Since my wife is pregnant, I've been sleeping a lot more. I feel tired much much earlier (around 9~10 instead of midnight).

Is this a documented known reaction? I've heard of/seen men gain weight, but not of this tiredness.

  • 1
    Keep in mind while it can be psychological (Couvade), emotions can be taxing on the human body. With increased emotions, planning, etc., feeling tired is the body's normal coping mechanism as it is being demanded of like never before. Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 19:17
  • Great questions. I have experienced the same thing recently. I didn't realize that sleeping could be part of the "sympathy pains."
    – Jason
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 12:41
  • So, recently me and my boyfriend have discovered I am pregnant. Before we even found out that I was, he seemed to be tired all the time and sleeping alot more. Also, he never really ate that much. and before we even found out i was pregnant I would notice he seemed to eat alot more.
    – user21412
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 7:40

4 Answers 4


This is documented, and is known as Couvade syndrome:

Couvade syndrome, also called sympathetic pregnancy, is a proposed condition in which a partner experiences some of the same symptoms and behavior of an expectant mother. These most often include minor weight gain, altered hormone levels, morning nausea, and disturbed sleep patterns. In more extreme cases, symptoms can include labor pains, postpartum depression, and nosebleeds.

The Wikipedia article has some interesting information and links to additional reading.

  • 5
    If you and your wife sleep in the same bed (common but not necessarily universal), keep in mind she's not sleeping very soundly either; she's getting up to go to the bathroom, puke, eat, whatever baby's telling her to do, and beyond the first trimester, there's a lot going on in that uterus, causing discomfort in turn causing position shifts. All that is happening inches away from you; it's bound to jerk you out of deep sleep into something lighter, or even wake you up. Even if you or your wife don't remember you waking up in the middle of the night, it's happening.
    – KeithS
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 23:28
  • 1
    While I'd agree this could be the reason, the OP doesn't tell us if there are other factors we should consider and that may be more grim. Extended workload because of the pregnancy, signals of depression, etc... As nothing is said it's fair to assume every thing is bright under the sun, but who knows?
    – haylem
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 23:12
  • 1
    I added a short summary from Wikipedia. We generally prefer to have the relevant text right here on the site. The usual argument is that the source site might disappear and take the wisdom with it. Wikipedia might be more stable but you never know. Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 12:26
  • With KeithS theory in mind, may be you should install one of those sleep tracking apps: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.urbandroid.sleep Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 9:42

in my personal experience, I wound up spending a lot more time at home while my wife was pregnant, and I also slept a lot more. for me, the answer was simple, and I think distinct from sympathetic pregnancy: we live in NYC and lead a very active social life. while she was pregnant, we didn't have as many activities, so I would fall asleep watching TV or reading.


How many hours do you sleep. 8 hours is normal in most cultures. During the early years a lot of tiresome activies take place that simply ask for more sleep. During the pregnancy I slept a whole lot more wich was great once the little kid was born.

  • It also depends on the person, not just the culture; if I only get 8 hours' sleep in a night I'm worthless the next morning. 10 hours is normal for many people, and some honestly need up to 12 "horizontal" hours a night to feel fully rested (though if you need to actually sleep for 12 hours a day you might consider a sleep study to see if there's some reason why less sleep isn't doing it for you)
    – KeithS
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 22:35

I'm on my second child. Both times I got to the point were my appetite went crazy and I would eat just cause for a few weeks then back to normal. The sleep part is the craziest. My wife sleeps normally for the most part while pregnant but my sleep pattern can never get on track. I can fall asleep within seconds to minutes just being around her for less than an hour. If she stays around me I will continue to sleep extra long hours even though I just woke up not to long ago from a previous nights rest.

Her being pregnant and sick in the mornings doesn't bother me at all since I know it's a sign that the baby is healthy. The couvade syndrome men have is out the door for me. I feel it's more of something that her body produces to make me go into these states. It's like a natural chemistry a father gets from it. I can tell when a woman I'm with is pregnant before she does on based on how I feel. I red somewhere that a doctor is studying this but it's hard since a lot of men don't come forward and report these type of things.

Really for me it's just another sign that you will be closer to both the baby and mother when she gives birth. :)

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