Narrator: This is Science Today. Expectant mothers are often told to "eat for two," but perhaps less known are the health benefits of "sleeping for two." Kathryn Lee, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco's School of Nursing, has been studying sleep hygiene for several years, focusing especially on mothers and babies. Lee says that sleeping for two can impact labor, delivery and birth outcomes.
Lee: The women who are getting less than six hours of sleep also had 10 hours longer labor than the women getting seven hours or more sleep. So, I think telling women that if they could sleep for two, that they would have shorter labors and are less likely to have a Caesarean birth.
Narrator: Lee has tracked mothers' and babies' sleep patterns by using a wrist monitor device that records movement and the speed of movement during sleep.
Lee: The algorithm is such that you can pretty much determine whether they're awake or asleep by the speed of the movement, because we all move a little bit when we sleep. The take away for my research is that you need to pay attention to the sleep that you get at night.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.