Can better sleep during pregnancy help prevent postpartum depression? That’s the question a research team led by Dr. Katherine M. Sharkey is hoping to answer, reports Providence Journal.
Women age 18 to 40 in their first or second trimester who are having trouble sleeping and also experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression can enroll in the Sleep and Light Research Study. The randomly selected control group receives or continues with what Sharkey describes as the “usual care” of a psychiatrist or other mental-health professional.
The other group, also randomly assigned, receives so-called “chronotherapy” — a personalized sleep schedule and daily morning use of a light box, which helps reset a woman’s biological clock, which poor sleep can throw out of rhythm. The hoped-for result: improved sleep at night, the time when the body naturally benefits most from rest.