Sleep disturbances have been identified and grossly described during pregnancy. The consensus is that during a snapshot of time during each trimester, pregnant women complain of fatigue, poor sleep quality and nocturnal sleep disturbances. Sleep loss, restriction and deprivation have been correlated with immune alterations in various populations; however, little data exists relating pregnancy-associated sleep disturbances with immune or endocrine alterations that may be related to pregnancy complications. Hence, the implications for maternal and fetal health resulting from severely disturbed sleep during pregnancy have yet to be evaluated. Studies examining stress and sleep indicate that various kinds of stress from psychosocial stressors (Paulsen and Shaver 1991) to acute lab stressors (Hall et al. 2004) can negatively affect sleep. Similarly, research on stress and pregnancy conclude that there are negative pregnancy consequences from high stress (Coussons-Read, Okun, Schmitt, and Giese 2005; Wadhwa, Culhane, Rauh, and Barve 2001). In order to effectively determine the causes of poor pregnancy outcomes, all the various contributors to the neuroimmune and neuroendocrine changes that occur during pregnancy, including poor sleep quality, duration, continuity and architecture need to be evaluated.

Sleeping Sound

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