Mom's Mood and Baby's Sleep
Fetal programming that causes sleep problems is preventable.
Study Title:Mom's mood, baby's sleep: what's the connection?
From press release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If there’s one thing that everyone knows about newborn babies, it’s that they don’t sleep through the night, and neither do their parents. But in fact, those first six months of life are crucial to developing the regular sleeping and waking patterns, known as circadian rhythms, that a child will need for a healthy future.
Some children may start life with the sleep odds stacked against them, though, say University of Michigan sleep experts who study the issue. They will present data from their study next week at the European Sleep Research Society meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.
Babies whose mothers experienced depression any time before they became pregnant, or developed mood problems while they were pregnant, are much more prone to having chaotic sleep patterns in the first half-year of life than babies born to non-depressed moms, the team has found.
Not only does this add to parents’ sleepless nights, but it may help set these children up for their own depression later in life.
Rather, it means that all parents – especially ones with a history of depression – must pay close attention to the conditions they create for their infant’s sleep, from birth.
“Keeping a very regular sleep schedule is incredibly important,” says Armitage. “We know that for both children and adults, and from this study we now know that for infants, the more stable the bedtime the less chaotic sleep is during the night.”
Armitage and her team have devoted years to studying the links between sleep and depression, and the circadian rhythms, light-dark exposure, and other factors that appear to make a difference in sleep and mood. Over the past decade, they’ve shown that all are strongly linked.
Recently, their research in depressed adults, teenagers and pre-teens led them to wonder if the links were as strong among babies. Infants need a lot more sleep than grownups, but tend to get it in shorter chunks of time throughout the day and night, at least for the first months of life.
The research that Armitage and her colleagues will present next week, and also this fall at the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting, is based on sleep studies involving two groups of new mothers and their babies. It’s funded by the Cohen Sleep Research Fund and the Drs. Jack and Barbara Berman Depression Research Fund at the U-M Depression Center.
One group was made up of mothers who sought help for depression during pregnancy from the U-M Depression Center’s Women’s Mood Disorders Program. The other group was mothers who had no past or current depression. Each group agreed to wear wristwatch-like devices called actigraphs, which measure sleep time at night, light exposure and daytime activity/rest patterns.
The moms began wearing the devices during the last trimester of pregnancy, and then after their babies were born the team fitted each child with a tiny actigraph at the age of two weeks. Then, the team downloaded the information from the devices every month until the babies were eight months old.
So far, the analysis of the data they collected show that babies born to depressed moms had little or no evidence of an in-born 24-hour circadian rhythm soon after they were born – unlike the babies born to women who weren’t depressed. This irregular pattern continued until the study ended in the babies’ eighth month.
That’s why, she says, it’s so crucial to help all babies – and new parents – get the sleep they need.
Of course, infants and toddlers need to nap during the daytime to get all the sleep they need – 11 to 18 hours for newborns in the first two months, 11 to 15 hours for the next ten months, and 12 to 14 hours from ages 1 to 3 years. And, newborns wake up in the night when they need food.
Parents can also make sure that babies are regularly around bright light during the day, which helps the body develop circadian rhythms linked to light cycles. Of course, the bright light shouldn’t shine directly in babies’ eyes, and they should be shielded from direct sunlight or wear sunscreen outside.
The main thing, she says, is to make sure babies and small children get enough sleep on an increasingly regular schedule – and that their moms do too.
“Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an elevated risk for depression in everybody, at all stages of life, but in new moms, because of the hormonal changes and the need to recover from the pregnancy and birth, sleep deprivation can really be a problem,” says Armitage, a professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School. “It can interfere with the social rhythms that are important for keeping the circadian clock in the brain in sync, it can minimize the amount of energy moms have to care for their infants, and it can contribute to the development of depression.”
Roseanne Armitage, et al. Mom's mood, baby's sleep: what's the connection? European Sleep Research Society meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. 2008 September
Related Entries: Whiplash, Thyroid, and Adrenals
Brain Inflammation Now Documented in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Brain Protective Effects of Proathocyanidins
Nutrient Highlight: Discover the Best Form of Folate
Lutein and Zeaxanthin Offset Gene Weaknesses that Cause Macular Degeneration
Lycopene Builds Its Anti-Prostate Cancer Case
Carotenes Improve the Quality of Semen
Vitamin B12 as Methylcobalamin Repairs Nerves & Lowers Pain
Folic Acid Activates Neural Stem Cells for Brain Rejuvenation
Chromium Improves Insulin Function & Reduces Binge Eating
How Fiber and Niacin Protect Against Colon Inflammation and Cancer
Berries Have Anti-Aging Impact on Immune System
Strawberries Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
Friendly Flora Improves Fatty Liver Disease
Flavonoid Intake Improves Cardio Health in At-Risk Men
Polyphenols and Essential Fatty Acids Reduce Cardio Risk in Overweight People
Vitamin C Reduces the Risk for Hemorrhagic Stroke
Testosterone Therapy Increases Heart Attack Risk
Magnesium Intake Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Inflammation
Q10 Boosts Energy, Nerves, Muscles & Metabolism
Coenzyme Q10 Remarkably Improves Circulation
Tyrosine Helps Maintain Mental Ability Under Stress
Green Tea Extract Lowers Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar & Inflammation
Poor Flexibility is a Sign of Stiff Arteries
A Sluggish Lymph System Causes Snoring & Sleep Apnea
DHA is Vital to Cardiovascular Wellness
Magnesium Supplements Lower Blood Pressure, Prevent Calcification
Magnesium for the Prevention of Heart Disease
Pomegranate Protects HDL Cholesterol from Damage
Pomegranate Blocks Flu Replication
Tocotrienols: Twenty Years of Dazzling Cardiovascular and Cancer Research
Is Resveratrol the Fountain of Youth?
