In a study to be presented on Feb 4 at 1:15 PM at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting in Atlanta, researchers will present findings from a study titled “Short and long sleep durations in pregnancy are associated with extremes of gestational weight gain.”

Epidemiologic data from non-pregnant women has linked poor sleep with obesity and weight gain. The researchers in this study set out to determine the relationship between objectively measured sleep duration and weight gain during pregnancy.

Women studied were enrolled in the nuMoM2b study, a multi-center prospective cohort study of nulliparous women with a singleton gestation. They were recruited to wear an actigraph to record objective sleep activity for 7 consecutive days. Women with pregestational diabetes and chronic hypertension were excluded from the study. Sleep duration was calculated as an average across study nights. Actigraphy and weight gain data were reviewed for 751 women. The majority of women (74.8%) had a sleep duration between 7 and 9 hours.

The data suggested that both short and long sleep duration in pregnancy are associated with gestational weight gain. “We know that poor sleep in pregnancy has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes,”says Francesca Facco, MD, one of the researchers of the study who is with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD NuMoM2b Network in Bethesda, Md, in a release. Facco will present the findings at the SMFM annual meeting. “Our findings provide a potential mechanism for poor sleep in pregnancy and adverse outcomes,” Facco says.