Sleep habits alters BP in pregnant moms

JNN 02.10.10 Getting too much or too little sleep can place pregnant women at an increased risk of experiencing pregnancy-related complications, a new study says.

According to the study published in Sleep, expectant moms who get less than five hours of sleep a night are nearly 10 times more prone to preeclampsia

Pregnant women sleeping 10 hours or longer, similarly, were at a greater risk of the complication, although it did not reach statistical significance.

“Our findings, however, are generally consistent with reports documenting associations between habitual sleep duration, blood pressure values, and hypertension in men, nonpregnant women, adolescents, and children,” said lead researcher Michelle Williams.

Insufficient sleep, particularly in the third trimester, alters blood pressure levels in pregnant women through affecting the metabolic and neuroendocrine system of the body.

The condition can subsequently contribute to either pregnancy-induced hypertension without proteinuria or preeclampsia, the study found.

Scientists believe their finding would motivate expectant moms to improve their lifestyle, particularly the sleep habits, in order to lower their risk of developing any pregnancy-related complications.

“Women generally already know that they’re eating well and getting enough exercise for two during pregnancy. Our study suggests that women should also aspire to sleep well for two,” Williams added.

Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition in which the expectant mom experiences pregnancy-induced hypertension) in association with having significant amounts of protein in the urine.

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