Objective and subjective sleep during pregnancy: links with depressive and anxiety symptoms

Ella Volkovich, Liat Tikotzky, Rachel Manber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aims of this paper are to study the associations between objective and subjective sleep in pregnant women, to examine which specific aspects of women’s sleep are associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms and to test the moderating role of depressive and anxiety symptoms in the relations between objective and subjective sleep. The sample included 148 pregnant women. Objective sleep was measured by actigraphy for five nights at the participants’ home, and subjective sleep was measured with the Pittsburgh sleep quality index. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale and anxiety symptoms with the Beck anxiety inventory. Significant associations were found between the subjective sleep measures and the depressive and anxiety scores, but there were no significant associations between actigraphic sleep measures and the depressive and anxiety scores. Depressive and anxiety scores emerged as significant moderators of the links between objective and subjective sleep. The findings suggest that emotional distress (i.e., depressive and anxiety symptoms severity) during pregnancy is associated with subjective sleep disturbances but not with objective sleep disturbances. Importantly, only among women with higher levels of emotional distress was subjective sleep quality associated with objective sleep quality. These findings may suggest that women with higher levels of emotional distress are not necessarily biased in their perception of sleep quality. However, they may perceive fragmented sleep as more detrimental to their wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Actigraphy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Sleep
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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