Grape Seed Extract Lowers Blood Pressure
Scientists Tout Resveratrol as a Primary Nutrient for Cardio Health
Leptin, Thyroid, and Weight Loss
Excess Appetite Causes Abdominal Fat
Low Energy? Detect Thyroid Related Fatigue
Curcumin Boosts AMPK Activation, Prevents Fatty Liver
Quercetin Activates Mitochondrial Biogenesis
Quercetin Guards Against Inflammation-Induced Bone Loss
Head Injuries Double or Triple the Risk of Early Death
Fatty Fish Consumption Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 33%
Flavonoids Continue to Show Potent Diabetes Prevention
Vitamin K2 Decreases Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women
Cissus Quadrangularis Enhances Fracture Healing
Cissus Quadrangularis Reduces Exercise-Related Joint Pain
Nobiletin and Tangeretin Help Protect Against Bone Loss
Nobiletin and Tangeretin Inhibit Respiratory Virus
Oregano Oil Inhibits Biofilm Formation
Bromelain Helps Chronic Sinus Inflammation
Curcumin Demonstrates Potent Anti-Flu Properties
Quercetin Protects Brain and Body from Low Oxygen Stress
Ubiquinol Q10 Protects Against Magnified Tissue Injury
Ubiquinol Q10 Protects Eyes of Diabetic Patients
Limonene Promotes Healing of Digestive Lining
Magnesium Intake Reduces Mortality
Fiber is Vital for Cardio Health
Friendly Flora Boosts Weight Loss in Obese Women
Tocotrienols Help Correct Fatty Liver in Humans
Vitamin E Boosts Quality of Life for Alzheimer’s Patients
Astaxanthin Demonstrates Brain Protection & Rejuvenation
Top 10 Health Stories of 2013
Resveratrol’s Amazing Anti-Aging Effect on Circulation
Grape Seed Extract Normalizes Blood Pressure in Mild Hypertension Patients
Don’t Let Bacterial Infections Set Up Shop
Viral Replication Fueled by Sugar
Anti-Vitamin Propaganda Hits a Fever Pitch
Antacid Medications Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Speed Aging
Men Should Take Folic Acid Prior to Conception to Prevent Birth Defects
Exercise Potently Reduces the Risk for Diseases of Aging
Fisetin Demonstrates Potent Bone Protection Properties
Green Tea (EGCG) Improves Body Weight and Autoimmune Arthritis
Low Midlife Iron Contributes to Declining Cognitive Function in Women
DHA Reduces Inflammation in Brains of Alzheimer’s Patients
Low Magnesium Linked to Poor Vitamin D Status
Vitamin D Lowers Depression and Nerve Pain in Women with Type 2 Diabetes
Adequate Vitamin D is Needed to Prevent Brain Damage
Nutrition Makes Anti-Aging Possible: Secrets of Your Telomeres
Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Lipoic Acid Rejuvenate Stressed Mitochondria
Low DHA and EPA Linked to Major Depression and Anxiety
Higher Dose DHA and EPA Reduce Infection Toxins
DHA and EPA Help People with Dry Eye Syndrome
Tocotrienol E Supports Bone Health
Antioxidants and Magnesium Linked to Better Hearing
Bovine Lactoferrin Anti-Flu Properties
Olive Leaf Extract Improves Blood Sugar Metabolism
Bovine Colostrum’s Potent Immune-Support Activity
EPA and DHA Boost Mental Health Scores in Healthy Adults
DHA and EPA Boost Brain Function in Children with ADHD
Chlorella Reduces Red Blood Cell Damage Linked to Cognitive Decline
Aerobic Exercise Boosts Cognitive Function, Brain Structure & Cardiovascular Health
Aerobic Exercise During Pregnancy Boosts Baby’s Brain
How Fiber and Friendly Flora Help Digestive Immunity
Anti-Aging Properties of Astaxanthin
Tocotrienols Stabilize Mast Cells
Q10, Zinc, and Antioxidants Needed During the Flu
Ubiquinol Q10 Anti-Aging Properties
Magnesium Intake Improves Insulin Resistance
Limonene Boosts Metabolism, Lowers Inflammation & Stress
Most Popular News:
Connect with Wellness Resources: