University of California, San Francisco, researchers recently put a numerical value on the importance of sleep during pregnancy. They found that women in late pregnancy who sleep less have longer labors, compared to those who sleep more. In the study, pregnant women who got less than 6 hours of sleep nightly spent an average of 29 hours in labor, compared to moms-to-be who got 7 or more hours of shut-eye and only labored for 17.5 hours on average. Moreover, the moms who slept the least (less than 6 hours) were also 4.5 times more likely to have a cesarean delivery. |
BabyFit Tip: Disrupted sleep is a common complaint among pregnant women. If you experience sleep disturbances several nights a week, discuss your concern with your health care provider. To ensure you're getting plenty of sleep, spend more time in bed. Study participants who spent the least amount of time in bed (going to bed later, etc.) slept less, likely because they limited their sleeping opportunities. Take advantage of naps, early bedtimes, and other lifestyle factors that will help you sleep more soundly, including exercise and relaxation techniques.