Maternal subjective sleep quality and nighttime infant care

Jenna L. Gress, Andrea S. Chambers, Jason C. Ong, Liat Tikotzky, Robin L. Okada, Rachel Manber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The current study explored the relationship between maternal subjective sleep quality and two factors that have been independently linked to maternal sleep: infant caretaking at night and maternal depressive symptom severity. Participants were a follow-up cohort of 94 women (mean age 33.3, SD=4.4), who were depressed during pregnancy and part of a larger randomised controlled trial. Participants were evaluated 10 weeks after delivery, using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and daily sleep logs for one week. On average, women woke to attend to the infant 2.2 times (SD=1.1) and spent 47.3 min (SD=33.0) awake to attend to the infant. Regression analysis revealed that the number of times a woman's sleep was disrupted by attending to her infant was a significant predictor of her perceived subjective sleep quality; however, the total amount of time she spent attending to her infant and her depressive symptom severity were not predictors. The findings of this study suggest that during the third postpartum month, sleep fragmentation appears more detrimental to maternal subjective sleep quality than amount of time awake during the night. This finding is relevant to the implementation of clinical interventions for improving maternal subjective sleep quality during the early postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-391
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Infant sleep
  • Maternal sleep
  • Postpartum
  • Subjective sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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