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Pregnant? Tired of counting sheep?

Researchers at UCSF might be able to help!

If you are pregnant and suffering from poor sleep, you are not alone! In fact, as many as three out of four pregnant women suffer from poor sleep quality.

Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, may affect the expecting mom and her baby.  For example, poor sleep quality during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for depression, as well as an increased risk for preterm birth.  If you or a loved one is experiencing sleep problems, do not despair – there are evidence-based treatment options.  Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians recommended cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as a gold standard approach to treating insomnia.  In CBT, participants learn how to create a comfortable sleeping environment, modify lifestyle habits that affect sleep, and learn techniques to calm the mind and body.

My colleagues and I are studying whether we can improve sleep during pregnancy using an online version of CBT.  This online treatment program consists of six web sessions, and has been shown to improve symptoms of insomnia among non-pregnant individuals.  We are recruiting pregnant women from across the United States to participate in the Research on Expecting moms and Sleep Therapy (REST) study. All study activities can be conducted online and by phone.  Ultimately, we want to learn how improving sleep can improve health and well-being among women and their children.

If you are suffering from insomnia during your pregnancy, you can learn more and find out if you are eligible by taking our 15-minute screening survey.  Please feel free to share this information with anyone you think may be interested.

Dr. Jennifer Felder is heading this research with her co-investigators Dr. Elissa Epel and Dr. Aric Prather. This study is supported by the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, which is funded by Marc and Lynne Benioff and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.



One reply on “Pregnant? Tired of counting sheep?”

I’m pretty sure that not having enough sleep while pregnant is our bodies way of practicing for the upcoming sleepless nights when the baby is out. Just kidding. Thanks for the info anyways. I’ll bookmark this site.

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