Sleep Disorders

  • Andrea LawsonEmail author
  • Roohie Parmar
  • Eileen P. Sloan


The physiological and psychological alterations of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum may significantly impact a woman’s sleep. Sleep disorders during this time are common, including obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and, less commonly, narcolepsy. Early interventions to treat sleep disturbance during the perinatal period is recommended to avoid adverse maternal, fetal, and pregnancy outcomes. Pharmacotherapy is one management strategy, the risks of which in pregnancy and during breastfeeding must be weighed against the benefits. More rigorous, large-scale, controlled studies of the medications designed to treat these disorders during the perinatal period are needed. Clinicians are encouraged to consider the context of treatment goals, comorbidities, prior treatment responses, and patient preferences, with consideration for the specific sleep disorder in question when making treatment decisions.


Sleep disorder Obstructive sleep apnea Restless legs syndrome Insomnia Narcolepsy Pregnancy Postpartum Pharmacotherapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Lawson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roohie Parmar
    • 3
  • Eileen P. Sloan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Global HealthMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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