If you already have postpartum depression, the sleep deprivation will make it worse. Disruption of the internal clock is well known to psychiatrists as a cause for depression.
To completely avoid this problem of upsetting the internal clock and losing melatonin, all that is required, is to use lightbulbs that don’t produce blue light. Alternatively, you may simply slip on a pair of glasses that block blue light and she can then go anywhere in the house without fear of losing your supply of melatonin. Because a father (or other night time caretaker) can also develop postpartum depression from taking care of his baby at night, he needs to take the same precautions.
For some pregnant women who find they are getting up during the night, using blue blocking glasses and/or light bulbs makes sense for the same reasons. In fact, experience has shown that putting on glasses that block blue light well in advance of bedtime has a number of benefits. It allows melatonin to start flowing earlier than usual, which makes it easier to fall and stay asleep. (Before the invention of electric lights, this was not a problem.) In addition to helping people sleep, melatonin is also a powerful cancer fighter.
By making these simple changes in your environment, you can plan for the arrival of your baby knowing you’re taking an excellent step toward staying well. These glasses and light bulbs are available at http://lowbluelights.com.
About the authors:
Dr. Shoshana is a psychologist who treats pregnant and postpartum mothers. She has conducted clinical trials of the glasses and light bulbs in helping mothers recover. She is the author of a number of books, her most recent being Postpartum Depression for Dummies. Her upcoming book, “Pregnant on Prozac” will be available in January, ’09. You can contact her at ClearSky-Inc.com
Dr. Hansler is a physicist with a lifetime career doing research on lighting. Since his retirement from GE he has founded the lighting Innovations Institute at John Carroll University. For the past number of years he has turned his attention to the effect of light on health. His recent book is “Great Sleep!