fbpx

Infant sleeps poorly at night? You’ll suffer in the day: Study

Leslie Penkunas//September 27, 2019

Infant sleeps poorly at night? You’ll suffer in the day: Study

Leslie Penkunas//September 27, 2019

A new study released September 26 has confirmed what many parents already know: Moms and dads whose infants have sleep problems find themselves struggling to function properly during the day. In fact, according to the research by Flinders University in partnership with New York-based tech company Nanit, these parents are three times more likely to experience daytime dysfunction as parents of infants without sleep problems.

Daytime dysfunction can impede activities including driving and occupational performance and, with sleep problems prevalent in 20-30 percent of infants, potentially impacts a significant portion of parents.

Prof. Michael Gradisar, Clinical Psychologist at the Child & Adolescent Sleep Clinic at Flinders University and an author of the study, noted, “The Nanit camera system and AI allowed for objective measurement of both the infants’ sleep quality and parents’ behavior. This is going to give researchers insights that we’ve not had on this scale before, and will ultimately lead us to provide parents with the best advice to improve their infant’s sleep health.”

The study employed Nanit’s smart baby monitors to track infant sleep quality across 619 families and automatically analyze the data with its computer vision algorithm. The Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire was then used to measure the presence of infant sleep problems as reported by parents. To measure parents’ daytime dysfunction, researchers utilized a sub-component of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

In another collaborative study, Flinders University and Nanit also provide objective evidence demonstrating the link between parental involvement and deficient infant sleep, finding that parental night-time visits were more frequent for younger infants, as well as for infants with poorer sleep quality.

“This collaboration with Nanit is exciting,” said Dr. Michal Kahn, a co-author on the study and a post-doctoral fellow at Flinders University. “We have so many questions that can now be answered by leveraging their technology and we’re looking forward to doing many more innovative projects together.”