Can Sleep Disorder Lead to Preterm Delivery?


If you suffer from sleep disorder, it is but natural to worry for the well being of your baby if you are pregnant. Like we already know, sleep is essential for good health and normal bodily function. And, yes it is very important that you sleep well when you are pregnant. Read more to know how sleep disorder can affect you and your baby!

Can Sleep Disorder Lead to Preterm Delivery?

Premature delivery is a concern of all mothers. According to certain research, one of the reasons leading to preterm delivery is sleep disorders. Women from different parts of the world are prone to insomnia. Although other reasons contribute to preterm delivery problems, sleepless nights are least desirable in pregnant women. Women suffering from sleeplessness are twice as likely than normal ones to deliver their babies before 34 weeks of pregnancy.

What is preterm delivery? What are its results?

Premature delivery can be termed ‘preterm’ when the baby is delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It may result in serious physiological disorders in the child. Under normal condition, women deliver their babies after the 40th week. Babies born at this stage do not have the same risk factor associated with the formation of their body parts. If they remain underdeveloped inside the womb, many problems can crop up after their birth. These include lack of vision deformed limbs and fingers, hearing disorders and so on.

Preterm delivery statistics in the US and the world

Interestingly, preterm delivery statistics in the US show that 10% of the women deliver their babies ahead of time. Compared to other developed countries, this is much higher, and unfortunately, risky. In underdeveloped countries, too, women deliver their babies much ahead of the scheduled time. Proper rest and sleep can treat this problem.

Taking the global statistics into account, the figure of premature deliveries stands at around 15 million. This is an aggregate figure of all the countries. Lack of health consciousness and stress in social and professional life are the key reasons of insomnia. Working mothers, too, suffer from a high risk of preterm delivery. One of the major risks associated with preterm delivery is cerebral palsy. Treatments for sleeping disorders include sleep therapies and various types of medication. However, natural remedy like therapy has proven to be a better option, as they do not have any side-effect on the baby. Physicians often prescribe medicines for the patients, but these may leave an effect on the baby growing in the womb.

preterm delivery


How can OPA affect your sleep pattern?

OPA stands for obstructive sleep apnea. It is associated with sleeping disorders and can harm the health of pregnant mothers, and correspondingly, the babies. It is linked to the breathing mechanism, where the women suffer from brief pauses in the respiratory process. The airways either collapse or become narrowed during this syndrome and result in sleepless nights. Lack of sleep couples up with lethargy and fatigue. In the long run, it can amount to diabetes and cardiovascular issues. During pregnancy, this problem intensifies in many women, increasing the chances of preterm delivery.

Sleep disorders are caused due to two main reasons, insomnia and sleep apnea. While insomnia contributes 30% to the cause, the latter is even more harmful, contributing to 40% of the cause.

Remedies for Sleep Disorders to Prevent Preterm Delivery

It is important to treat insomnia during pregnancy to prevent preterm delivery. Here are some common remedies that you can try out:

Proper sleeping positions

According to experts, you need to try out new sleeping positions prescribed particularly for pregnancy. These positions enable you to maintain optimum comfort level. Thus, it keeps off discomfiture and stimulates sleep. Place a pillow below your arms, feet or other parts of your body, considering your comfort level. You should try to sleep on your left as much as possible. The three-quarter position, where you place a pillow between the thighs and fold one leg, can also be effective. You simply need to adjust your comfort level.


Exercise stimulates the circulatory system, thereby improving the quality of sleep. See a doctor and get a few workouts prescribed. These exercises are extremely beneficial during pregnancy, especially if you are suffering from the lack of sleep.

Comfort before sleep

You can experience a better sleep if you take a warm bath just before going to bed. Alternatively, a good massage can also prove to be helpful. Take all necessary measures to minimize disturbances and get a good sleep. A light, warm music can work wonders in these cases.


Remember, sleep disorder affects your baby’s health more than yours. So, make sure that you can give a normal birth and keep off preterm delivery issues. Healthy sleep assures timely delivery.