At any stage of life getting regular and good sleep is very important. It is, in fact, just as important as a healthy diet and exercise. Getting a good night’s sleep improves your overall health and mood. It is a time that your body needs to consolidate memories, rejuvenate the body, repair tissue, grow muscles, and synthesis hormones. When we don’t get enough sleep our mental capabilities are impaired and we cannot function at our best. This is even more true when you are pregnant.

Pregnancy causes immense changes in a woman’s body and as she grows a new life inside of her, her body’s needs and functions change. Hormone levels are different, the uterus grows and the body also needs more energy. It is also a very emotional time for most women. All of the physical, psychological and emotional changes mean that the sleeping patterns of a pregnant woman can also change. Pregnant women, especially in the first trimester, often find that they are exhausted, even if they got enough sleep.

Sleeping itself can be a problem as the physical discomfort that comes with pregnancy can keep a woman from falling and staying asleep at night. The position in which you sleep can work for or against you and finding the best and most comfortable position for you and the stage of your pregnancy can help a great deal.

Sleeping on your back

Sleeping on your back is quite possible during pregnancy and you might find that you wake up on your back. In your first trimester there might be very little physical changes in your body and for the most part your sleeping position will not change and sleeping on your back is fine. Once you start entering your second and third trimester this situation changes.

As your baby and belly grow sleeping on your back comes with more and more discomfort and problems. If you are on your back the weight of your baby and belly rest on your back and intestines as well as the main vein carrying blood from your lower body back to your heart.
The added pressure can cause a great deal of discomfort as it adds to backache while the added pressure on the blood vessel can cause circulation problems and hypotension. This could ultimately decrease blood flow to your growing baby providing him or her with less nutrients and oxygen. If you wake up on your back during the night just roll over to a more comfortable position and go back to sleep.

Sleeping on your stomach

As with a sleeping position on your back, your stomach doesn’t pose any major problems in the first trimester. The lack of a big baby bump will still make it possible for you to comfortably sleep on your stomach.
Eventually your bump will make sleeping on your stomach very uncomfortable. While it might not be comfortable, sleeping on your stomach is safe, in fact, it is safer for you and your baby than sleeping on your back. If this is the most comfortable position for you, you can use various pillows, some of which you can even order to be custom made, to bolster you while you sleep.
If you can comfortably position your pillows and depending on the size of your baby bump you can enjoy your favoured position well into the second and even third trimester.

Sleeping on your side

Experts say that sleeping on your side is the best option for pregnant women. The SOS-position (sleep on side position) is the best position for all trimesters. It takes the pressure off your baby bump and is also the best position for your breathing.
While you don’t have to sleep on your side from the start, especially if it is not naturally the position you opted for before your pregnancy, it is a good idea to get used to the SOS-position while you can still change it up without any problems. Sleeping on your left side is the ideal position as it allows for the best blood flow and delivery of nutrients to your baby.

This side also means that you are not putting any weight on your liver, which is on you right side, and also adds to your general comfort. You can keep your knees and legs bent and put a pillow between your legs as it adds to easy blood flow.

Sleeping aids

Regardless of whether you are in your first, second or third trimester and if your sleep on your back, stomach or side, it can still be uncomfortable and difficult to sleep. A pregnant woman’s best friend when it comes to this problem is a pillow, or a couple of pillows.
If you really want to sleep on your back your can prop yourself up with various pillows so you can stay in a semi upright position. You can even sleep in a recliner or comfortable arm chair. This might not be a solution for a full night’s rest but it is a good option for one of your daily naps. As pregnant women often find it difficult to get a full night’s sleep napping might become part of your daily routine. When you sleep on your side you can put a couple of pillows behind your back to keep you from rolling over. Consider investing in a custom made full-body pillow.

These will often be one massive upside-down-U- or C-shaped pillow that will provide the support your need at your back, head and between your legs. If this is not an option for you, you can add three or four pillows down the front of your body to the ones that you already have at your back to give you the same type of support.

While there is not one position of one thing a pregnant woman can do to guarantee a full night’s sleep, finding the most comfortable position will make it easier to find some rest during the night as well as during your daily naps. It is also important to choose the healthiest position for both yourself and your unborn baby.

Author's Bio: 

Eric is the owner of Every Body's Personal Trainer