Insomnia and sleep deficiency in pregnancy

Obstet Med. 2015 Dec;8(4):168-71. doi: 10.1177/1753495X15600572. Epub 2015 Sep 21.


Insomnia and sleep deficiency in pregnancy are very common with most women reporting sleep disturbances during pregnancy. Insomnia and sleep deficiency are also more prevalent as pregnancy progresses, possibly related to pregnancy-related physical symptoms or discomfort. There is increasing evidence indicating that these sleep problems may be associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes such as depressive symptoms, increased pain during labor, more Caesarean sections, preterm birth, and low birth weight. Treatment of insomnia remains challenging as some of the more commonly used sleep inducing medications such as benzodiazepines and hypnotic benzodiazepine receptor agonists may be associated with adverse neonatal outcomes. Nonpharmacological treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy are available but the data in pregnancy is often lacking.

Keywords: Pregnancy; adverse outcomes; insomnia; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review