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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Davis, LMT, CNMT

5 Ways to Improve Sleep During Pregnancy (Spoiler alert: it's NOT a pregnancy pillow!)

As a Prenatal Massage Therapist, I talk with my pregnant client a LOT about sleep! Sleep allows the body to heal, and is required to support EVERY function in the human body, including growing that new human! Better sleep means you feel better, think more clearly, and probably experience less pain.


So when you're pregnant, and you're waking up all night to pee, or with leg cramps, or because you just can not get comfortable, you're not getting optimal sleep. Below are my top 5 recommendations to help improve your sleep during pregnancy.


These are items I love, and have recommended for years. All opinions are my own, I receive no compensation for my review. While not all 5 ways to improve sleep involve a purchase, some might. In those cases, I've included a link to purchase. If you take action (i.e. make a purchases) after clicking one of the affiliate links, I'll earn a small commission. These commissions are going into a special account to support the philanthropic efforts of Gaia Massage, and support our mission of giving back to the community. You do not pay a higher price.


pregnant woman laying on her side, supported by a belly wedge pillow

1 Belly Wedge Pillow

This is the most pregnancy-specific item I’ll recommend. My favorite is the Hiccapop Belly Wedge pillow because it has a firm and soft side, and it’s large enough to accommodate your belly no matter how far along in your pregnancy you are, or your body type. This can also be used to help support your lower back when sitting up in bed or on the couch postpartum. Multifunctional for the win!



2 Ditch the "Pregnancy Pillow"!

I'm just really not a fan of these pillows. These can get pretty pricey, and don’t really accommodate your body well. Instead, spend that money on standard and king size pillows. These can be configured to better support your body, and because they are standard sizes, won’t become obsolete after birth!


3 Yoga Strap or Stretching Strap

Yoga straps and stretching straps are amazing tools to assist in stretching when those nighttime leg cramps kick in. And these are also an item you’ll be able to use long after birth. Keep this within reach of the bed.

Pro Tip: keep a yoga strap looped on one end so you can just slip a foot in and get that calf stretched out!



wrist compression sleeves shown on hands

4 Wrist Supports

Some people experience carpal tunnel symptoms during pregnancy. These symptoms tend to be most prevalent at night, and are thought to be caused by swelling. Having  wrist compression gloves or wrist braces can help minimize the tingling and numbness.




5 Belly Massage

Include a belly massage ritual into your regular nighttime routine. You can use a specific belly oil, or just grab some coconut oil from your pantry! Use the pressure of a gentle hug all over your belly in slow, circular strokes. This can be a relaxing way to intentionally connect with your baby, practice some sleep self care, and even bond with your partner!  (Bonus points if they look up a how-to on their own!)


Try out these tips to start seeing an improvement in your sleep!


Need more support? Schedule a Prenatal Massage! Studies have shown that sleep is improved after a session!


Photo of Samantha Davis, LMT Certified Prenatal and Postpartum Massage Therapist




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