Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1323–1327

Do pregnant women accurately report sleep time? A comparison between self-reported and objective measures of sleep duration in pregnancy among a sample of urban mothers

  • Sharon J. Herring
  • Gary D. Foster
  • Grace W. Pien
  • Katherine Massa
  • Deborah B. Nelson
  • Philip R. Gehrman
  • Adam Davey
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s11325-013-0835-2

Cite this article as:
Herring, S.J., Foster, G.D., Pien, G.W. et al. Sleep Breath (2013) 17: 1323. doi:10.1007/s11325-013-0835-2

Abstract

Purpose

Survey questions are commonly used to assess sleep duration because of their low cost and convenience. Responses to these questions correlate moderately with objectively measured sleep duration in nonpregnant individuals, but little is known about the validity of self-reported sleep measures in pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to determine the extent to which self-reported gestational sleep duration assessed by questionnaire predicted objectively measured gestational sleep duration via actigraphy.

Methods

We analyzed data from 80 mothers enrolled in an ancillary study of Project BABIES, a prospective cohort study of urban, pregnant women. Sleep measurements were collected in midpregnancy and included 7 days of wrist actigraphy, a sleep log, and survey questions about sleep time adapted from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

Results

Mean measured gestational sleep duration derived from actigraphy was 6.87 h [standard deviation (SD) 0.87], and questionnaire-assessed nocturnal sleep time averaged 7.29 h (SD 1.84). While the difference between measures did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.07 for paired samples t test), over half (62 %) of participants reported a habitual average nightly sleep time that differed more than 1 h from their average actigraphically measured sleep duration (39 % overestimated by more than an hour; 23 % underestimated by more than an hour). There was no correlation between measures (r = 0.007; 95 % confidence interval −0.21, 0.23).

Conclusion

Questionnaire-derived reports of usual sleep hours do not reflect objectively measured sleep time in urban, pregnant women. Actigraphy is preferable to accurately assess gestational sleep duration.

Keywords

Sleep durationActigraphyPregnancySelf-reportObjective

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon J. Herring
    • 1
  • Gary D. Foster
    • 1
  • Grace W. Pien
    • 2
  • Katherine Massa
    • 1
  • Deborah B. Nelson
    • 3
  • Philip R. Gehrman
    • 4
  • Adam Davey
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Center for Obesity Research and EducationTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Sleep MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA