Mothers' sleep and driving in the postpartum period
Trenorden, Janelle, Armstrong, Kerry A., & Smith, Simon S. (2012) Mothers' sleep and driving in the postpartum period. In SLEEP 2012 26th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, 9-13 June 2012, Boston, Mass.
Introduction: Previous studies investigating mothers’ sleep in the postpartum period commonly demonstrated elevated levels of sleepiness in this population. A Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) rating of 5 or above is associated with an exponential increase in vehicle crash risk. To date, no studies have investigated the relationship between mothers’ sleep in the postpartum period and their driving behaviour.
Methods: Sleep-wake diary data was collected from 14 mother-infant dyads during two 7-day assessment periods when the infants were 6 and 12 weeks old. The mothers’ indicated all driving episodes during these weeks and their respective sleepiness level using the KSS. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the mothers when their infant was 12 weeks old.
Results: The infants slept significantly more than their mothers at 6 weeks and 12 weeks of age. During both time points, mothers and infants had a similar number of night awakenings (waking between 22:00 and 06:00), with some mothers experiencing greater than 19 awakenings over 7 nights. Notably, 36% of the mothers did not experience a continuous sleep period longer than 4.5 hours when their infant was 6 weeks old. A total of 141 driving episodes were reported during the 7 day assessment period when the infants were 6 weeks old. Over 50% of the driving episodes were denoted with a KSS score of 5 or above. Strategies mothers cited they employed during this period included only driving when feeling alert, postponing driving until another person is present, and driving in the morning when less sleepy.
Conclusion: Mothers are experiencing disrupted sleep at night and some mothers do not obtain more than 4.5 hours of continuous sleep during the early postpartum weeks. In this sample, some mothers reported self-regulating driving behaviour, however over half of the driving episodes were undertaken with a sleepiness rating linked with elevated crash risk.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (Presentation)|
|Keywords:||Sleep, Driving, Postpartum, Mother's sleep|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)|
|Divisions:||Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
|Deposited On:||26 Jun 2012 22:08|
|Last Modified:||01 Jun 2013 03:25|
Repository Staff Only: item control page