Homeschooling Logo

A information for the science-minded mother or father

January 13, 2024
Homeschooling Blogs

Night wakings are a normal, healthy part of sleep, whether you’re a baby, child, or adult. But why do we wake up in the middle of night? And what can we do to make these night wakings less disruptive?

Night wakings have a bad reputation, and no wonder. Just about everybody has experienced it: awakening spontaneously in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep.

If you are a parent, you also know what it’s like when somebody else keeps waking you up. A hungry baby, a crying toddler, a worried child.

When morning arrives, you don’t feel restored and energetic. Not if your sleep has been too fragmented. Not if you spent too much time awake.

So you might conclude that night wakings are unnatural, unhealthy — a sign that something has gone wrong. But science doesn’t support this idea.

Yes, night wakings can be associated with sleep deprivation and other health issues. If night wakings are causing strife and distress, you need to find ways to improve the situation. 

But night wakings aren’t — by themselves — unnatural or unhealthy.

On the contrary, it’s normal for healthy sleepers to experience many arousals from sleep during the night. An adult or child who didn’t experience these arousals would be a freak of nature. Or a patient in a coma.

Night wakings are a bit like those unconscious movements we experience at night. If you move around too much, it can become disruptive. But if you don’t move enough, you put yourself at risk for serious problems. Muscle and tendon strains from remaining in the same position too long. Compressed and damaged nerves. Bedsores.

In the case of night wakings, they protect the brain from sinking too far into deep sleep: They help ensure that sleep is reversible.

They also allow us to keep tabs on the environment, so we can react more quickly in the event of an emergency. What’s that sound? 

And they make us more responsive to urgent, internal threats — like a breathing problem (Halász et al 2004; Eckert and Younes 2014).

Thus, night wakings aren’t the enemy of a good night’s sleep. Our goal shouldn’t be to eliminate them. Instead, we should focus on making night wakings less disruptive, and addressing the problems that prevent us from falling back to sleep.

How do we do this? It isn’t easy, especially if you’ve learned to dread or resent night wakings. It pumps up your stress levels, which makes it harder to sleep. The result is what doctors call psychophysiological insomnia. You’ve (inadvertently) taught your brain to respond to night wakings by becoming more alert and vigilant.

But understanding the science of sleep can help. It can provide you with a more realistic, reassuring view of night wakings. And it offers practical insights for improving sleep quality.

In this article, I review the following:

  • Why nobody truly “sleeps through the night”
  • Why spending time awake at night isn’t intrinsically bad, or against human nature
  • Why babies wake up so often
  • How to manage night wakings in young infants
  • More tips for coping with disruptive night wakings in children and adults

Night wakings: Why nobody truly “sleeps through the night”

Perhaps you’ve heard parents brag that their children are “sleeping through the night.” This isn’t happening in your family, and you’re wondering what’s wrong.

Your baby seems to be a light sleeper. She’s easily aroused at night and (when things get really difficult) she seems capable of waking up every hour.

Or maybe you have an older child, and wonder why he keeps waking up in the middle of the night.

Is a medical condition causing these wakings? It’s possible. As I note below, there are conditions — like obstructive sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease — that can trigger night wakings.

Does your child suffer from a sleep disorder, such as night terrors? That’s possible too.

But it’s important to understand that night wakings are a regular feature of normal, healthy sleep.

Nobody truly “sleeps through the night,” not if we mean by this phrase “sleeping continuously in one, long, uninterrupted bout.”

When scientists monitor people sleeping in the laboratory — using electroencephalograms (EEGs) — they confirm that sleep isn’t a monolithic state.

Instead, we cycle through a series of sleep stages (including light sleep, deep sleep, and REM, or rapid-eye movement sleep). And cortical arousals — transitions into increased wakefulness — are common.

How common?

In a study conducted in the United States, researchers used electroencephalograms (EEGs) to measure the sleep behavior of 76 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 70. Across all age groups, sleepers averaged 80 to 130 arousals in a single night (Bonnet and Arand 2007).

To be clear, people aren’t waking up “all the way” every time they experience a cortical  arousal. Often, they are shifting from deep sleep into light sleep. Or from REM into light sleep.

But once we’re in light sleep, we’re easily awakened. And EEG studies confirm that many arousals do result in the total emergence from sleep, for at least a few seconds.

The average adult may experience more than 20 such sleep interruptions each night — and more than 40 after the age of 50 (Bonnet and Arand 2007).

We don’t remember all these mini-awakenings because most are very brief. We quickly resume sleeping, and form no memory trace.

But what if something attracts our attention during these fleeting moments of consciousness? What if we hear something? What if think of something that worries or stimulates us? 

Instead of drowsing off, we become more vigilant, more alert. Voluntarily or involuntarily, we end up spending a considerable stretch of time awake.

So every normal, momentary shift into waking has the potential to become a lengthy episode of sleeplessness. And it’s this scenario — becoming alert for an extended period at night — that you may want to avoid.

Yet even here not everybody agrees.

You might take it for granted that you are supposed to sleep in one, long, continuous, nocturnal bout. Failure to do so is undesirable. Perhaps even pathological. This is a common folk belief in modern, Western societies.

But in other cultural settings, people take a very different view. They accept that sleep will include interruptions, and they don’t perceive these interruptions to be unhealthy or pathological (Worthman and Melby 2002).

I think it’s helpful to understand this, even if you embrace minimal sleep interruption as a goal. Because it’s harder to minimize interruptions when you’re convinced that time spent awake is a pathology.

If you believe that night wakings are intrinsically bad, you’re more likely to feel stressed when you realize that you’ve awakened at night. This makes it harder to fall back to sleep.

You’re also more likely to transmit negative feelings to your child — making it harder for your child to fall back to sleep.

And, in the long run, you’re more likely to chronic sleep difficulties — the learned, psychophysiological insomnia that I mentioned earlier.

So let’s take a closer look. How do people outside the bubble of Western, industrialized societies conceptualize sleep?

The anthropology of night wakings: Why spending time awake at night isn’t intrinsically bad (or against human nature)

There’s no doubt about it. We’re basically diurnal creatures — adapted for maximizing activity during the daytime.

But that doesn’t mean we need to sleep continuously from dusk to dawn. You already know that. And cross-cultural research demonstrates that human sleep patterns are flexible and variable. 

For example, take the work of Roger Ekirch. He has uncovered fascinating historical evidence about sleep habits in pre-industrial Europe. As it turns out, people didn’t lie down at night and expect to get all their sleeping done in a single bout. Instead, they went to sleep in the evening for a few hours, woke up, and engaged in activities. Then, an hour or two later, they resumed sleeping until morning (Ekirch 2005).

Did people think they were suffering from insomnia? Far from it. They took it for granted that this was a good way to cope with long nights (Ekirch 2005). 

Other evidence comes from modern-day, non-Western cultures

People living in a variety of non-Western, traditional cultures have been known to take their sleep in multiple sessions (Worthman and Melby 2002; Samson et al 2017b). And they don’t pathologize night wakings. Even if they end up spending a considerable amount of time awake, they view their sleep habits as normal.

For instance, when anthropologists measured sleep in three, traditional, foraging societies, they found that adults woke up multiple times during the night.

It was different than the pattern identified by Roger Ekirch in preindustrial Europe. These folks weren’t experiencing a single, lengthy bout of wakefulness in the middle of the night. Instead, there were several, shorter periods of nocturnal wakefulness. But these waking sessions added up. The total duration of waking time — what researchers call “wake after sleep onset” – averaged 80 minutes or longer (Yetish et al 2015). 

Now what happened when anthropologists asked these same people if they experienced problematic night wakings? Very few individuals viewed their sleep that way (Yetish et al 2015). Less than 3% of adults reported having sleep maintenance problems more than once per year.

We see a similar theme in a sleep study conducted on Hadza hunter-gatherers in East Africa.

Parents and other caregivers averaged approximately two hours of “wake after sleep onset” each night (Crittenden et al 2018). 

But none of these adults — each of whom shared a sleeping space with at least one infant or child — viewed themselves as sleep-deprived.

