first_imgHerald Sun (Aust) 7 Oct 2011New mothers who get less than six hours’ sleep a night face an increased risk of postnatal depression. Strong links between sleep deprivation and depressive symptoms in new mothers were found in a review of more than 100 international studies. A lack of sleep could make them feel sad, tired and unable to concentrate, Australian researcher Kerry Thomas told the Australian Psychological Society’s annual conference in Canberra yesterday. “Women whose babies wake several times during the night have a greater risk of developing depression, and that’s both at four weeks postpartum and eight weeks postpartum stage,” she said. “Women who receive less than six hours of sleep a night in a 24-hour period also have an increased risk of developing depression.” About 16 per cent of Australian women are believed to develop postnatal depression, also known as the “baby blues”, after giving birth. read more