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actigraphy, pregnancy, sleep, women



  1. Tsai, Shao-Yu
  2. Kuo, Lu-Ting
  3. Lai, Yeur-Hur
  4. Lee, Chien-Nan


Background: Sleep disturbance is a significant health issue in pregnant women. Although previous studies contribute to an understanding of the multifactorial nature of pregnancy-related sleep disturbance, objective measures of sleep were not included, and so data may be subject to recall and potential participant self-report bias.


Objective: The aim of this study was to identify sociodemographic, lifestyle, and health-related factors associated with poor sleep quality in women during their third trimester of pregnancy.


Methods: This prospective study included 30 nulliparous women who wore a wrist actigraph to objectively monitor sleep for 7 consecutive days and completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.


Results: Fifteen women (50%) had a Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index global score of >5, indicating poor sleep quality. Mean actigraphic sleep efficiency was only 80.05% +/- 6.27%. There were significant differences (p < .01) in sleep offset time and total nocturnal sleep time between weekdays and weekends. Later sleep onset time was associated with poorer sleep, including longer sleep latency, and reduced total nocturnal sleep time and sleep efficiency.


Discussion: Nulliparous women experience both objective and subjective sleep disturbances, and their sleep patterns differ between weekdays and weekends during their third trimester of pregnancy. Results suggest that maternal sleep pattern may be improved by maintaining a regular and earlier bedtime so women have more opportunity to obtain sufficient nocturnal sleep and improved sleep quality.