Pregnant Patient Perceptions of Provider Detection and Treatment of Insomnia

Behav Sleep Med. 2020 Nov-Dec;18(6):787-796. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2019.1688153. Epub 2019 Nov 6.


Objective: To survey pregnant patients about whether their health care providers assessed insomnia, the types of treatment recommendations providers made, and the types of treatments patients utilized. Participants: Participants were 423 English-speaking pregnant women. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, participants self-reported insomnia symptoms on the Insomnia Severity Index and indicated whether they discussed their sleep with a health care provider, whether they received any recommendations to improve their sleep, and whether they utilized any interventions or aids to improve their sleep during their current pregnancy. Results: Approximately one-third (39%) of participants reported that they discussed their sleep with a health care provider at some point during their pregnancy. Among participants who reported moderate to severe insomnia symptoms (Insomnia Severity Index>14), 57% reported that they had discussed their sleep with a health care provider, and 28% reported receiving an insomnia diagnosis. Over-the-counter medication was the most commonly recommended (53%) and utilized (39%) sleep intervention among women with moderate to severe insomnia symptoms. Conclusions: According to patient report, insomnia may be under-detected during pregnancy. When insomnia is recognized, treatment recommendations do not match clinical practice guidelines or women's preferences for receiving cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia. Taken together with previous research on the prevalence and consequences of prenatal insomnia, these findings suggest the need for an increased focus on the importance of sleep during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Perception
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*