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Perception of poor sleep may predict postpartum mood disturbances in healthy new mothers
Date:3/31/2010

phy, and subjective sleep by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Mood was assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale, and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Subjective sleep and mood scales were administered during both phases of the study, and objective sleep measures were recorded continuously for seven days during the third trimester and seven days after delivery.

Poorer subjective nighttime sleep both during the third trimester and after delivery was associated with worse postpartum mood. As women's nighttime sleep worsened following delivery, their perceived sleep-related daytime dysfunction and napping behavior became relevant to their mood changes: higher sleep-related daytime dysfunction and more frequent naps were associated with higher reported distress. Sleep obtained in a daytime nap did not appear to provide the same restorative value as sleep obtained at night.

Objective sleep deteriorated after delivery as the mean total sleep time at night fell from 428 minutes during the third trimester to 373 minutes postpartum, and average sleep efficiency dropped from 77 percent to 63 percent. The average amount of time spent awake in bed after initially falling asleep at night increased from 77 minutes to 150 minutes, and mean daily nap time increased from 32 minutes to 101 minutes.

However, evidence supporting a relationship between objective nighttime sleep and mood was weak. Lower positive affect after delivery was related to poorer overall objective sleep during the third trimester but was unrelated to objective postpartum sleep. A series of analyses also found no significant difference in postpartum mood between women who had daytime labor and those who had nighttime labor.

The authors noted that the study was unable to determine if it was poor sleep that led to emotional distress, or if poor mood caused sleep complaints. However, they proposed that women with
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Contact: Kelly Wagner
kwagner@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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