The thermal insulation of clothing and wrapping (tog value), room temperature, and body temperature was measured for 3-4 month old infants sleeping in their home cots under conditions chosen freely by parents during a cold winter. We found that ambient temperature averaged 18.4 degrees C when infants were put down, but fell by an average of 4.4 degrees C during the night. Minimum room temperature correlated with outside temperature, but most rooms were heated to some degree; smaller babies were kept in warmer rooms. The tog value of clothing before putting the baby down averaged 5.1, supplemented by 9.6 tog units of wrapping in the cot--a 188% increase for a 4.4 degrees C drop in temperature. Total tog of clothing and wrapping correlated negatively with minimum room temperature; smaller born babies tended to be more heavily wrapped. Despite the large increase in insulation in the cot, most babies maintained normal body temperatures.
The purpose of this study was to describe the sleep patterns and fatigue of both mothers and fathers before and after childbirth. The authors used wrist actigraphy and questionnaires to estimate sleep and fatigue in 72 couples during their last month of pregnancy and 1st month postpartum. Both parents experienced more sleep disruption at night during the postpartum period as compared to the last month of pregnancy. Compared to fathers, with their stable 24-h sleep patterns over time, mothers had less sleep at night and more sleep during the day after the baby was born. Sleep patterns were also related to parents’work status and type of infant feeding. Both parents self-reported more sleep disturbance and fatigue during the 1st month postpartum than during pregnancy. Mothers reported more sleep disturbance than fathers, but there was no gender difference in ratings of fatigue. At both time points, fathers obtained less total sleep than mothers when sleep was objectively measured throughout the entire 24-h day. Further research is needed to determine the duration of sleep loss for both mothers and fathers, to evaluate the effect of disrupted sleep and sleep loss on psychosocial functioning and job performance, and to develop interventions for improving sleep patterns of new parents.
sleep; fatigue; mothers; fathers; pregnancy; postpartum; naps
In an attempt to foster self-soothing during the night, a novel sleep aid infused with maternal odor was introduced to 4 groups of infants ranging in age from 3 to 12 months. Infants’ use of parent-provided sleep aids also was examined.
Nighttime sleep and waking behaviors were videotaped for 2 consecutive nights on 3 occasions over a 3-month interval. Using all-night video recording, the study examined the infant’s use of a novel sleep aid and parent-provided sleep aids during sleep onset and after nighttime awakenings.
Results indicated that infants of different ages differed in the types of sleep aids used when falling asleep either at the beginning of the night or after awakenings in the middle of the night. More 3-month-olds used their thumbs/fingers/hands, whereas more 6-month-olds used soft objects. The 6-month-olds were most likely to use the novel sleep aid. Almost all of the infants at all 4 ages used some type of object during the night. Intra-individual analyses showed that infants tended to change their pattern of sleep aid use over the 3-month study period.
The data provide evidence that infants during the first year of life use sleep aids frequently and interchangeably rather than a specific favorite object.
Continuous recordings of rectal temperature were made from 40 normal infants, aged 3-4 months, at home during two days of normal activities. We found that the rectal temperature of a normal, healthy baby may vary from 36.0 degrees C at night to 37.8 degrees C during active periods of the day. During daytime sleep rectal temperature fell, but to a lesser extent, and for less time than during night time sleeps. Feeds raised the temperature unless the baby slept, when they reduced the rate of fall of temperature. Bottle feeds affected temperature more quickly than breast feeds. The changes in temperature during sleep and after feeds were independent of the room temperature or thermal insulation of clothing and wrapping.
Continuous rectal temperature recordings were made from 32 babies the night after their first diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus immunisation and compared with recordings made before immunisation. Tog values of clothes and wrapping and room temperatures were also recorded. We found that immunisation the day before disturbs the normal night time rhythm of deep body temperature. The rectal temperature of immunised babies was significantly higher than non-immunised babies from two hours into the night. We also found that there were considerable individual variations in the extent of disturbance of temperature rhythm. They were not correlated with thermal environment. There is no reason to suppose that these mild physiological responses to immunisation are in any way harmful.
