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Current psychiatry reports


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The perinatal period is a time of high risk for insomnia and mental health conditions. The purpose of this review is to critically examine the most recent literature on perinatal insomnia, focusing on unique features of this period which may confer specific risk, associations with depression and anxiety, and emerging work on perinatal insomnia treatment.

RECENT FINDINGS: A majority of perinatal women experience insomnia, which may persist for years, and is associated with depression and anxiety. Novel risk factors include personality characteristics, nocturnal perinatal-focused rumination, and obesity. Mindfulness and physical activity may be protective. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia is an effective treatment. Perinatal insomnia is exceedingly common, perhaps due to factors unique to this period. Although closely linked to perinatal mental health, more work is needed to establish causality. Future work is also needed to establish the role of racial disparities, tailor treatments, and determine whether insomnia treatment improves perinatal mental health.

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