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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Nov;203(5):465.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.06.057. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Normative longitudinal maternal sleep: the first 4 postpartum months.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, 53 Campus Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506-6040, USA. Hawley.Montgomery-Downs@mail.wvu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the normative course of maternal sleep during the first 4 months postpartum.

STUDY DESIGN:

Sleep was objectively measured using continuous wrist actigraphy. This was a longitudinal, field-based assessment of nocturnal sleep during postpartum weeks 2 through 16. Fifty mothers participated during postpartum weeks 2 through 13; 24 participated during postpartum weeks 9 through 16.

RESULTS:

Maternal nocturnal sleep time was 7.2 (SD ± 0.95) hours and did not change significantly across postpartum weeks 2 through 16. Maternal sleep efficiency did improve across weeks 2 (79.7%; SD ± 5.5) through 16 (90.2%; SD ± 3.5) as a function of decreased sleep fragmentation across weeks 2 (21.7; SD ± 5.2) through 16 (12.8; SD ± 3.3).

CONCLUSION:

Though postpartum mothers' total sleep time was higher than expected during the initial postpartum months, this sleep was highly fragmented (similar to fragmenting sleep disorders) and inefficient. This profile of disturbed sleep should be considered in intervention designs and family leave policies.

PMID:
20719289
PMCID:
PMC2975741
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2010.06.057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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