While there are mixed views as to what really happens when you sleep, it is sure that during sleep your body is able to repair, replenish and rejuvenate itself. Sleep is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and this is especially true for women who are pregnant. So now wondering about how much sleep does a pregnant woman need? We'll answer just that in this article. However, remember the number of hours of sleep each individual needs tends to vary and depends on your health and lifestyle. 

How Long Does a Pregnant Woman Need to Sleep?

Unlike what many believe, most pregnant women don't need more sleep than what is usually recommended as 6-8 hours. Unfortunately, most sleep is restless for pregnant women because their bodies are going through so many changes. This is why many women take more naps while they are pregnant.

So you would like to learn the tips below to get a full night's rest that will leave you with more energy for the day.

  • Move your bedtime to an earlier time and allow yourself to wake up an hour later. It is also a good idea to have someone help or get all the household chores done.

  • Take advantage of short breaks afternoon to get in a quick power nap. This will help boost your energy to get you through the rest of your work day.

  • Use the weekends to catch up on sleep. If possible, sleep for an extra hour or two over the weekends to allow your body to fully recharge from the long week.

Possible Problems Concerning Sleep During Pregnancy

The change the body goes through during pregnancy is just one of the reasons why women may have difficulty getting enough sleep while pregnant. Problems in each trimester you are in can also play a role in how much sleep does a pregnant woman need.

First Trimester

The first trimester tends to be an exhausting time for women. They face days of low energy, lethargy, and extreme fatigue. This is common because of the rise in progesterone and metabolic changes the body goes through during the first trimester. Any energy women may have will be used to help the baby grow. There are a number of reasons why women will not get a good night's sleep at this time.

Possible Problems:

  • Frequent urination - The increase in the progesterone level will increase the number of times you'll need to use the restroom. Combine this with the fact that the uterus is applying pressure to the bladder, you can be waking in the middle of the night a few times to relieve yourself.

  • Pain - Some of the changes the body is going through can lead to various aches and pains. Sensitive breast, cramping and back pain can keep many women up at night.

  • Morning sickness - Morning sickness doesn't occur just in the morning. Women feel nausea all through the day sometimes even through the late evening.


  • Stick to a sleep schedule - You want to plan on when you will be able to get the most restful sleep and this is better just for the evening when you go to bed. Schedule in naps around 2 or 4 p.m. to help you sleep better at night. How much sleep does a pregnant woman need for naps? 30-minute naps will be more beneficial in making you feel more energized.

  • Slow down on liquids - Keep your coffee or caffeinated drinks to the morning hours and around 6 p.m., you will want to limit how much you drink. This will help you reduce the bathroom visits in the middle of the night.

  • Keep crackers by the bed - If you find yourself feeling nauseous in the late evening, you'll want to have saltine crackers close by, instead of water or other drinks.

  • Exercise - Women who exercise in the early morning or afternoon tend to have a much easier night's sleep.


Second Trimester

During the second trimester, the body begins to adapt more to the changes taking place, so more sleep is possible. However, there are still issues that can keep you from sleeping peacefully.

Possible Problems:

  • Reflux - Heartburn tends to increase during the second trimester because the uterus begins to press against the stomach which causes acid to flow back up the esophagus. When you lay down to sleep, this only causes more pressure.

  • Cramps - Legs cramps begin to take place during the second trimester and will worsen as you transition into the third. Sharp pains in the calves can suddenly wake you from your sleep and keep you up for hours.

  • Dreams - Anxiety can hinder sleep which causes vivid and disturbing dreams through the night. This can be especially true for first-time moms.


  • Sit up after meals - Sitting up for a few hours after you have had a meal can help aid in the digestive process. Eat a larger breakfast and lighter dinner.

  • Watch what you eat - Avoid spicy, fried or acidic foods which are known to increases heartburn.

  • Cut back on carbonated drinks - Leg cramps can be due to a calcium imbalance and drink soft drinks will only decrease the calcium your body can metabolize.

  • Flex - You can stop leg cramps by flex and extend your feet

  • Relax - Try meditating, taking a warm bath or doing some prenatal yoga to help relax and quiet the mind before bed.


Third Trimester

Toward the end of the pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to wake three or more times throughout the evening, which can be caused by the following conditions. 

Possible Problems:

  • Pain - Back pain increases significantly during the third trimester, making it impossible to sleep.

  • Increase urination - Because the uterus is even larger, most women notice an increase again in how much they need to use the restroom.

  • Breathing troubles - During the third-trimester, excess weight and vascular congestion can restrict the airways.

  • RLS - Restless leg syndrome affects pregnant women who have low iron more . RLS is a tingling sensation in the legs that makes it difficult to sit still, disturbing your sleep. 


  • Sleep on your side - To reduce back pain, you'll want to sleep on your side and try keeping a pillow under your belly and between your knees if you are trying to meet your 6 to 8 hours after knowing "how much sleep does a pregnant woman need".

  • Limit liquid intake - Just like the first trimester, you want to reduce the amount of liquids you drink during the evening.

  • Talk with a sleep specialist - If sleep apnea and snoring are becoming major issues, you will want to have your sleep monitored and possibly be prescribed a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to help keep the airways open.

  • Leg massage - To soothe RLS, you want to take a light walk before bedtime as well as soaking in a warm tub and having a light leg message.

  • Watch what you eat - Increase consuming iron rich foods and limit your caffeine.


Fourth Trimester

Congratulations, you have given birth to your baby. Your sleep patterns will change drastically. However, there are still some problems that would affect your sleep. 

Possible Problems:

  • Baby Waking- The baby will be waking frequently to be fed or changed. If you are breastfeeding, sleep can be even more difficult.


  • Let the baby sleep in the same room - When you have the baby in a bassinet next to your bed, it will be less of a hindrance than having to walk all the way down the hall to tend to them.

  • Sync your sleep - When the baby sleeps, you'll want to sleep as well.

  • Work as a team - Have your partner take on the nighttime duties of waking when the babies wakes, so you can get a little extra sleep.


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