Sleep, daily activity rhythms and postpartum mood: A longitudinal study across the perinatal period
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Women with a diagnosis of bipolar and major depressive disorders are at higher risk to develop postpartum depression. The primary objective of this longitudinal study was to determine whether daily activity rhythms and sleep parameters differ between women with and without a history of a mood disorder across the perinatal period. A secondary objective was to determine whether changes in these parameters were associated with postpartum mood. In total, 33 women were included in this study, 15 of which had a history of a mood disorder (high-risk group) and 18 who did not (low-risk group). Sleep and daily rhythms were assessed subjectively and objectively during the third trimester (≥26 weeks gestation) and again at 6-12 weeks postpartum. Mood was also assessed at both time points. Women in the high-risk group showed greater subjective daily rhythms and sleep disturbances across the perinatal period. Objective sleep efficiency was worse in the high-risk group in the postpartum period. Changes in both subjective daily rhythms and objective sleep efficiency were predictive of changes in depressive symptoms across the perinatal period. These findings encourage the development of preventative therapeutics to ensure circadian rhythm and sleep stability throughout the perinatal period.
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