Symptoms of daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea among pregnant women

Yassar Al-Jahdali, Maliha Nasim, Noha Mobeireek, Anwar Ahmed, Mohammad A. Khan, Adnan Al-Shaikh, Yosra Ali, Abdullah Al-Harbi, Hamdan Al-Jahdali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Despite the fact that sleep disturbances have been associated with poor maternal and neonatal health outcomes in pregnancy, no studies have assessed excessive daytime sleepiness or the risk for sleep apnea among pregnant Saudi Arabian women. We sought to estimate the prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and the high risk for sleep apnea (OSA) in a sample of pregnant Saudi women. Methods: An anonymous self-report questionnaire was completed by 517 pregnant women who attended obstetric outpatient clinics at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a routine pregnancy check. We collected demographic and clinical data for all patients and used the Berlin Questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to determine the primary outcomes. Results: A high risk of OSA was found in 37.1% of women (95% confidence interval (CI): 33.00%–41.50%), and EDS was found in 32.1% (95% CI: 28.10%– 36.30%). The presence of both (EDS and a high risk of OSA) was found in 14.9% of women (95% CI: 11.90%–18.30%). We found increased odds of EDS in women who reported pain three times or more per week (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.59) and insomnia (aOR = 1.65). Older women (≥ 37 years) (aOR = 3.00), those who reported pain once a week (aOR = 1.99), pain twice a week (aOR = 2.75), three times or more a week (aOR = 2.57), and insomnia (aOR = 1.95) increased the odds of high risk for OSA. Conclusions: EDS and a high risk for OSA affected a large portion of the pregnant women included in the study, primarily those who reported pain and insomnia. Our study provides important information for gynecologists to help promote healthy sleep and manage the issues arising from sleep disturbances among pregnant women as part of their daily practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere132
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive


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