Subjective and Objective Sleep in Late Pregnancy

Authors: Kita, Mayers, A. and McDougall, S.

Conference: Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies

Dates: 1-5 June 2013

Journal: SLEEP

Volume: 36


Introduction: Poor sleep in late pregnancy has been related to the development of postpartum depression (PPD), yet the specific nature of this relationship remains unclear. One of the reasons for the lack of clarity may be due to the complex nature of sleep. Past research has found that subjective sleep is related to PPD, however these studies did not show the same relationship using actigraphy. This suggests that a discrepancy exists between subjective and objective sleep measures. This may be due to the use of actigraphy rather then polysomnography (PSG). In order to better understand the relationship between sleep and PPD, we first need to understand the relationship between subjective and objective sleep. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study to use PSG to compare subjective and objective sleep within a pregnant sample.

Methods: Women in their third trimester (n=23) underwent one night of PSG. The following morning a subjective sleep questionnaire was administered. These women were part of a larger study investigating the relationship between sleep and PPD.

Results: Subjectively, women were relatively accurate at estimating their total sleep time (r=.59, p<.01); sleep onset latency (r=.66, p<.01), and number of awakenings (r=.61, p<.01). Subjective sleep quality was moderately correlated with objective number of awakenings (r=-.49, p=<.05) and percentage of time spent awake (r=-.44, p<.05), but was not significantly related to stages of sleep. However, subjective perception of sleep depth was correlated to percentage of time spent in stage one (r=-.42, p<.05).

Conclusion: In contrast to previous research using actigraphy, this study shows moderate to strong correlations between women’s subjective perceptions of sleep and objective PSG measures. One reason for this may be due to the relatively fine-grained analysis available with PSG. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Lauren Kita