Tired children or tired parents?

Research Summary
Meg Guard
Research Assistant

According to a Finnish study published in Pediatrics, parents who are not sleeping well may perceive their children to also have sleeping problems.  In this study, summarized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers asked both parents and their children to wear an actigraphy bracelet for a week.  This bracelet tracked the participants movement and allowed researchers to estimate sleep duration and quality. Parents in the study also filled out sleep questionnaires to track their children’s sleep habits, as well as their own sleep habits.  Researchers found a correlation between parental sleeping problems and reporting of children’s sleeping problems.  Data from the actigraphy bracelets, however, demonstrated that the parent reports were exaggerated as children were not sleeping nearly as poorly as their parents perceived. This study sheds light on the importance of examining the whole family’s sleep habits when children’s sleep issues are considered.  

For more information on parent's sleep, check out this podcast from Seattle Mama Doc.

With the help of parents tracking their baby's sleep, eating, and digestion, researchers at NYU Baby Sleep Study aim to better understand infant development. The goal is to provide scientifically-informed advice to help parents manage their baby's sleep and eating, as well as recognizing early markers for developmental disorders. You can help by signing up or spreading the word. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our citizen science project.