Second trimester sleep

Advice on getting a good nights sleep in the second trimester of pregnancy, with information on sleep problems, insomnia and the benefit of naps
The second trimester is often known of the honeymoon period of pregnancy as for many women the nausea and fatigue experienced during the first trimester subsides. The placenta joining you and your baby has now developed and levels of the sleep-inducing hormone progesterone lower, leaving you feeling less drowsy and more energised. Additionally, nighttime trips to the toilet may become less frequent for a while as the position of your uterus changes placing less pressure on your bladder.

If you haven't started already, you should now begin to sleep on your left hand side as this recommended as the best sleep position for you and your baby as the circulation of blood and nutrients around your body is facilitated. Lying with your knees slightly bent and using pillows to support your lower back and growing bump is likely to make this position more comfortable. You may decide to invest in a special maternity pillow although regular pillows can also be used to relieve pressure on your joints.

The second trimester is also a good time to begin to establish a bedtime routine so that your body knows when to expect rest. Try to go to bed and rise at approximately the same time each night to help 'set' your body clock for the third trimester. Taking half an hour to wind down before you actually get into bed will also help sleep come more easily. A warm bath, hot milky drink or even a massage from your partner (if they can be persuaded) will all help you to relax and prepare your body for sleep.

Make the most of your rediscovered energy and take part in some gentle physical exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming as this will do wanders for your health and also make nodding off to sleep that much easier. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet with little 'junk food' or caffeine and plenty of water will also leave you feeling full of vitality and more likely to sleep at night. Additionally, now your waistline is beginning to expand it is a good time to invest in some maternity nightwear that is comfortable and leaves room for you to grow. Pyjamas that are too tight tend to dig in, restrict your movement and are likely to disrupt an otherwise good nights sleep.

You may experience strange, vivid dreams during the night but try not to worry about their meaning - they are simply a mechanism that your brain uses to process the huge physical and emotional changes that you are going through.

At some point during the second trimester you will begin to feel your baby moving, this will become more pronounced as you near the end of this phase of your pregnancy. Your baby is unlikely to have the same sleep-wake cycle as you do so expect to feel some kicks in the night!

Unfortunatly some women still suffer from nausea right through the second trimester of their pregnancy. Ginger tea, fizzy water and plain foods such as crackers or bananas may help to settle your stomach - it's a good idea to keep a stash by your bed for emergencies. However, if you are still feeling very unwell and unable to sleep it is always best to seek advice from your GP or healthcare professional.

