Changes in sleep patterns and depressive symptoms in first-time mothers: last trimester to 1-year postpartum

Behav Sleep Med. 2003;1(1):54-67. doi: 10.1207/S15402010BSM0101_6.


Thirty-eight 1st-time mothers were recruited from childbirth classes and were assessed at 4 different time periods: the last trimester of pregnancy, 2-4 weeks postpartum, 12-16 weeks postpartum, and 12-15 months postpartum. Measures included a daily sleep-wake diary and a depression scale (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, CES-D). Results reveal significant differences in week-day night sleep schedules (rise time, time awake due to disruptions, and nap time) at 2-4 weeks postpartum in comparison to other times of measurement. Total sleep time and bedtime was not significantly different between times of measurement. More depressive symptoms were reported at 2-4 weeks postpartum than at later postpartum measurements. Mothers who developed clinically elevated depressive symptoms (CES-D > or = 16) at 2-4 weeks postpartum reported more total sleep time, later rise times, and more time napping at the end of pregnancy in comparison to those mothers that reported fewer depressive symptoms (CES-D < 16) at 2-4 weeks postpartum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third / psychology*
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*