View Full Version : Help! I can't sleep on my left side.

07-08-2010, 08:43 AM
OK, this is weird. I've always been a side sleeper. Always on my right. Now that I'm pregnant, I know I'm supposed to sleep on my left, and I always go to sleep that way.

I even have a Snoogle that I've propped around myself, hoping that would hold me in place. But sometime around the middle of the night, I drift to lying flat on my back or sleeping on my right side. It's how I've slept since childhood and I don't know how to change it.

How bad is it, really? Does anyone have any suggestions for staying on my left?

07-08-2010, 08:50 AM
My CNM gave me the all clear for sleeping however I could and wanted to.


07-08-2010, 09:42 AM
Its ok to end up on the other side, by the end of my pregnancy it was painful to stay on one side too long so I ended up going back and forth from one side to the other.

07-08-2010, 09:57 AM
I can't imagine spending all night on my left side. I start out there because I can breathe better, but eventually I end up on my right side or my back. I would think your hips would hurt staying on one side all of the time. Also, no one sleeps in the same position all night, whether pg or not. Don't worry about it!

07-08-2010, 10:00 AM
My doc said that if you wake up on your back to just flip over onto your side. I go from one side to the other all night long- have to or else my hips just kill me!

07-08-2010, 10:03 AM
hey congratulations!!!...........how far along are you? i know its difficult to sleep in any one position through the night......but there is a reason it is recommended to sleep on left side though its not a rule..............there is a large blood vessel called inferior vena cava on right side, which will be compressed when you sleep on your back(more) and right side(less).....this will affect blood flow from legs to heart,flow to kidneys and also fetus........
So dont be too tensed about waking up on ur back or right side......just turn over on left side and sleep when you are aware......alternating between right n left side thru the night may also be good

i am in my ninth month and still using the snoogle to sleep......it has helped me a lot......bring it very close to ur back when you sleep on your side, so even if u turn over at night, u r not completely flat on your back.....you will be tilted to your side,which is good enough.........
hope this helps!!!

07-08-2010, 11:51 AM
You could sleep on your right side if you are more comfortable that way. At this point you do what's comfortable for you.

When I was pregnant with DD2, my DH got me a tempur-pedic body pillow & I am using it through my third pregnancy now. I do sleep on my left side (because it's comfortable) & I wrap myself around the pillow before I go to sleep.

07-08-2010, 02:30 PM
I would get a horrible pain in my hip when I slept on my left side (all three pregnancies). I slept on my right side. It was fine! There were many nights I'd wake up on my back and just flip back to the side.

You'll be fine on your right side.

07-08-2010, 04:39 PM
The reason for the left side is that there is a big artery on your right side that can be blocked when you sleep that way (this is according to my prenatal yoga instructor, so I'm not sure how true it is). That being said, I always had to switch sides at night because my left hip would lose circulation. When I was in labor, I couldn't even lay on my left side because when I did, DD's heart rate decelerated, so I had to stay on my back. In the end, I just think you should sleep however you can.

07-08-2010, 05:10 PM
The inferior vena cava is actually behind the uterus. That is why you shouldn't sleep on your back. The reason for sleeping on the left side, is because that provides optimum blood flow to the placenta.

Try bending your knees & putting a pillow between them. Put another pillow under your head (lengthwise) and kind of wrap your arms around it. That might help.

07-08-2010, 05:31 PM
I slept on my back and on my right side during both pregnancies out of habit. I always have to fall asleep on my right side, and eventually end up on my back.. Just sleep how you are comfortable. With DD1 no one ever mentioned not laying on the back after the first trimester (I did regular yoga twice weekly w/her including the night I went into labor) so it was news to me when it was mentioned at every pre natal yoga class and on this board.

07-08-2010, 11:05 PM
My OB said it is best to stay on either side and she said that if I woke up on my back, I would know if my circulation was decreasing because I would feel sick. I didn't wake up on my back at all (but I think that is because I HATE sleeping on my back!!!!!!!!!!) so I can't tell you if it actually happens!

I had to switch sides because my hips hurt too bad to sleep just on the left side.

07-09-2010, 01:28 AM
My OB says I should lie on the side (either is fine), and that if I wake up on my back just turn to one side.

For a couple of weeks at the start of my 3rd trimester I would get numb on my left arm whenever I lay on that side. Now that my belly is heavy, I just settle for either side. I don't have a snoogle, but I sleep on 2 pillows (I hate heartburn!) and have a cushion in between my legs.

07-09-2010, 03:09 AM
As my tummy has gotten larger recently, I've noticed that if I'm on my back for too long, then I'll feel light-headed and I'll feel a lot better when I lay on my left side. I can't stay in one position for the entire night though, and as long as I can fall asleep and stay asleep until I need to make the next bathroom trip, I'm content.