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I am in my 20th week,i get bad nightmares and can't sleep after that. my sides hurt so i try to sleep on my tummy which is not very comfortable either how do i rest easy?
by Amarula 8th Aug 2013, 9:58am
I am 15 weeks in and I have a problem with my sleep pattern. I work, in a bar/pub and I get given shifts to work till 1 and 2am I cannot get used to this anymore I just cannot do it. I am up at 8am every morning Monday to Friday and am knackered by the time I have to start work and am tired by 11pm and I am working till 1am and 2am, what do I do? Any ideas?
by cazza84 20th Jun 2013, 3:47pm
I am 18 weeks pregnant, i dont vomit i sleep very well at night but i cant sleep on my left side, i roll alot, i dont feel the kicking of my baby very well but i feel my belly beat like a heart beat
by Ubass 20th Jun 2013, 3:41pm
i now feel slight pains at my side(down my abdomen). the doctor said it could be appendix, he said if it persist, i ll be placed on antibiotics.
what is your opinion?
by ayoakin 13th Jul 2011, 10:05am
same here karisa, absolutely shattered during the day (have started sleeping when my 17 month old has his afternoon nap!!) but then at night I'm left staring at the ceiling!! I'm 23 weeks gone now and finally stopped with the nausea, mostly. Just sleep issues to deal with!! I avoid caffeine, drink camomile tea, eat my meals early etc. Any help greatly appreciated.
by witchgirl 11th Aug 2010, 5:12pm
im 22 weeks and cant seem to get any sleep what-so-ever i mean i was up all night long last night doing laundry and watching tv cause i couldnt sleep i was up at 6 this morning when my husband went to work. im so tired i just cant seem to get any rest. any thoughts?
by karisa 14th May 2010, 5:19pm
Im 15 weeks and for most of my pregnancy I have had really strange dreams were I have felt the emotions of them. Very strange indeed but trying to go with the flow and not looking into things too much. Having trouble sleeping at this point as I feel like I have been kicked up the backside. My back is really sore but not just at the bottom also around the base of my bra strap which is not tight. I have also torn the ligaments in my wrist so very painful also. Will have operation on it after Bubbles is born. Still feelin really tired but think thats just down to gettin no sleep and not the baby. Other than that I am thrilled to bits that Im carrying my little miracle.
by jojo999 14th May 2010, 4:47pm
I am 17 weeks pregnant with twins and just started feeling the babies kick although twin 2 seems to be more active. I struggle to have a full nights sleep and am actually having more frequent trips to the loo in the middle of the night, i dont mind though. I am getting some really upsetting vivid dreams when i finally get to sleep. I am sooo big already people think i am a lot further gone i am not naturally big so its quite a shock, Good luck to you all x x
by sam2010 14th May 2010, 3:55pm
i'm 22 weeks pregnant with twins and usually sleep on my side i have always tossed and turned during the night and sleep on both sides but recently have found that if I sleep on my left twin 1 gives me such a boot until swap sides or lie on my back.Sometimes i can get away with it if i have a pillow behind me to support my back so my bump isn't touching the mattress
by angelkixx 8th Feb 2010, 9:22am
i am 15 weeks pregnant at that stage of kind of not feeling pregnant but no i am,feeling quite anxious got another scan mid next month. I find that i am not getting that much sleep i think i need to invest in a pillow. i have grown quite fast but now feels like everything is moving really slow. tend to get cramps alot but it will all pay off!!!xx
by naomimay 15th Jan 2010, 4:26pm
hi i'm 16 weeks and one day. and my belly is pretty big i have my ultrasound on the 18th of dec. i'm so excited to see if i can see the sex of the baby. lately i can't sleep as almost like im too hyper . but i know i need to be getting my rest for me and my body aches all the time too.. ouch!
by BlondeDoll 11th Dec 2009, 9:20am
I am 16 weeks and I always wake up in the night to go to toilet. My sickness seems to be getting better but now my tummy feels really heavy as I am getting bigger. Looking forward to baby coming!
by babyrjnels 9th Oct 2009, 9:27am
I'm in my 2nd trimester, and I've been having horribly violent dreams!! I'm glad to read that having vivid/strange dreams is normal. I've also been having some very bad mood swings! I'm generally such a nice person!!
by TechnoMommy 4th Sep 2009, 10:51am
i am in my 17th week and still have bad morning sikness. all i want is for it to go away and my pregnancy wil be grate... wiv me last i ad morning sikness for 7 munths till givin birth...
by loobylou18 27th Aug 2009, 8:43am
im 19weeks now. last week was the first week i wasnt sick yaaay!!!! iv also just started to feel our little muffin moving around. still very tired and need to go to the loo ALOT. xxx
by cheeekytoad 14th Jul 2009, 5:57pm
im 19 wks exactly today i really struggle to sleep due to having pelvic displacia and when i do finally sleep i wake up at 5am every morning to go to the bathroom. I always have pains in my lower back and pelvis when i wake up but again this is due to the problems i have. I do find walking does help me get tired and a hot bath afterwards xxxxxxxxxxx
by LissyBear 29th May 2009, 9:31am
18 weeks 1 day and I wake up every night to use the restroom. I am having a harder time sleeping at night.
by MichiganMandy 19th May 2009, 12:16pm
im 19 week an i find it ok to sleep but muy right legs get pains in it but iv been wakin up earlyer then normal an i can sleep all day some days but overall im lovin my pregnancy crnt wait to meet my baby xxxxxxxxx
