The Impact of a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Lifestyle Intervention on Sleep Among Latina Postpartum Women

Ann Behav Med. 2021 Aug 23;55(9):892-903. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaaa118.


Background: Poor sleep is associated with adverse outcomes among postpartum women. Exercise may improve sleep, but this has not been well examined in the postpartum period.

Purpose: To examine the impact of a culturally modified, individually tailored lifestyle intervention on sleep outcomes among postpartum Latina women.

Methods: Estudio PARTO was a randomized controlled trial aimed at reducing Type 2 diabetes among Latina women with abnormal glucose tolerance in pregnancy. Participants were randomized to a lifestyle (i.e., diet and exercise; n = 70) or a health and wellness control intervention (n = 78) in late pregnancy (baseline). The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to measure sleep quality (PSQI score), onset latency (minutes per night), duration (hours per night), efficiency (percentage of the time in bed asleep), and daytime dysfunction at baseline, 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months postpartum.

Results: Mean PSQI score (6.56 ± 3.87), sleep duration (6.84 ± 1.75 hr/night), and sleep efficiency (79.70% ± 18.10%) did not differ between the arms at baseline. Mixed-effects models indicated a greater decrease of 1.29 in PSQI score (i.e., improved sleep quality) in the lifestyle versus health and wellness arm (95% confidence interval [CI] = -2.50 to -0.08, p = .04) over follow-up. There was the suggestion of a smaller decrease in sleep duration (mean = 0.48 hr/night, 95% CI = -0.10 to 1.06, p = .10) in the lifestyle versus health and wellness arm. There were no statistically significant differences in other sleep outcomes between arms.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that lifestyle interventions improve sleep quality but not sleep duration, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, or daytime dysfunction in postpartum Latina women and, therefore, may hold promise for improving subsequent mental and physical health in this population.

Clinical trials registration: NCT01679210.

Keywords: Exercise; Latina; Physical activity; Postpartum; Sleep; Women’s health.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Quality

Associated data