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Sleep Duration and Postpartum Weight Change

Obesity; ePub 2018 Dec 30; Herring, Yu, et al

Sleeping <7 hours per night was associated with late postpartum weight gain in minority mothers, a recent study found. Researchers analyzed data from 159 mothers (69% black, 32% Hispanic). Nocturnal sleep duration was assessed using wrist actigraphy at 6 weeks and 5 months postpartum, examined as a continuous variable and in categories (<7 vs ≥7 hours per night, consistent with American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommendations). Body weights were abstracted from medical records in pregnancy and measured at 6 weeks, 5 months, and 12 months postpartum. Outcomes included early postpartum (6 weeks to 5 months) and late postpartum (5 to 12 months) weight changes. They found:

  • The majority of participants slept <7 hours per night at 6 weeks (75%) and 5 months (63%) postpartum.
  • Early postpartum weight change did not differ by 6‐week sleep duration category.
  • By contrast, adjusted average late postpartum weight gain was 1.8 (0.7) kg higher in participants sleeping <7 hours per night at 5 months postpartum compared with those sleeping ≥7 hours per night.
  • Results did not show statistically significant associations of continuous measures of sleep duration, nor of measures of sleep quality, with postpartum weight changes.

Herring SJ, Yu D, Spaeth A, et al. Influence of sleep duration on postpartum weight change in black and Hispanic women. [Published online ahead of print December 30, 2019]. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22364.