Sleep-deprivation while pregnant can have far-reaching effects on mothers’-to-be according to a new study.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Michele Okun says, “Our results highlight the importance of identifying sleep problems in early pregnancy, especially in women experiencing depression, since sleep is a modifiable behaviour.”
Pregnant women often suffer from disruptions in sleep and even insomnia. This is especially true for depressed women. And what’s worse, being exhausted will be the best of all the side-effects.
When you get too little sleep, your body produces an excess of cytokines – which are any of various protein molecules secreted by cells of the immune system that regulates the immune system – compromising your immune system.
When in excess, cytokines works against healthy cells, attacking and even eliminating them, which leaves the body vulnerable to other lurking diseases. For pregnant women, having a compromised immune system is especially bad news as you are restricted in the medicines you can take. Effects could include depression, disruption of spinal arteries that connects to the placenta, vascular diseases and possible complications at birth like your baby being born prematurely.
“The earlier that sleep problems are identified, the sooner physicians can work with pregnant women to implement solutions,” says Michele.