First-time moms' exhaustion caused by sleep fragmentation, rather than timing of sleep

June 10, 2009

Contrary to popular belief, the timing of sleep in new mothers is preserved after giving birth. Researchers state that while postpartum mothers did experience sleep disruption and daytime consequences, their sleep/wake times remained aligned with self-reported preferred sleep/wake times.

The exception was mothers with multiple children; these women's actual awakening times were earlier than desired.

The study, authored by Megan Clegg-Kraynok, M.S., and Hawley Montgomery-Downs, PhD, of West Virginia University in Morgantown, W. Va., involved 24 women with an average age of 30.5 years and average yearly income of $65,808. Of the participants, 92 percent were white, 96 percent were married/cohabitating, 50 percent were first-time mothers and 67 percent were breastfeeding.

According to Montgomery-Downs, postpartum moms may not suffer at all. Findings of the study support the hypothesis that the exhaustion new moms experience is likely due to sleep fragmentation, rather than not sleeping enough or sleeping at the wrong times.

"We found that although our participants are quite fatigued, and their sleep at night is highly interrupted, first-time mothers of newborns go to sleep at night and awaken in the morning at the times they report are their preferred sleep and wake times," said Clegg-Kraynok. "Mothers of newborns who have other children also fell asleep at their preferred time but awoke for the day earlier than their preferred time. We expect this is because they are awakened by the older child."

It is recommended that adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night in order to be fully rested.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), there are many obstacles that make obtaining a good night's sleep difficult for women.

Source: American Academy of Medicine (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.