“This supports the growing evidence that poor sleep is an important risk factor for preterm birth,” said Michele Okun, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Doctors may be able to identify the risk for preterm birth and intervene by assessing a woman’s sleep quality, said Okun in a press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Researchers suggested that “poor sleep quality has been shown to initiate inflammation, possibly activating the processes associated with childbirth prematurely. Sleep disruption also might do this is combination with stress, a known activator of inflammation.”
The study was published in the monthly, peer-reviewed journal SLEEP.