Insomnia during pregnancy: Diagnosis and rational interventions

Ali M. Hashmi, Shashi K. Bhatia, Subhash K. Bhatia, Imran S. Khawaja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Sleep disturbances are common in pregnancy. Insomnia is a frequent sleep disturbance experienced by pregnant women which can be primary or due to co-morbid conditions. The differential diagnosis of insomnia in pregnancy includes anxiety disorders, mood disorders, breathing related sleep disorders and restless legs syndrome. Early interventions to treat the sleep disturbance are recommended to avoid adverse pregnancy outcomes. Management strategies include improving sleep hygiene, behavioral therapies, and pharmacotherapy. The risks of pharmacotherapy must be weighed against their benefits due to the possible risk of teratogenicity associated with some medications. Methods: We searched PubMed and Google Scholar employing a combination of key words: pregnancy, sleep disturbances, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep disorders and insomnia. We included original studies, review articles, meta-analysis and systematic reviews in our search prioritizing articles from the last 10-15 years. Articles older than 15 years were only included if their findings had not been superseded by more recent data. Further selection of articles was done from bibliographies and references of selected articles. Conclusion: Sleep disturbances in pregnancy are common and cause considerable morbidity. Management includes a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments carefully weighing the risks and benefits of each for the expectant mother and fetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1037
Number of pages8
JournalPakistan Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Insomnia
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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