When asked, all of them said they were getting enough sleep at night (Crittenden et al 2018). 

Remarkably, this was true even for breastfeeding mothers. Simply having a baby — spending the night with a baby — didn’t, by itself, make women report sleep difficulties.

But hang on, you are thinking. Caring for my baby is definitely robbing me of sleep. Babies wake us up an night, and that’s undeniably disruptive, right?

Right! Yes! You aren’t crazy. Studies of parents living in Western, industrialized countries confirm it. As I explain elsewhere, parents with young infants experience a big spike in the amount of time they spend awake at night after first dozing off. And experiments show that frequent, forced awakenings — being compelled to get up several times during the night for 10 minutes or more — can make us feel just as lousy as sleep deprivation. Read more about it in my article about interrupted sleep.

So there’s no denying that frequent infant night wakings can take their toll on us. Why does it happen? What can we do about? Do babies “grow out” of frequent night wakings?

These are great questions to answer, because the answers can change your life. Understanding night wakings in babies provides you with important tactics and tools to cope. Let’s dive into it.

Why do babies wake us up so frequently?

First, there’s the baby’s “inner clock.”

Immediately after birth, babies lack strong circadian rhythms. Their sleep schedules can be out of sync with the natural cycle of day and night. 

Second, young babies need to feed during the night.

They are born hungry. Their stomachs are small. They need to refill their tanks frequently to achieve the normal pattern of rapidly growth during the first 8-12 weeks.

Third, babies have their own, distinctive sleep stages and sleep cycles.

I’ve already mentioned that we pass through a series of stages as we sleep. When all goes well, we complete the sequence once, and then begin the cycle all over again. Babies experience sleep stages and sleep cycles as well. But there are key differences.

You can read the full story here, in my overview of baby sleep stages. But the quick version is this: During the first three months postpartum, babies spend most of their sleep-time in a stage called “active sleep.” It’s the infant counterpart to REM, and it’s especially restless. Babies twitch, thrash around, and even vocalize.

This can fool us into thinking our infants are awake. So we intervene, and, in doing so, we rouse our babies from sleep. We’ve caused a night waking!

In addition, all that thrashing around can sometimes cause an infant to awaken him- or herself.

And because human beings are more liable to wake up immediately after completing a sleep cycle, it’s helpful to understand that baby sleep cycles are shorter than adult sleep cycles.

Whereas your first (uninterrupted) sleep cycle of the night might last 90 minutes or more, your newborn’s sleep cycle might last only 50-60 minutes (Grigg-Damberger 2017). So on top of everything else, your baby experiences more frequent periods of being vulnerable to waking up.

Put these factors together, and we get the normal pattern: Babies awakening their parents in the middle of the night

For example, in a study that recorded the sleep patterns of healthy 2- and 9-month old infants, babies averaged 3 major awakenings each night (Anders 1978). And another study found that approximately 50% of 4-month-old babies were waking their parents up at least once between the hours of midnight and five a.m. (Henderson et al 2010).

Yet there is a ray of hope here. Infant night wakings don’t always cause trouble, and I’m not just thinking of hunter-gatherer mothers.

Night wakings without strife: Babies can awaken without making you miserable

Remember those boasting parents we mentioned earlier? The ones who claim their babies sleep through the night?

Strictly speaking, they’re mistaken. Their babies are, in fact, waking up at night, just like everyone else’s. But there is an important difference.

These babies aren’t waking up their parents. 

Thus, parents are wrong to believe their babies don’t wake up. But they may be accurate when they report a lack of sleep disruption.

And if you’re thinking, “this isn’t me — I always know when my baby awakens!” think again. A study from 2019 — conducted in an urban, Westernized population — suggests that “under the radar” night wakings are pretty common.

Liat Tikotzky and Ella Volkovich measured sleep two ways — (1) by fitting infants with sensors, and (2) by asking parents for their subjective impressions. There were more than 200 babies total, and data were collected in the infants’ own homes, for five nights.

Did the researchers document lots of night wakings overall? You bet. But when Tikotzky and Volkovich compared their objective measurements against the subjective, parental reports, there was a big mismatch.

