass of hot water
    • Calming music
    • Deep breathing techniques from your childbirth classes may also help
  • If you're waking up in the middle of the night, try getting out of bed and:
    • Reading a book
    • Writing in your diary or journal
    • Drinking a small glass of warm milk
  • If all else fails, think of these sleepless nights as getting ready for your baby

[references] Copyright © 2010 LimeHealth

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