It’s without a doubt that if there is one thing that is on top of every new mother’s needs it’s sleep. But according to a new study, you don’t want to have too little of it or too much of it, especially if you are pregnant and expecting.
New research suggests that long period of undisturbed sleep may be associated with stillbirth. The findings, which appear in the journal Birth, suggest an association between lengthy periods of undisturbed maternal sleep and stillbirths that were independent of other risk factors.
“Pregnant women often report waking up and getting up in the middle of the night,” says lead author Louise O’Brien, Ph.D., M.S., a researcher in the Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Neurology, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Michigan Medicine. “While multiple awakenings during the night may concern some women, in the context of stillbirth it appears to be protective.”
Many expectant mothers know that getting enough sleep during pregnancy is important for both the mother and her unborn baby. But because there are so many changes that go through your body, it’s not always easy to get shut eye. That, or many moms find it very difficult to wake up in the mornings.
In addition, there are a number of issues that can make it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. Pregnancy can also affect both the quantity and quality of sleep a woman gets, affecting her in ways that go beyond feeling exhausted during the day.
So, what’s a pregnant woman to do? Get an ample amount of rest, of course, but if you are feeling more tired than usual, definitely talk to your doctor or a trusted health professional. And if you are really worried about getting too much sleep, make sure that you go to bed at about the same time every night and set your alarm to make sure you get up at the same time every morning.
Also, keep in mind that sleeping too much is linked with many of the same health risks as sleeping too little, including heart disease, metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity, and cognitive issues including difficulty with memory. The average adult should get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep.