To characterize sleep habits and parameters among women in mid-to-late pregnancy and to identify disparities associated with poverty, race, and obesity.
A total of 267 pregnant women (27.3% non-Hispanic black; gestational age: 27.99±1.20 weeks) completed online surveys on sleep quality, insomnia symptoms, sleep aid use, signs/symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, and sociodemographics. Body mass index (BMI) and patient insurance were derived from medical records.
As high as 76.2% of the women reported global sleep disturbance, 30.6% endorsed snoring, 24.3% sleep <6 hrs/night, and over half screened positive for clinical insomnia. Yet, only 3.4% of the women reported an insomnia diagnosis and 3.0% reported a sleep apnea diagnosis. In unadjusted models, poverty, Medicaid coverage, self-identifying as black, and obesity before and during pregnancy (BMI ≥ 35) were associated with a wide range of sleep problems. However, adjusted models revealed specificity. Poverty was uniquely related to increased insomnia symptoms and trouble sleeping due to bad dreams. Obesity before pregnancy was related to poor sleep quality, snoring, sleep aids, and short sleep. Black women reported shorter sleep duration than white women but differed on no other sleep parameters.
Clinical signs of insomnia and sleep-disordered breathing are common in mid-to-late pregnancy, but most cases go undetected. Problematic sleep disproportionately affects women in poverty, who self-identify as black, and who are obese before pregnancy. Poverty-related sleep issues are linked to insomnia, obesity-related disparities center on sleep-related breathing and medication use, and racial disparities relate to short sleep.