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Why you should sleep on your side during pregnancy

How best to sleep when pregnant, and what to expect.

Your sleep pattern may change when you become pregnant. You may find you're:

  • sleeping for longer than before
  • finding it difficult to fall asleep
  • having strange dreams about the baby or the birth

This is all normal.

Sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side is often more comfortable than sleeping on your back - especially after about 16 weeks. Sleep on whichever side feels most comfortable.

Keep your knees and your legs bent, and try placing a pillow between your legs. You can also put a pillow under your abdomen to support your bump.

Sleeping on your side helps keep your baby safe. Research has shown that sleeping on your side, especially in the third trimester (weeks 27 to 40), helps to prevent stillbirth.

Don’t worry if you wake up on your back. But it's important to fall asleep on your side.

Avoid caffeine

If you're having trouble getting to sleep, avoid drinks with caffeine in them, like tea and coffee.

Try to relax in the hours before going to bed. This is a great chance to practice some relaxation exercises. This will also help you during the birth.

Related topic

Tiredness and fatigue during pregnancy

Page last reviewed: 18/09/2018
Next review due: 18/09/2021