Study Links Poor Sleep to Gestational Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Researchers are presenting new information from a study that links poor sleep among pregnant women with gestational weight gain.

Previous studies have pointed to a link between obesity and weight gain among women who are not pregnant. The researchers in this study set out to determine the relationship between objectively measured sleep duration and weight gain during pregnancy.

Women  were recruited to wear an actigraph to record objective sleep activity for seven consecutive days. Women with pregestational diabetes and chronic hypertension were excluded from the study. Sleep duration was calculated as an average across study nights. The majority of women (74.8%) had a sleep duration between seven and nine hours.

The data suggested that both short and long sleep duration in pregnancy are associated with gestational weight gain.

“We know that poor sleep in pregnancy has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes,” explained Francesca Facco, M.D., one of the researchers of the study who is with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD NuMoM2b Network in Bethesda, Md.  “Our findings provide a potential mechanism for poor sleep in pregnancy and adverse outcomes.”

Source: News Release