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Longitudinal change in sleep and daytime sleepiness in postpartum women

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posted on 18.10.2016, 08:32 by Ashleigh FiltnessAshleigh Filtness, Janelle MacKenzie, Kerry A. Armstrong
Sleep disruption strongly influences daytime functioning; resultant sleepiness is recognised as a contributing risk-factor for individuals performing critical and dangerous tasks. While the relationship between sleep and sleepiness has been heavily investigated in the vulnerable sub-populations of shift workers and patients with sleep disorders, postpartum women have been comparatively overlooked. Thirty-three healthy, postpartum women recorded every episode of sleep and wake each day during postpartum weeks 6, 12 and 18. Although repeated measures analysis revealed there was no significant difference in the amount of nocturnal sleep and frequency of night-time wakings, there was a significant reduction in sleep disruption, due to fewer minutes of wake after sleep onset. Subjective sleepiness was measured each day using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale; at the two earlier time points this was significantly correlated with sleep quality but not to sleep quantity. Epworth Sleepiness Scores significantly reduced over time; however, during week 18 over 50% of participants were still experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Score ≥12). Results have implications for health care providers and policy makers. Health care providers designing interventions to address sleepiness in new mothers should take into account the dynamic changes to sleep and sleepiness during this initial postpartum period. Policy makers developing regulations for parental leave entitlements should take into consideration the high prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness experienced by new mothers, ensuring enough opportunity for daytime sleepiness to diminish to a manageable level prior to reengagement in the workforce.

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Published in

PLoS ONE

Volume

9

Issue

7

Citation

FILTNESS, A., MACKENZIE, J. and ARMSTRONG, K., 2014. Longitudinal change in sleep and daytime sleepiness in postpartum women. PLoS ONE, 9 (7), DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103513.

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PLoS (© the authors)

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VoR (Version of Record)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Publication date

2014

ISSN

1932-6203

Language

en

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