Between us all, our team of moms has birthed a lot of babies, and we’ve tried a lot of products marketed to help us sleep better during pregnancy. We know the challenge of trying to get comfortable with a growing belly and a kicking baby inside.
Although there is a whole range of products designed around helping pregnant mamas get some sleep, we can attest that only a few of them are truly helpful.
We’ve spent hours researching and sleep-testing all the newest products — and some old faithful ones too. From pillows to white noise machines to bedsheets, we compared them all.
As a result, we’ve created this list of 11 of the best pregnancy sleeping aids, so you can finally get a good night’s sleep.
- Maternity pillows, like U-shaped, C-shaped, and inflatable pillows, can help support your body and improve comfort during pregnancy.
- Bamboo sheets and breathable pajamas can help regulate temperature, while cooling pillows can provide relief from overheating.
- Sound machines can block external noises and help you sleep more soundly.
- Melatonin moisturizers, prenatal teas, and tummy drops may help improve sleep, but always consult your physician before using them.
How To Get Comfortable
Maternity pillows are the saving grace of any mama-to-be experiencing troublesome sleep before their baby is born. They come in all shapes and sizes and for every trimester and preferred sleeping position — yes, even stomach-sleepers.
Full body pillows are specifically designed to help support your back and hips, relieve pain, and align your body properly. They come in several different varieties, each with unique shapes and benefits.
1. The U-Shaped Body Pillow
Being pregnant loses some of its rosy glow when you’re struggling to sleep for hours every night. A full-body maternity pillow can help you find a comfortable position and give support in every troublesome area.
The U-shaped pillow’s unique shape is perfect for women who usually sleep on their sides or backs.
2. The C-Shaped Body Pillow
Found a little earlier in the pillow alphabet, the C-shaped maternity pillow is an excellent alternative to the all-around support a full-body maternity pillow gives.
A C-shaped pillow hugs one side of your body and supports your hips and lower back when used properly. Some C-shaped pillows even come with a wedge.
3. The Inflatable Pregnancy Pillow
Stomach sleepers rejoice! You no longer 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
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
Many pregnant women face a major problem staying cool, especially at night. As comforting as they are, pillows and blankets only make it worse.
Overheating and temperature discomfort could be 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
In the summertime, bamboo sheets are an excellent investment for anyone, pregnant or not. Since they’re made of natural fiber, they help regulate your temperature, wick away moisture, and are extremely breathable and soft.
You can continue to snuggle in without waking up sweating during your five nightly pee breaks.
2. Breathable Pajamas
Bamboo is also an excellent fabric choice for your PJs. Lightweight, bamboo maternity pajamas offer many of the same benefits as 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 your 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
If all else fails, a cooling pillow can bring you relief. These specialty pillows include cooling gel and 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
It’s not always 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 with white noise. Sound machines help eliminate many exterior noises and help soothe anxiety and your need for stimulation.
Use a Sound Machine
If you choose a sound machine to provide background noise to help cart you off to dreamland, you can go simple or fancy. Some machines will generate different pitches of white noise. Others offer 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!
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, and a sound machine — you aren’t out of options yet!
1. Melatonin Moisturizers
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.
We love how melatonin moisturizers soothe our skin, making it feel so soft and relieving any dryness. But it also eases our mind, helping us drift off to sleep and leaving us happier and healthier in the morning.
2. Prenatal Teas
As you’re probably already aware, you should avoid caffeine as much as possible while pregnant, which is why many people avoid tea. However, caffeine-free herbal teas can be both safe and beneficial for 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 about which herbal teas are safe during pregnancy before using them.
3. Tummy Drops
The term “morning sickness” is a bit of a misdirect because that lovely wave of nausea can hit any time, including the middle of the night.
If you suffer from horrible heartburn, morning sickness, and general digestive problems, natural tummy drops may help.