The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Pilot Project to Explore Sleep Management in Pregnancy

Date Funded: 
May 1, 2017
Funding Organization: 
UManage Center for Building the Science of Symptom Self-Management, through the National Institute of Nursing Research

Dr. Mary Paterno's pilot project will establish the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a 12-week intervention for sleep self-management with pregnant women using a personalized health-monitoring device, in order to refine the intervention for a larger, randomized trial. The central hypothesis is that women who use a personalized health-monitoring device to self-manage sleep in pregnancy will have higher sleep quality and lower depressive symptoms. The participants will engage with the intervention and report positive attitudes toward using a personalized health-monitoring device to manage sleep in pregnancy. The long-term goal of the study is to understand and improve sleep and physical activity across pregnancy and the early parenting years, thereby improving pregnancy outcomes and the transition to parenthood.

This is an important problem, because pregnancy-associated sleep disorders are experienced by up to 82 percent of women and may increase the risk for pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, longer labor, cesarean birth, and postpartum depression. There is a critical need to improve sleep among pregnant women, particularly women of lower socioeconomic status who are at greater risk of experiencing sleep disorders, in order to improve maternal and infant outcomes through reduction of risk for acute and chronic disease.

Computer-based personalized health-monitoring devices may serve as an effective tool with which pregnant women can self-manage sleep. Personalized health-monitoring devices may be effective in promoting self-management of sleep through regular feedback. This strategy may be beneficial not only for women with pregnancy-associated sleep disorders but also for pregnant women with less severe sleep disruptions that experience daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and decreased quality of life. 

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20NR016599. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health.