The Nightmare Before Delivery: A Study of Nightmares, Depressive Symptoms, and Suicidality in Pregnant Women
Date of Award
Nutrition and Hospitality Management
Pregnancy is notoriously a time of immense changes. Some of which are characterized by disturbances in sleep such as trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking after sleep onset, snoring, leg discomfort, and nightmares (Foley, Ancoli-Israel, Britz, and Walsh, 2004; Lee and Gay, 2004; Köthe & Pietrowsky, 2001). Nightmares specifically have been associated with depressive symptoms and suicidality in non-pregnant individuals (Cukrowicz et al., 2006; Tanskanen et al., 2001), but these relations are not as well understood in the pregnant population. The aim of this study was to assess any potential relation between nightmares and depressive symptoms and suicidality in a pregnant sample. In an OBGYN clinic in Mississippi, 440 pregnant women completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to assess nightmares, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 to evaluate depressive symptoms, and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for suicidality. Using correlation analyses, it was found that nightmares were significantly associated with depressive symptoms in a positive direction and that nightmares were not related to suicidality in the pregnant sample. These findings support the existing research and emphasize the importance of understanding how nightmares relate to depression and suicidality in order to improve treatment for pregnant women. Future research is imperative to understanding these relations even more.
Frantz, Denise, "The Nightmare Before Delivery: A Study of Nightmares, Depressive Symptoms, and Suicidality in Pregnant Women" (2020). Honors Theses. 1570.