How can I get more sleep in pregnancy

pregnancy and sleep blog

I've created a Back Pain Relief course for Mums-to-be and one of the modules is all about sleep

Quality of sleep has a strong association with back pain.

It also affects stress levels which can have a knock-on effect on your pelvic floor

I really struggled at the beginning of the first lockdown and was waking at 4-5am every morning.  To begin with I stayed in bed for a couple of hours, just trying to get back to sleep but never really managing to

I came to the conclusion that it was better to get up and get some work done.  And enjoy the only bit of quiet time to myself.

I also enjoyed standing outside on the grass in barefeet (grounding - can also help with sleep), listening to the bird song that I could only hear now that the traffic was non-existent

But I also implemented all the tips below and did start to sleep more deeply and for longer

How to create a sleep sanctuary:


  • have your room as dark as possible when you're going to sleep - blackout curtains are ideal
  • get as much daylight as you can during the day - if you're working from home try to be in the lightest area of the house
  • aim to get outside every day for at least 10 minutes before 3pm - outdoors light is always going to be better quality than indoors


  • keep the bedroom cool
  • wear light clothing so you don't get too hot.  Ideally your clothes should be unrestrictive too
  • bed sheets need to be breathable


  • get fresh air into the room during the day if you can
  • use air filtering plants in the room
  • get out in the fresh air during the day

Avoid having electronics in the room if you can

Ideally the bedroom is for sleeping in and not a general purpose room.  This will help with sleep association

Other things that can help:

Having an evening routine.  This is your time to unwind and prepare for sleep

  • turn the phone off - preferably 1 hour before bedtime.  If this isn't possible blue light glasses or blue light blocking apps can help
  • dim the lights
  • read, preferably fiction
  • bath or shower
  • breathe/meditate
  • journal


  • movement during the day will help with sleep at night
  • avoid strenuous exercise close to bedtime
  • stretches or self massage can be useful as an aid to unwind

Another thing I implemented was waking up slowly

  • not turning the lights on straight away - keeping it dim and close to natural light
  • not switching on my phone straight away - I tend not to switch on now until 8am
  • doing relaxing activities to start with.  For me this is journalling, lymphatic release and hypopressives. And I've started grounding again now it's warmer!

I'm now getting a decent 7 hours plus sleep most nights - the final tweak for me was replacing our 20-something year old mattress!

Interestingly, I got an email this morning from Calm that says the fact we can't fall asleep is not the issue.  The issue is how we react to not falling asleep.

"If we weren't able to sleep but we're okay with it, we'd lie in bed, perfectly relaxed and get a significant amount of healing rest even if we weren't sleeping.  Then, fairly soon, in our relaxed state we'd eventually drift off.

But most of us don't maintain a sense of calm.  We react to not being able to fall asleep.  We get anxious, thinking about the day ahead and how much we have to do, how we need to be well rested, and the more anxious we get, the further we push sleep away.

So the key to getting sleep is in becoming less reactive to not sleeping, to not let being awake bother us so much."

Their suggestion is to meditate in the morning, to help practice mindfulness first thing - this will help you deal with stress in the day more calmly.  It will also help ingrain non-reactivity, so that it becomes more natural at night-time too.

So that's the next thing I'm going to add to my morning ritual.

What can you implement?

p.s. if you're interested in Back Pain Relief for Mums-To-Be the course it's part of my Pregnancy Membership.  Or it can be bought as a stand-alone product here

Back Pain Relief For Mums-To-Be


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