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Characteristics of sleep patterns during late pregnancy and the postpartum periods

  • Ismet Karacan
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • Wayne Heine
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • Harman W. Agnew Jr.
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • Robert L. Williams
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • Wilse B. Webb
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • John J. Ross
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ United States Public Health Service Special Research Fellow.
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      Abstract

      The present investigation provides an accurate description of the EEG sleep pattern characteristics of late pregnancy and early postpartum periods and compares this with age-matched controls. The over-all sleep pattern observed in gestation seemed similar in some respects to insomnia and was characterized by a longer sleep latency, frequent awakenings, shorter sleep time, and a marked reduction of deep sleep (Stage 4). In addition, immediately after delivery, there was a suppression of the dreaming (Stage 1-REM) sleep. By the second postpartum week, these profound sleep changes tended to normalize. Mechanisms of these findings and their possible relationship to postpartum emotional disturbances are discussed.
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