Sleep in late pregnancy predicts length of labor and type of delivery

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Dec;191(6):2041-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2004.05.086.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that fatigue and sleep disturbance in late pregnancy are associated with labor duration and delivery type.

Study design: In a prospective observational study of 131 women in their ninth month of pregnancy, objective (48-hour wrist actigraphy) and subjective (sleep logs and questionnaires) measures were used to predict labor outcomes using analysis of variance and logistic regression.

Results: Controlling for infant birth weight, women who slept less than 6 hours at night had longer labors and were 4.5 times more likely to have cesarean deliveries. Women with severely disrupted sleep had longer labors and were 5.2 times more likely to have cesarean deliveries. Fatigue was unrelated to labor outcomes.

Conclusion: Health care providers should prescribe 8 hours of bed time during pregnancy to assure adequate sleep and should include sleep quantity and quality in prenatal assessments as potential predictors of labor duration and delivery type.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section
  • Cohort Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Stage, First
  • Labor Stage, Second
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Time Factors