Parity and sleep patterns during and after pregnancy

Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Jan;95(1):14-8. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(99)00486-x.


Objective: To describe changes in women's sleep patterns from prepregnancy to postpartum.

Methods: Polysomnography was done in women's homes for 2 consecutive nights. Forty-five women were studied during the follicular and luteal phases of their menstrual cycles, and 33 conceived and were studied during each trimester of pregnancy. Twenty-nine were studied at 1 and 3 months postpartum.

Results: Compared with prepregnant sleep characteristics, significant changes in sleep patterns were evident by 11-12 weeks' gestation, with a significant increase in total sleep time but less deep sleep and more awakening during sleep. By the third month postpartum, there was improvement in sleep characteristics; however, sleep efficiency remained significantly lower than baseline prepregnancy values.

Conclusion: Sleep disturbance was greatest during the first postpartum month, particularly for first-time mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parity*
  • Postpartum Period / physiology*
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Sleep*
  • Sleep, REM
  • Time Factors