Sleep problems are common during pregnancy, but new research by AME researchers Jennifer Felder and Aric Prather indicates that more severe sleep disorders are associated with increased risk of preterm birth. They found that women with an insomnia diagnosis during pregnancy were at nearly two-fold higher risk of delivering before 34 weeks gestation. To learn more, see our article in the New York Times or listen to Dr. Felder’s interview on BBC World Service.
These findings are important because approximately 1 in 10 pregnant women deliver their baby too early in the United States, and preterm birth is a leading cause of death before age 5 globally. It's possible that by treating sleep disorders, we can reduce the preterm birth rate.
However, there is very little research on how best to improve sleep during pregnancy. Drs. Felder, Prather, and Epel are studying whether digital cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is effective for treating insomnia during pregnancy. For more information on CBT, check out Dr. Felder’s recent article on goop. We are recruiting pregnant women to participate in the Research on Expecting moms and Sleep Therapy (REST) Study. Women can participate from anywhere because all study visits take place online or by phone. To find out if you are eligible to participate, take our 15-minute screening survey.
We are really trying to help pregnant women and would love if you could spread the word about our study!