Sleep-wake behaviors and temperament were examined longitudinally for trait stability and relationship to behavioral state regulation from infancy to early childhood. Subjects were 120 low-risk, full-term infants from a middle class sample. At 6 weeks, parents completed 3 consecutive days of the Baby’s Day Diary which measures sleep, wake, fuss, feed and cry states and the Infant Characteristics Questionnaire. At 16 months, parents assessed sleep behaviors with the Sleep Habits Inventory and temperament with the Toddler Symptom Checklist. At 24 months, parents repeated 3 days of the Baby’s Day Diary. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine cross-age hypotheses for sleep-wake and temperament associations. From early infancy to toddlerhood, sleep-wake behaviors and irritable temperament were notably stable but independent in this cohort.
Sleep; wake; infant; toddler; temperament; continuity; fuss; diary method; longitudinal
Continuous recordings of night time rectal temperature were made at regular intervals over the first six months of life in 49 babies. In the first two weeks of life rectal temperature changed little overnight, but by 6 weeks of age rectal temperature at bedtime was significantly higher than later in the night. By around 12 weeks of age sleeping deep body temperature fell below 36.5 degrees C, and by 16 weeks of age all babies exhibited a consistent rhythm of rectal temperature. This fell by about 0.8 degrees C within two hours of bedtime, and then remained low until an hour or two before waking. As babies got older the mean interval between bedtime and first disturbance of parents got longer. Sleeping rectal temperature fell below 36.5 degrees C at about the time babies slept for seven hours. From 6 weeks of age, as individual baby's rectal temperatures fell more with sleep, sleep got longer.
The effects of sleeping position upon body temperature were assessed by continuous monitoring of rectal temperature in 137 babies sleeping at home under conditions chosen by their parents. There were three groups of subjects: (1) normal babies aged 12-22 weeks whose temperature rhythms were developed, (2) normal babies aged 6-12 weeks who were developing their night time temperature rhythms, and (3) babies the night after diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus immunisation, whose temperature rhythms were disturbed. Sleeping in the prone position was not associated with higher rectal temperatures at any time of night in young babies, nor did it exaggerate the disturbance of rectal temperature rhythm after immunisation. In older normal babies the prone position did not disturb rectal temperature in the first part of the night, though prone sleepers warmed a little faster prior to walking, especially in warm conditions. Prone sleepers were, however, born earlier in gestation and tended to be of lower birth weight. Normal babies can therefore thermoregulate effectively whatever their sleeping posture, even in warm conditions, though the prone position may make it slightly more difficult to lose heat. It is difficult to see how the prone position, even interacting with warm conditions, could induce lethal hyperthermia in otherwise normal babies. Perhaps the prone position is associated with other risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome.
The effect on deep body temperature of infants co-sleeping (with either or both parents) is investigated in this case control study. Overnight continuous recordings of rectal temperature were made from 34 babies co-sleeping with one or both parents throughout the night and 34 infants matched for age, feeding regimen, parental smoking, thermal environment, sleeping position, and sex who slept alone. The co-sleeping infants had significantly higher rectal temperatures from two hours after bedtime, when the initial fall in sleeping body temperature was complete. The mean rectal temperature of co-sleeping infants between two and eight hours was 0.1 degree C higher than that of infants sleeping alone (p < 0.04). Given the very small variance in rectal temperature this probably reflects a considerable physiological difference between the two groups.
The transition to parenthood can be stressful for new parents, as parents must learn to take on new roles and responsibilities. Sleep disruption—which has been linked in prior research to parent distress and fatigue—is common in the early months. The current study is the first to our knowledge to examine infant sleep and its potential indirect influence on parents’ perceptions of coparenting quality at 1 and 3 months of infant age. Participants included 150 families. Mothers reported more night waking, poorer sleep quality, more depressive symptoms, and worse perceptions of coparenting quality as compared with fathers. We tested a structural model of infant and parent night waking and sleep quality as predictors of parent distress and coparenting using maximum likelihood estimation. The frequency of infant night waking predicted father and mother night waking, which in turn predicted parent sleep quality. Poor parent sleep quality predicted elevated depressive symptoms, and finally depressive symptoms were negatively related to perceptions of coparenting quality. Significant indirect effects between infant night waking and parent depression and coparenting quality were found. In summary, both mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions of coparenting were related to the unfolding parental dynamics that take place surrounding infant sleep difficulties. This held true even after controlling for parent education, family income, and infant temperament. Therefore, parenting may indirectly benefit from interventions targeting infant sleep difficulties.
