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Racial Differences in Pregnancy Sleep Revealed

written by / September 13, 2022
Racial Differences in Pregnancy Sleep Revealed

The US Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program revealed some mighty interesting findings about the quality of sleep of pregnant women in connection to race and ethnicity. 

For starters, the self-evaluation questionnaires showed that Hispanic women are more satisfied with their sleep than participants of all other races.

Why is this relevant?

Well, scientists have already proven that adequate sleep reduces the chance of adverse maternal outcomes. Hence, good sleeping practices during pregnancy are crucial for the health of both the mother and the child. 

The ECHO project was specifically designed to identify the influence of environmental factors, including sleep, on the child’s health and development. For all we know, this could also include room temperature, the type of mattress you sleep on, or using quality pregnancy pillows

The data, published in the journal SLEEP, shows that some sleeping parameters vary across races, and others don’t.

For example, all women reported sleeping the longest, on average 8.5 hours, during the first trimester of their pregnancy. However, the lengthiest average during the first and second trimesters (8.75 and 8.51 hours, respectively) was recorded by Hispanic women. 

In the second and third trimesters, sleep duration was shorter for all women and averaged 8 and 7.3 hours per night. 

During the third trimester, Non-Hispanic Asian women slept longer than the rest (7.96 hours). They even reported the best sleeping quality during this period, which wasn’t the case with the other racial groups, which had their most refreshing rest during the second trimester. 

Overall, Hispanics were subjectively the most satisfied with their sleep and had fewer sleep disturbances.

On the other hand, Non-Hispanic African American women had the shortest sleep and the most sleep disturbances of all races, regardless of age and body mass index (BMI). Nevertheless, none complained of experiencing “lousy sleep.”

The data also showed that the overall sleeping results for Non-Hispanic Caucasian and Asian women were highly comparable, which also fascinated scientists.

Marija Kovachevska is a content writer at, Biochemist and Activist. After obtaining her BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology she changed her microscope for content research tools and continued researching in the fields of Medicine, Biology, and Communication. Her insatiable curiosity flare drove her to become a “content scientist writer” as she likes to say. Reality fascinates her and facts and statistics are a must-have feature in her articles. Fluent in English and French, she is a volunteer and communication associate for several non-profit organizations. French culture and handcrafting are her passion, but in her free time, she indulges in long walks and traveling, or as she likes to say “experiencing the inexperienced.”

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