Pregnant women diagnosed with sleep disorders are more likely to deliver prematurely, a new study revealed.
The observational study, published online in Obstetrics and Gynecology, included 2,172 women with sleep disorder who delivered between 2007 and 2012 to single children after 22 weeks to 44 weeks of gestation. They were compared with the same number of women with the identical ethnic, health and behavioural characteristics, but they did not have sleep problems.
Overall. 14.6% of the women with sleep problems delivered before 37 weeks of gestation compared with 10.9% of those without diagnosed sleep disorders. Women with insomnia had a 30% increased risk and those with sleep apnea a 40% increased risk, compared with those without sleep problems. Women diagnosed with insomnia had nearly twofold higher risk for an early preterm birth ( less than 34 weeks of gestation) compared with women without recorded sleep disorders diagnosis.
“Sleep disorders are often undiagnosed because poor sleep is common in pregnant women. However, women having sleep problems which tend to be severe, impairing and distressing need to talk to their health care providers,” said the lead author, Jennifer N. Felder, a post doctoral researcher in psychology at University of California, San francisco.