Trajectories and Predictors of Nocturnal Awakenings and Sleep Duration in Infants

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Objectives:To examine the trajectories of sleep duration and nocturnal awakenings in infants from 6 to 18 months of age and to identify predictors of short sleep duration and nocturnal awakenings.Methods:Data for this study come from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study conducted at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. A total of 55,831 mother reports of child sleep were used to estimate the stability and predictors of awakenings and short sleep.Results:Nocturnal awakenings were frequent among 6-month-old children. Although there was an overall reduction in both sleep duration and nocturnal awakenings from 6 to 18 months, the chronicity of sleep problems was high and impacted by prior sleep behavior and sleeping arrangements. Bedsharing was an independent and graded predictor of nocturnal awakenings and short sleep duration, also after controlling for prior sleep. Breastfeeding was related to concurrent nocturnal awakening but was not negatively related to later nocturnal awakenings.Conclusions:Considering the chronicity of nocturnal awakening and its association with bedsharing, our findings support current recommendations of reducing bedsharing to improve sleep among infants.

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