• actigraphy;
  • cesarean;
  • childbirth;
  • sleep;
  • women


We prospectively examined the associations of nighttime and daytime sleep during the third trimester of pregnancy with labor duration and risk of cesarean deliveries in a convenience sample of 120 nulliparous women who completed sleep-related questionnaires and wore wrist actigraphs for up to 7 days. Nap duration and 24-hour sleep duration were inversely associated with labor duration in women with vaginal delivery. Neither actigraphy-derived nor self-reported sleep variables were associated with type of delivery (e.g., vaginal, cesarean). Results showed a beneficial effect of sleep on labor duration and suggest that studies of sleep duration effects on labor and pregnancy outcomes require a consideration of the amount of both daytime and nighttime sleep. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36: 612–622, 2013