Transition to parenthood; coparenting; parent sleep; infant sleep; depression
Details of room temperature, clothing, and bedding used by night and by day and in winter and in summer were recorded for 649 babies aged 8 to 26 weeks. Room temperature at night was significantly related to outside temperature and duration of heating. Total insulation was significantly related to outside temperature and to minimum room temperature, but there was wide variation in insulation at the same room temperature. High levels of insulation for a given room temperature were found particularly at night and in winter, and were associated with the use of thick or doubled duvets and with swaddling. At least half the babies threw off some or all of their bedding at night, and at least a quarter sweated. Younger mothers and mothers in the lower social groups put more bedclothes over their babies, and the latter also kept their rooms warmer. Many mothers kept their babies warmer during infections.
Infants who cry a lot, or are unsettled in the night, are common sources of concern for parents and costly problems for health services. The two types of problems have been linked together and attributed to a general disturbance of infant regulation. Yet the infant behaviours involved present differently, at separate ages and times of day. To clarify causation, this study aims to assess whether prolonged crying at 5–6 weeks (the peak age for crying) predicts which infants are unsettled in the night at 12 weeks of age (when most infants become settled at night).
Data from two longitudinal studies are analysed. Infant crying data were obtained from validated behaviour diaries; sleep-waking data from standard parental questionnaires.
A significant, weak relationship was found between crying at 5–6 weeks and 12-week night waking and signalling in one study, but not the other. Most infants who met the definition for prolonged crying/colic at 5–6 weeks were settled during the night at 12 weeks of age; they were not more likely than other infants to be unsettled.
Most infants who cry a lot at 5–6 weeks of age ‘sleep through the night’ at 12 weeks of age. This adds to evidence that the two types of problematic behaviour have different causes, and that infant sleep-waking problems usually involve maintenance of signalling behaviours rather than a generalised disturbance.
Few objective data are available regarding infants’ night waking behaviors and the development of self-soothing during the first year of life. This cross-sectional study examined 80 infants in one of four age groups (3, 6, 9, or 12 mo) for four nights by using videosomnography to code nighttime awakenings and parent-child interactions. A large degree of variability was observed in parents’ putting the infant to bed awake or asleep and in responding to vocalizations after nighttime awakenings. Most infants woke during the night at all ages observed. Younger infants tended to require parental intervention at night to return to sleep, whereas older infants exhibited a greater proportion of self-soothing after nighttime awakenings. However, even in the 12-month-old group, 50% of infants typically required parental intervention to get back to sleep after waking. Results emphasize the individual and contextual factors that effect the development of self-soothing behavior during the first year of life.
Objective To test a transactional model of sleep–wake development in infants born preterm or low birthweight (PT LBW), which may inform clinical practice, interventions, and future research in this at risk population. Methods One hundred and twenty-eight mother–infant dyads participated from hospital discharge to 4 months postterm. Assessments of prematurity, infant sleep–wake patterns, maternal interaction quality, depression, feeding route, and sociodemographic factors were conducted. Results Path analyses revealed that maternal interactions directly related to infant sleep patterns and family sociodemographic risks related to less optimal parenting. In addition, bottle fed infants experienced fewer night wakings and more nighttime sleep. Conclusions Two potential pathways to sleep patterns in PT LBW infants were identified. The findings suggest directions for clinical work, such as supporting healthy infant sleep through parenting interventions or supporting interpersonal relations between parents and their PT LBW infants by encouraging more daytime naps. Additionally, clinicians should assess parents’ nighttime sleep concerns within the larger sociodemographic and feeding context.
low birthweight; preterm; sleep; transactional development
Rectal, skin, and ambient temperatures were continuously recorded overnight from 3-4 month old normal infants in their home cots under conditions of room temperature and wrapping chosen freely by parents. It was found that rectal temperature was above 37 degrees C when infants were put down, but fell rapidly to 36.4 degrees C within one and a half hours, then stabilised for a few hours before rising steadily. This pattern was tied more closely to the time of putting down than time of day. The extent and rate of temperature fall did not correlate with any feature of the thermal environment. We also found that skin temperature changed much less than rectal temperature over the night, and for the first two hours in the cot there was no relation between skin and rectal temperature. There is therefore a well organised, endogenous rhythm of temperature in 4 month old infants.
