Insomnia and Pregnancy: the Importance of Sleep
You know that sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re pregnant, sometimes it’s challenging to get enough rest due to discomfort or anxiety. However, if you have insomnia or other sleep disorders, you might want to consider the effects it could have on your pregnancy.
Insomnia and Pregnancy
A new study found that women with sleeping disorders are more likely to have a premature birth than women without them. According to an article in the New York Times, the study looked at over 2,000 women who gave birth between 2007 and 2012 with sleep disorders and compared them with 2,000 women without sleep disorders.
The study found that “Women with sleep disorders had a 14.6 percent prevalence of preterm birth (a birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy) compared with 10.9 percent in those without a diagnosis.” Additionally, women with insomnia had a 30 percent increased risk, and women with sleep apnea had a 40 percent increased risk of having a premature birth, compared to women without either disorder.
Will Lack of Sleep Affect a Baby’s Development?
Research indicates that once disturbances in sleep occur, the amount of blood flow to the placenta decreases. This reduces the number of hormones necessary for growth and development. Even small declines in oxygen levels in pregnant women can endanger a fetus.
Types of Sleeping Disorders
Many pregnant women experience disturbances in their sleep. However, if you experience sleepless nights every night, it may be due to an underlying disorder such as:
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
- Sleep apnea
- Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux (nighttime GERD)
- Frequent Nighttime Urination
If you’re pregnant and experiencing poor sleep or have a diagnosed sleeping disorder, we suggest reaching out to an OB/GYN at Women’s Care. Although a lack of sleep is common among pregnant women, if you have a severe issue, it could become problematic.
To learn more about this study, click here.