Babies were waking up more often than their parents realized. The infants awoke spontaneously, remained relatively quiet, and fell back to sleep on their own — their parents none the wiser (Tikottzky and Volkovich 2019). 

The pattern was evident when the babies were just 3 months old. And in subsequent tests — when the babies were older — the gulf between objective and subjective measurements widened. Over time, parents became increasingly unaware of their children’s night wakings.

So night wakings don’t inevitably trigger sleep problems. People can feel well-rested despite awakening during the night. And parents aren’t always bothered by their children’s wakings. It’s only when a child fails to self-settle — and parents experience serious sleep disruptions — that we perceive night wakings to be problematic.

So when do babies “grow out” of these disruptive night wakings?

Buckle up. It can take a while. It’s not unusual for parents to continue tending to night wakings for 6 months or longer.

For instance, in a follow-up study led by Liat Tikotzky, researchers found that mother and infant night wakings were highly correlated across the first six months postpartum (Tikotzky et al 2022).

Moreover, it didn’t matter if babies were room-sharing, or sleeping in a separate place. Regardless, infant and maternal sleep patterns — the number of night wakings and total time spent awake after sleep onset — were “strongly intertwined, especially during the first six months” (Tikotzky et al 2022), after which point things started to get quite a bit better for most mothers…because their babies were learning how to get back to sleep on their own, without waking up parents.

The bottom line? It’s normal for young babies to wake us up at night, and in fact there is no proven method for avoiding it. When researchers have analyzed sleep training research, the overall trend across studies was that sleep training programs did not significantly reduce the number of night wakings in children (Park et al 2022).

It’s also normal for parents to wait 4-6 months before they can go at least 5 hours at night without being awakened by their infants. Sometimes it takes even longer for babies to reach this milestone, as I explain in here.

But this doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do to foster mature sleep patterns and improve your well-being.

On the contrary, just understanding that night wakings are normal has provided parents with peace of mind. When new parents learn that the facts, they have reported feeling less stressed-out, which can boost their well-being, and help them avoid the kind of anxiety that contributes to their own sleep problems (Ball et al 2020).

In addition, there are things we can do to support infant sleep development, and make the most of the sleep we get during those early months.

So what’s the solution? How can we better cope with night wakings in young babies?

To some degree, we simply have to be patient. These are developmental issues. But there are some things we can do to help.

For instance, when it comes to circadian rhythms, we can expose babies to powerful environmental cues.

These will help babies attune their “inner clocks” more quickly. Read more about it in my article about newborn sleep.

Even more importantly, we can stop doing things that make it harder for us to quickly resume sleeping.

If you think back to those hunter-gatherer mothers, it’s a sure bet they weren’t responding to infant night wakings by turning on a light, getting out of bed, and carrying their babies around. They were sleeping very close to their infants, and simply reached out to nurse their babies — in darkness and quietness — before re-settling. Your own life circumstances might be different, but you can try to emulate this general approach by adapting your sleep space to quick, safe, minimally-stimulating care sessions:

  • Sleep in the same room as your baby, and keep everything you need for infant care close at hand.
  • Avoid making your brain active by moving energetically, or engaging with electronic media.
  • Protect your own circadian rhythms, just as you nurture your baby’s. If you need lighting, keep it as dim as possible, and use an amber-colored bulb. (As I explain here, dim, amber lights are less likely to interfere with drowsiness and your ability to fall back to sleep).

In addition, “dream feeding” may help stretch out a baby’s longest nighttime sleep bouts.

For more about this approach, see this Parenting Science guide.

We can also make big improvements by learning how to respond to the noise, restlessness, and thrashing of “active sleep”

Once parents know the signs of active sleep, they can avoid swooping in too soon, and inadvertently waking a sleeping baby. (Again, check out my article about baby sleep stages if you want to take a deep dive into science of it.)

It’s also possible that swaddling — practiced safely — can reduce the chances that babies awaken themselves by twitching or thrashing (Gerard et al 2002; Franco et al 2005; Meyer and Erler 2001). For the details, see tip #4 in my article about infant sleep aids.

