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Depressed moms have sleepless babies?

May 7, 2009 6:39:09 PM PDT
Babies born to mothers battling depression are more likely to have sleep problems of their own. That's according to a new study in the journal "Sleep."

Researchers at the University of Michigan compared the sleep habits of babies born to mothers with depression and babies born to mothers with no family history of depression. They found that the newborns of mothers with depression took longer to fall asleep than those of non-depressed mothers.

On average, it took the babies of depressed mothers 80 minutes to get to sleep. The babies of non-depressed mothers took about 20 minutes to get to sleep.

Scientists say it's possible depressed women produce greater amounts of the stress hormone Cortisol during pregnancy and post-delivery, which could affect an infant's ability to sleep.

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