Getting quality sleep at night is hard enough as it is. But if you’re expecting? Well, you’re in for a bumpy ride—literally and figuratively. Sleeping while pregnant is a whole new ball game.

Your belly starts to weigh you down and puts pressure on your bladder. Your hormones are racing and a number of body aches and urges start to take control. It’s no surprise then that according to the National Sleep Foundation, 78% of women reported having difficulty sleeping more during pregnancy than at any other time.

Many women experience rising levels of hormones during pregnancy, specifically progesterone, a hormone that is made. This is one of the main influences in changes to your sleep cycle. But other things are contributing to a loss of sleep.

  • New pregnancy symptoms: You may experience more fatigue during the day, an uptake in nausea, be uncomfortably warm at night and the need to frequently urinate.

  • Stress and worry: On top of it, pregnancy has a lot of emotional demands. Stress of an upcoming delivery, never-ending to-dos, familial responsibilities and work can all have you feeling overwhelmed. The time that you finally lie down to sleep is when all of these worries come flooding in.

  • Body aches and pains: Furthermore, you might start to feel it wear down your body a bit more. It’s harder to find the perfect sleeping position with a growing belly. Your muscles might feel a bit more inflamed and backaches become common.

  • Sleep disorders: In addition, pregnancy heightens the prevalence of sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome (RLS). The latter causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs and the urge to move them. It just so happens to peak at night when a person is resting, leaving it as one of the main reasons behind sleeplessness for mothers to be. In fact, RLS can affect up to 30% of pregnant women.

This is the time when you need sleep the most. And while it might feel easier to “brush it off” and think that you’re mentally preparing for sleepless nights with a newborn, think again. It becomes even harder once the baby is born so the sooner you can get into some good sleep habits, the sooner you can be the energetic, present mother you wish to be.

Why is sleep so important during pregnancy?

This is an exciting and exhausting time, your body is going through rapid changes and your mind is just trying to process it all. Not to mention, you have a growing baby to support. This is why decent sleep is more important than ever before, for your brain, blood circulation, immune system and body. However, with all the tossing and turning, those blissful dreams feel out of reach.

And sleep deprivation during pregnancy is unfortunately linked to a number of potential adverse outcomes, including high blood pressure, longer labor, higher cesarean rates, postpartum depression, and gestational diabetes.

If sleeping woes are getting you down, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you get a good night’s sleep during your pregnancy.

Maximizing sleep comfort while pregnant: 10 helpful tips

To gain back some control over your sleep and life, try implementing the following strategies into your day-to-day and see if anything changes in your sleep quality.

Final thoughts

Being pregnant brings on a swell of new changes and it’s only just the start. Bringing new life into the world is an exciting, stimulating and exhausting time; all the more reason why getting restful sleep is vital.