by jadeXX2009XX 8th May 2009, 9:54am
im 14 weeks pregnant with twins, my sleep has got better within the last week. i still wake up during the night but not for 3hrs of staring at my dark room anymore. ive always slept on my side and have 8 pillows to keep me upright as im trying to advoid heartburn as with my other 3 kids i suffered badly. im still being sick every morning but its better as i was being sick up to 12 times a day during the beginning
by specialone5552 27th Apr 2009, 9:36am
I am 19 nearly 20 weeks pregnant. I don't seem to have a sleep pattern at the minute, waking up at all hours, to be sick, or to 'dash' to the toilet. I find it much more comfortable sleeping on my left hand side, snuggling into the back of my partner. This doesn't seem to be settling. I have not yet begun to 'grow' but i can regularly feel the baby moving. This started in week 16. I really am not enjoying being pregnant, as i am ALWAYS tired, hungry, and moody. But i am very excited to meet my little boy in August. I hope this helped :) x
by laurenscott 6th Apr 2009, 9:23am
I'm 14 weeks i have an a strange sleep patern i seam 2 find it had 2 get 2 sleep then when i do i seam 2 wake up every 2 hours , and when i lay on my stomoch i find it strange and that i mite harm my baby? can any 1 give any advise ?
by jadexsweety 17th Mar 2009, 9:24am
I'm just over 16 weeks pregnant..I look huge already..although I've been told my baby is very active I cant yet feel my baby move but I feel gas and bubbles in my stomach..I feel more comfortable lying both ways on my side but then I get aches and pains on my shoulders and my lower back..I don't know if this is normal but I sleep all the way through day and night..I find it very difficult to keep awake..I feel like I need to sleep 24 hours of the day..
by denizz 2nd Mar 2009, 9:28am
I am finding it really difficult to sleep myself at night and sometime during the middle of the night I'm wide awake looking around the dark room and watching my hubby sleep!! I am most comfortable when on my left but slightly on my stomach and am worried that I may be harming my baby is this possible...? I am 24 weeks pregnant. Otherwise during the day baby is active and it feels great!! Loving being pregnant and would love it even more if I could get some sleep lol xxx
by LayJae 25th Feb 2009, 9:29am
I can't seem to get to sleep at all. I'm lucky if i get a few hours before I'm laying wide awake in bed!
by kickflare 28th Jan 2009, 9:03am
i had a little twinge in my somach d other week i dnt tink its n e tink 2 wory bout i heard it is only ur utlurs gettin bigger. but i keep worryinm im guno lose it
by kazza65 5th Jan 2009, 9:22am
I am 1 week shy of 5 months along, I find that I am most comfortable on my Left side, but for some reason every morning I wake up either on my back or my stomach. It hurts when I wake up on my tummy since my bladder is usually very full, plus my bump is (in my opionion) large. I've heard that if I put a pillow between my legs it will help me stay put, but also I've had lots of hip pain, and my upper thighs are sore as well. I have been taking a nice warm bath quite a few nights a week to help relax my body, but it seems like that only helps during the night, my body starts to ache first thing in the morning all over again. Oh, and people think I'm having twins too, I think it's just bc this is my 3rd so I am showing quickly.
by smileymommy 11th Dec 2008, 9:40am
i also keep getting pain in my hip , left side, doc says it is sciatica. swimming is supposed to help, will give it ago. a hot water bottle on my hip really makes it feel nice though!! i too cant lie on my back and also find my right side more comfortable. i wake in the night for the loo alot, in the 1st tri i didnt have much morning sickness but have started to get some now. !!! typical me. i am 14 weeks ! my bump is huge !!! everyone thinks i am having twins !!!
by magicbunn 13th Nov 2008, 9:37am
even tho ive been pretty textbook with symptoms so far ive suddenly changed. started feeling nauseous again and more tired then ever. tiredness is probably down to rubbish sleep. i get up for the loo more than before and have trouble sleeping due to immense hip pain and cant get comfy. gonna order a new mattress tomorrow to help!. seems my right side is more comfy than left too and cant even lie on my back for 2 minutes cos of heavy pulse feeling in my belly.
by BJP 20th Oct 2008, 10:58am
I have struggled since becoming pregnant to sleep on my left side or my back, the only confortable side is my right side, now i am worried as it states i should sleep on my left side - i think i am probably being a worried first time mum!!!!
by LittleLockers 6th May 2008, 8:46am
Eventhough I go to sleep on my left side, when I wake up in the mornings I am generally on my back. I used to sleep on my stomach so this is weird for me. I am worried that this may effect the baby.
by darkpr1ncezz 2nd Apr 2008, 8:45am
im exactlt the same it takes me ages trying to get comfortable wherever i am. and im 4 days of being 5 months. i think its just the weight gain thats the problem i hope it gets better soon though. x
by natalie8712 25th Feb 2008, 8:40am
i am 5 months pregnant and have just brought a new mattress but now my back is starting to hurt,but just on the lower right hand side. i know it can't be the mattress because when i lay on the sofa it's also hard to get up,and the pain starts.i don't have a very big bump either, can anyone suggest anything,or is anyone going through the same situation????
by BABYMONKEY 10th May 2007, 9:04am