Poor sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy can disrupt normal immune processes and lead to lower birth weights and other complications, finds a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study published today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Women with depression also are more likely than non-depressed women to suffer from disturbed sleep and to experience immune system disruption and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
“Our results highlight the importance of identifying sleep problems in early pregnancy, especially in women experiencing depression, since sleep is a modifiable behavior,” said Michele Okun, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Pitt’s School of Medicine and lead author of the report. “The earlier that sleep problems are identified, the sooner physicians can work with pregnant women to implement solutions.”
Read Poor Sleep in Pregnancy can disrupt the Immune System and cause Birth-related Complications, Science Daily, 17 July 2013.
Sources: Disturbed Sleep and Inflammatory Cytokines in Depressed and Nondepressed Pregnant Women: An Exploratory Analysis of Pregnancy Outcomes. Psychomatic Medicine, 22 June 2012.