Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internet program reduces infant and toddler sleep problems, helps moms sleep better too

Date:
June 30, 2011
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
A new study demonstrates that an Internet-based intervention was effective at reducing infant and toddler sleep disturbances, as well as providing positive, indirect benefits for maternal sleep, mood and confidence. The study suggests that the Internet can give parents widespread access to individualized, behaviorally based advice for sleep problems in young children.

A study in the April 1 issue of the journal Sleep demonstrates that an Internet-based intervention was effective at reducing infant and toddler sleep disturbances, as well as providing positive, indirect benefits for maternal sleep, mood and confidence. The study suggests that the Internet can give parents widespread access to individualized, behaviorally based advice for sleep problems in young children.

Related Articles


Results show that there were significant improvements in the sleep of infants and toddlers in the Internet-based intervention groups. The number and duration of night wakings decreased by about 50 percent or more, and the longest period of continuous sleep increased by more than two hours. Children also took less time to fall asleep and had a longer total sleep time at night. Mothers in the intervention groups also slept better and had less tension, depression, fatigue and confusion. In the control group there were only minimal improvements in sleep measures and ratings of maternal mood.

"We have always known that making simple changes can help young children sleep dramatically better at night, but we were surprised by how quickly these changes came about," said principal investigator and lead author Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, professor of psychology at Saint Joseph's University and associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pa. "Within just one week, the children, and their mothers, were sleeping much better, and they continued to improve over the second week."

This three-week study involved 264 mothers and their infant or toddler (ages 6 to 36 months). Families were randomly assigned to one of two Internet-based intervention groups or a control group. After a one-week baseline period during which mothers followed their usual bedtime practices, the intervention groups followed personalized recommendations during weeks two and three. All mothers completed online versions of the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Profile of Mood States weekly.

Mothers in the intervention groups used their home computer to access the Customized Sleep Profile, an online program that collects caregivers' responses and compares their child's sleep to other children of the same age. It rates whether the child is an "excellent, good or disrupted sleeper," and uses algorithms to provide customized advice on how caregivers can help their child sleep better at night. Examples of common recommendations include implementing a bedtime routine, decreasing attention to night wakings, and decreasing or stopping nighttime feedings. Ninety percent of mothers in both intervention groups reported that they found the individualized recommendations to be "helpful," and 93 percent said that they were "likely" to continue using the recommendations after the study.

Mothers in one of the intervention groups also were instructed to institute a nightly three-step bedtime routine: a bath, a massage and a quiet activity such as cuddling or singing a lullaby. A 2009 study by Mindell found that this routine produced significant reductions in problematic sleep behaviors for infants and toddlers. In the current study, both intervention groups had similar improvements on all sleep outcomes.

According to the authors, sleep problems occur in 20 to 30 percent of young children. Although behavior-based interventions for childhood sleep problems are highly effective, their availability has been limited. The use of an Internet-based intervention gives parents widespread access to valuable recommendations that promote healthy sleep habits in children.

"Until now, there was no place online that parents could go to get customized recommendations that would help their young child sleep better," Mindell added. "This tool provides parents everywhere easily accessible help."

The Customized Sleep Profile is currently available to parents as a free resource from Johnson & Johnson as one of its "tools for better sleep" at http://www.johnsonsbaby.com/sleep. The authors do not receive financial benefit from its use.

The study was supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. Dr. Mindell and co-authors Drs. Courtney Du Mond and Avi Sadeh have consulted for Johnson and Johnson. There was no involvement from Johnson & Johnson with the data analysis or the writing of the paper.

In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) published "Practice parameters for behavioral treatment of bedtime problems and night wakings in infants and young children" in the journal Sleep. Learn more about children and sleep at http://www.sleepeducation.com and http://www.sleepeducation.blogspot.com.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jodi A. Mindell, Courtney E. Du Mond, Avi Sadeh, Lorena S. Telofski, Neema Kulkarni, Euen Gunn. Efficacy of an Internet-based intervention for infant and toddler sleep disturbances. Sleep, 2011; 34 (4): 451-458 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Internet program reduces infant and toddler sleep problems, helps moms sleep better too." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110401085455.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2011, June 30). Internet program reduces infant and toddler sleep problems, helps moms sleep better too. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110401085455.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Internet program reduces infant and toddler sleep problems, helps moms sleep better too." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110401085455.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins