The Best Sleep Aids For Pregnancy of 2020

Updated

Are you pregnant and finding sleep difficult? Are you searching desperately for a safe solution?

There are plenty of different products out there claiming to soothe your pregnancy sleeping woes — but which ones really work?

From pillows to white noise, every mom needs a different type of comfort when trying to get better rest before their baby comes. We’ve all heard it from friends and relatives: “Enjoy your sleep while you can!”

Easier said than done, right? Never fear — sometimes a little extra help can go a long way.

Let’s look at some of the different sleeping aids that may put you on a fast-track ticket to dreamland.

Table of Contents

    How To Get Comfortable

    Maternity pillows are said to be the saving grace of any mama-to-be experiencing troublesome sleep before your baby is born. They come in all shapes and sizes, for every trimester and preferred sleeping position — yes, even those who usually sleep on their stomachs.

    Full body pillows are specifically designed to help support your back and hips, relieve pain, and align your body properly. There are a few different varieties of maternity pillows, each with unique shapes and benefits.

    1. The u-shaped body pillow

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    Being pregnant loses some of its rosy glow when you’re struggling to get to sleep for hours every single night. A full body maternity pillow can help you find a comfortable position and give support in every troublesome area.

    This pillow’s unique shape is perfect for women who normally sleep on their sides or backs.

    2. The c-shaped body pillow

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    Found a little earlier in the pillow alphabet, the c-shaped maternity pillow is a great alternative to the all-around support a full-body maternity pillow gives.

    A c-shaped pillow hugs one side of your body, and provides support for your hips and lower back when used properly. Some c-shaped pillows even come with a wedge included.

    3. The inflatable pregnancy pillow

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    Stomach-sleepers rejoice! No longer do you have to give up your favorite sleeping position because of your growing belly.

    These pillows sit on top of your regular mattress like an air mattress, and feature a designated cove for your bump.

    4. The wedge

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    Instead of spending a pretty penny on a huge maternity pillow, you can get a small wedge that goes under your hips and tummy comfortably. Wedges are more cost-effective and versatile for this reason.

    Sometimes all you need to get comfy is extra support for your hips and growing belly, and the wedge pillow is wonderful at providing that. It will also help you stay in place instead of rolling over.

    How To Beat Overheating

    My son was born near the end of July, so you can imagine how miserably hot I was during the third trimester! Many pregnant women face a major problem staying cool, especially at night. Pillows and blankets, as comforting as they are, only make it worse.

    Overheating and temperature discomfort could be the reason why you can’t catch those precious hours of sleep.

    Changing a few small things may help ease the burden of heat and humidity.

    1. Bamboo sheets

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    In the summertime, bamboo sheets are a great investment for anyone, pregnant or not. Since they’re made of natural fiber, they help to regulate your temperature, wick away moisture, and are extremely breathable and soft.

    You can continue to snuggle in without waking up sweating during your 5 nightly pee breaks.

    2. Breathable pajamas

    Women’s Pajamas in Bamboo Viscose (Bamboo Bliss) Cozy Sleepwear Set by Texere
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    Bamboo is also a great choice when it comes to picking what you wear to bed. Lightweight, bamboo pajamas, specifically designed for pregnancy, offer many of the same benefits of bamboo sheets — they wick away moisture and are soft as anything!

    As a bonus, pregnancy-specific designs will often include easy access to the breast for nursing when the little one arrives. You can have comfortable, breathable pajamas that last from the third trimester to the hospital, and back home with your baby.

    3. Cooling pillow

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    If all else fails, a cooling pillow can bring you relief. Many of these specialty pillows include cooling gel, memory foam, and have unique features to allow improved airflow through the pillow.

    You can only turn a regular pillow over so many times until neither side is cool, so this is a good way to stay happy throughout the night.

    How To Sleep More Soundly

    Sometimes it’s not the thoughts in your head keeping you awake — sometimes it’s the outside world. When you’re already uncomfortable and struggling to sleep, even passing cars or the night sounds of your home can keep you wide awake.

    At times like these, it helps to drown out your worries and just listen to white noise. Sound machines help eliminate many exterior noises or help soothe anxiety and your need for stimulation (1).

    Use a Sound Machine

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    If you choose a sound machine to provide background noise that will help cart you off to dreamland, you can go simple or fancy. Some machines will generate different pitches of white noise. Others will offer you nature sounds.

    From one pregnant mother to another, I’d suggest avoiding waterfall noises. You’ll be making enough trips to the bathroom without the added encouragement of raindrops!

    Budgeting Tip

    Some free apps exist that will also generate white noise. Download them onto your phone, link them to any home speaker, and drift away!
    Learn More
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    3 Other Pregnancy Sleep Aids

    Some sleep aids belong entirely in a league of their own and defy categorization. If you’re already using pregnancy pillows, bamboo sheets, lavender oils, and a sound machine — you aren’t out of options yet!

    1. Melatonin moisturizers

    Melatonin Sleep Night Cream With Lavendar & Chamomile (4oz)
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    Melatonin-infused creams can help soothe your body, enhance skin regeneration and hydration, and prevent itching all while helping you sleep. They’re good for you, your skin, and your sleeping habits.

    Melatonin moisturizers work just like a moisturizing lotion and feel amazing, leaving you happier and healthier in the morning.

    Take Note

    Melatonin isn’t for everyone. Always consult with your physician before applying melatonin to your skin or ingesting it as a supplement.

    2. Prenatal teas

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    Caffeine isn’t something you should be having while pregnant — unless advised to by your doctors — which is why many people suggest avoiding tea. However, caffeine-free herbal teas can be both safe and beneficial to pregnancy insomnia.

    Relaxing with a cup before bed can help your body get on the right track sooner, allowing you to fall asleep faster. Consult with your doctor which herbal teas are safe during pregnancy prior to using

    3. Tummy drops

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    The term “morning sickness” is a bit of a misdirect, because that lovely wave of nausea can hit any time, including in the middle of the night.

    If you suffer from horrible heartburn, morning sickness, and general digestive problems, natural tummy drops may help.

    Pillow Power

    You can also get a different kind of wedge pillow designed to prop you up and ease acid reflux. Your standard wedge pillow will work for this too!

    Ready For Bed?

    So you’re having trouble sleeping — we feel you, we’ve been there.

    Luckily, with the help of pregnancy-safe sleep aids such as maternity pillows, white noise machines, and more, you have options to help you ease you into dreamland — and keep you there.

    Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

    Reviewed by

    Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

    Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.
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