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Internet program reduces infant and toddler sleep problems, helps moms sleep better too
Date:3/31/2011

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 a
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Contact: Emilee McStay
emcstay@aasmnet.org
630-737-9700 x9345
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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