The purpose of the study was to investigate whether the thermal
environment in which babies slept before developing haemorrhagic shock
encephalopathy syndrome (HSES) differed from that of other babies. Data
were collected by standardised interview from parents of 31 babies who
had had HSES before the age of 7 months and compared with equivalent
data for 124 control babies, with matching for outside temperature on
the relevant night and for age. Multivariate analysis showed a strong
association between HSES and covering of the baby's head by bedding,
the odds ratio being 30.7 (95% confidence interval, 2.5 to 384). There
were weaker associations with other aspects of the thermal environment.
This suggests a link between HSES and some cases of cot death, supports
the suggestion that HSES may be caused by overheating, and reinforces
advice that babies should be placed to sleep in such a way that they are less likely to become totally covered.
Elevated night time/daytime blood pressure (BP) ratios are associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We evaluated the associations between sleep/awake BP ratios and sleep disturbances.
Sleep disturbances were assessed by in-home actigraphy and diary measures for nine nights, and polysomnography (PSG) for two nights; ambulatory BP was measured for at least 48 h. Participants were 186 middle-aged African-American and Caucasian men and women who were free from prevalent myocardial infarction, stroke, history of interventional cardiology procedures, diabetes, and diagnosed apnea or other sleep disorders.
Results showed that the greater the sleep/wake ratios of BP, the more fragmented the sleep, the greater the proportion in stage 1 (light) sleep and the smaller the proportion in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and the greater the number of arousals from sleep. These results were independent of age, race, gender, Framingham Risk status, cardiovascular medications, body mass index, and apnea/hypopnea index. Indicators of psychosocial stress were not greater among those with higher sleep/wake BP ratios.
Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated night time/daytime pressure may be a consequence of poor sleep.
Wrist actigraphy measures sleep activity and circadian rhythm. This study examined nighttime variability in Actiwatch parameters in a sample of breast cancer survivors (BCSs) to determine a minimum number of nights needed to obtain an accurate picture of objective sleep. A descriptive, quantitative, and repeated measures design was used. Consenting participants wore an actigraph and completed a sleep diary across 7 nights. There were no significant differences in wake after sleep onset (WASO), total sleep time (TST), sleep latency, or sleep disturbances across nights of week (Monday to Sunday) or monitoring nights (1st to 7th). Sleep efficiency was significantly better at Night 6 compared with Night 7. The coefficients of variation (CVs) for WASO ranged from 46% to 86%, TST 23%–34%, sleep latency 154%–246%, sleep efficiency 12%–22%, and sleep disturbances 33%–41%. Although the CVs indicated high variability across women, there was little internight variability in WASO or TST during across 7 nights of sleep. This suggests that in BCSs, Actiwatch data could be collected and evaluated from any single night for an accurate measure of usual sleep.
sleep; actigraphy; breast cancer; circadian rhythm; survivors
Night time rectal temperature recordings were made from 103 infants sleeping in their own home in different sleeping positions. In most cases sleeping position was verified by video monitoring throughout the night. In the period before an adult-like night time body temperature pattern appeared there was no significant effect of sleeping position upon night time body temperature, in line with previous reports. Once an adult-like night time temperature pattern appeared, infants sleeping supine reached significantly lower rectal temperatures than those sleeping prone or lateral. Babies sleeping supine moved significantly more during the night and were more likely to uncover their hands and arms. These findings suggest that supine sleepers are in a different physiological condition from those sleeping prone or lateral, which may be associated with their lower vulnerability to sudden unexpected infant death.
This study aimed to examine the overnight temperature pattern of babies during the prodromal phase of minor illnesses. The overnight rectal temperature pattern of 123 babies was recorded weekly from about 6 to at least 16 weeks old, while parents maintained detailed records of signs of illness. By analysis of patterns of signs and visits to the general practitioner, 86 periods of minor illness were identified, mostly upper respiratory tract infections, though it was not usually possible to identify the infection by conventional virology. Data were analysed separately for babies who had developed an adult-like night time temperature pattern and those who had not. In both groups, obvious signs of illness were preceded by a disturbance of night time temperature pattern. Temperature was significantly raised over control weeks, though few babies were clinically febrile. The greatest temperature disturbances were seen in the three days before illness, though some disturbances were seen up to seven days before. A similar disturbance of temperature was seen the night after diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus immunisation, and individual responses to natural infection and immunisation were well correlated, suggesting that the temperature change is more a function of the host response than the infecting agent.
