Want a Shorter Labor? Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Image via Freedigitalphotos.net
Image via Freedigitalphotos.net


What if I told you that there was a secret that would help you have a shorter labor and decrease your chance of getting a c-section?

Something that was totally free, painless, and need I dare say–enjoyable?

Well, according to Science Daily, there has been evidence that the secret to a better labor may be closer than we think…

It's in the bedroom. 

In 2005, Science Daily reported a study done by the UCSF School of Nursing that found that women who slept less than 6 hours at night had “significantly” longer labors and were four times more likely to end up in the c-section room. Even women who slept an average between six and seven hours of sleep a night were still 3.7 more likely to get a c-section. According to the article,

“Study findings showed that women who slept less than six hours per night had an average labor of 29 hours compared to 17.7 hours for women who received seven or more hours of sleep per night.”

From the study, it's obvious that eight hours of sleep is ideal for a pregnant woman–and possibly even more, to account for the lost hours of disrupted sleep from countless trips to the bathroom. The news really shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. We've long heard about the lists of benefits that a good night's sleep can give us, from boosting our immune systems to warding off depression to keeping us active, so it makes sense that adequate rest would help a pregnant woman during one of the most physical events of her life.

It sounds like such an easy thing, but in reality getting a good night's sleep can be extremely difficult for expecting mothers. The overactive bladder, the backaches, the readjusting of pillows–it all seems like a cruel irony in our quest to have the best labor possible. And there's still part of me that believes that all that disrupted sleep during pregnancy is nature's way of conditioning us for nighttime feedings. The study is also quite a few years old, so I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some updated research on the importance of sleep for expecting moms. 

But until then–good night! 

What do you think?

Want a Shorter Labor? Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Jeannie Jeannie says:

    I’m not so sure about this. During my pregnancy I slept 10-12 hours a night. I was in labor for 26 hours before finally having a c-section. And that’s just 26 hours after my water broke, not counting the hours of labor before.

  2. Profile photo of Ashley Ashley says:

    I had know idea about that and i do not want a c section so i will be trying to get enough sleep

  3. Profile photo of Daniela Daniela says:

    I definitely try to get at least 8 hours every night but it doesn’t always work out that way:(

  4. Profile photo of Terra Terra says:

    I try for 8 hours every night, so hopefully it works!

  5. Profile photo of Dario Dario says:

    Wow well we got to figure a way to get her to sleep more


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