Exploring the Association between Maternal Mood and Self-Reports of Sleep during the Perinatal Period

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Abstract

Objective:

To explore the psychological mechanisms involved in the close association between maternal mood and self-reports of sleep quality during the perinatal period using appraisal theory of emotions.

Design:

Repeated measures.

Setting:

Antenatal clinics of a health center associated with the Northern Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Participants:

122 pregnant women in their third trimester of gestation.

Methods:

Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and an appraisal questionnaire during the third trimester of gestation, within 7 to 10 days after childbirth, and at 10 to 12 weeks postpartum. Correlational and regression analyses were used to explore the associations between sleep reports and appraisals.

Results:

Self-reports of poor sleep quality, impaired daytime dysfunction due to poor sleep, and the global PSQI score were associated with a low perceived ability to cope practically and emotionally with motherhood-related issues as well as with negative expectations about the future.

Conclusions:

Appraisal dimensions associated with self-reports of poor sleep quality are similar to those related to maternal distress identified by previous research. This finding contributes to a better understanding of the association between self-reports of sleep and maternal mood. Practical implications are discussed.

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