Postpartum sleep disruption is common among new parents. In this randomized controlled trial we evaluated a modified sleep hygiene intervention for new parents (infant proximity, noise masking, and dim lighting) in anticipation of night-time infant care. Two samples of new mothers (n = 118 and 122) were randomized to the experimental intervention or attention control, and sleep was assessed in late pregnancy and first 3 months postpartum using actigraphy and the General Sleep Disturbance Scale. The sleep hygiene strategies evaluated did not benefit the more socioeconomically advantaged women or their partners in Sample 1, but did improve postpartum sleep among the less advantaged women of Sample 2. Simple changes to the bedroom environment can improve sleep for new mothers with few resources.
sleep; parents; postpartum; intervention studies; actigraphy
A single-group crossover design was used to examine the effects of a warm footbath on body temperatures, distal-proximal skin temperature gradient (DPG), and sleep outcomes in 15 Taiwanese elders with self-reported sleep disturbance. Body temperatures and polysomnography were recorded for 3 consecutive nights. Participants were assigned randomly to receive a 41°C footbath for 40 minutes before sleep onset on night 2 or night 3. Mean DPG before lights off was significantly elevated on the bathing night. There were no significant differences in sleep outcomes between the two nights. However, when the first two non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep periods were examined, the amount of wakefulness was decreased in the second NREM period on the bathing night.
In a longitudinal, population based study, overnight temperature recordings were made in the bedrooms of 152 babies aged 3-18 weeks and the insulation provided by their bedclothing was assessed. Outdoor temperatures for the study nights were also available. Parents applied more insulation on colder nights with lower bedroom temperatures than on warmer nights (mean 8.5 tog at 15 degrees C minimum bedroom temperature falling to 4.0 tog at 25 degrees C). For a particular temperature they also applied 2 tog more insulation in winter than in summer. The amounts of bedclothing used in the home were compared with insulation levels predicted to achieve thermo-neutrality over a similar range of environmental temperature from heat balance studies in young infants. They corresponded closely. The average amount of bedclothing chosen for babies in Avon allows them to remain in thermoneutral conditions throughout the night. These values are proposed as broad guidelines for the thermal care of young babies at night.
In research and clinical contexts, parent reports are often used to gain information about the sleep patterns of their adolescents; however, the degree of concordance between parent reports and adolescent-derived measures is unclear. The present study compares parent estimates of adolescent sleep patterns with adolescent self-reports from surveys and sleep diaries, together with actigraphy.
A total of 308 adolescents (59% male) aged 13–17 years completed a school sleep habits survey during class time at school, followed by a 7-day sleep diary and wrist actigraphy. Parents completed the Sleep, Medical, Education and Family History Survey.
Parents reported an idealized version of their adolescent’s sleep, estimating significantly earlier bedtimes on both school nights and weekends, significantly later wake times on weekends, and significantly more sleep than either the adolescent self-reported survey, sleep diary, or actigraphic estimates.
Parent reports indicate that the adolescent averages a near-optimal amount of sleep on school nights and a more than optimal amount of sleep on weekends. However, adolescent-derived averages indicate patterns of greater sleep restriction. These results illustrate the importance of using adolescent-derived estimates of sleep patterns in this age group and the importance of sleep education for both adolescents and their parents.
concordance; parent; sleep; sleep measurement; survey; actigraphy
This study examined associations between mother–infant nighttime interactions and mother–infant attachment when infants were 12 months old. Forty-four mother–infant pairs participated in this study. For three consecutive nights at home, babies were observed in their cribs using a digital video system. Mothers reported on their nighttime interactions with their babies using a self-report diary and completed a questionnaire regarding child temperament. Attachment was assessed in the Strange Situation (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). Mothers of securely attached infants had nighttime interactions that were generally more consistent, sensitive and responsive than those of insecurely attached infants. Specifically, in secure dyads, mothers generally picked up and soothed infants when they fussed or cried after an awakening.
maternal responsiveness; attachment; infants; nighttime; sleep