And when your baby’s sleep patterns are driving you crazy, console yourself. Active sleep is probably doing something important for your baby.

One interesting theory is that babies twitch and move during sleep because their brains are busy testing and mapping out the connections between nerves and skeletal muscles (Peever and Fuller 2017).

Another idea is that active sleep is protective. Young infants are at special risk for sleep-related breathing emergencies — emergencies believed to cause SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. So spending time in active sleep — a state in which babies are easily awakened — may help reduce this risk.

What else? What if a baby wakes frequently, and fails to self-settle? What if an older child keeps waking up?

There are indeed other measures to take. Here are some evidence-based tips.

1. Make sure you aren’t unintentionally training your child to awaken.

If your child wakes you up in the middle of the night, try to keep things dark, quiet, and calm.

You don’t want it to turn into a social event — or a scolding session. Either scenario will heighten your child’s alertness. And if it happens repeatedly, your child may learn to associate awakening with these outcomes. You are training your child to become active and alert in response to night wakings!

2. Watch out for nightlights and other sources of illumination — they can counteract a child’s natural drowsiness

As I note in this article, electric lights and electronic devices emit wavelengths that interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone of drowsiness. 

3. Use bedtime routines, and other tactics to help your child relax.

If we teach children to associate their beds with drowsiness and security, they will have an easier time settling themselves to sleep after a night waking. Even better, research suggests that bedtime routines can help parents get more sleep (Mindell et al 2013; Mindell et al 2018).

To review this approach, see my article about gentle sleep training. In addition, check out these 15 tips for better baby sleep, and my trouble-shooting guide to handling bedtime problems in infants and older children.

4. Talk to your doctor about any medical concerns.

A variety of medical conditions can cause night wakings. These include

  • asthma (Fagnano et al 2011),
  • atopic dermatitis or eczema (Fishbein et al 2015),
  • bladder problems and bed-wetting,
  • gastric reflux, or heartburn (Lim et al 2018),
  • headaches (Tran and Spierings 2013; Long et al 2010; Zarowski et al 2007; Carotenuto et al 2005), and
  • sleep apnea.

If you observe signs of these problems, or otherwise suspect that your child is in pain, be sure to consult with your doctor. For more information about bed-wetting, see this Parenting Science guide.

5. Don’t ignore snoring.

Not every snore or snuffle is a sign of trouble. But in many cases, snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, one the conditions mentioned above. And sleep apnea doesn’t just cause frequent night wakings. It can also restrict the oxygen supply to the brain and cause serious health problems (e.g., Fukumizu et al 2005; Hiscock et al 2007; Shur-Fen Gau 2006).

So if you notice snoring — or other types of disordered breathing during sleep — talk to your doctor. 

6. Address nighttime fears and separation anxiety.

Not surprisingly, kids with nighttime fears are more likely to experience sleep disruptions (Petit et al 2006; Gregory et al 2005; Kushnir and Sadeh 2011; Meltzer et al 2013).

Some people think that sleep training is the answer, but there is no evidence that nighttime fears or separation anxiety will diminish as a result of sleep training.

In fact, sleep training (like the Ferber method) isn’t designed to treat fear and anxiety. So if you implement sleep training alone, you are effectively ignoring your child’s fears. And that  can make things worse.

Thus, it’s important to take an active role in teaching your child to overcome his or her fears. For more information, see this article on nighttime fears in children.

7. Pay attention to other sources of stress.

You don’t have to suffer from nighttime anxieties to experience sleep disruption. The stresses and anxieties that you experience during the daytime can have also have an impact.

For instance, children sleep more poorly when their parents are depressed (Ystrom et al 2017).

They experience more sleep disruptions when their parents fight (Rhoades et al 2012; El-Sheikh et al 2015).

And babies wake up more frequently at night when they live in socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods (Grimes et al 2019).

The takeaway? Kids are like us. Being stressed-out during the day causes sleep problems at night. So pay attention to your child’s stressors. Reduce sources of stress, and help your child cope. For tips, see these Parenting Science articles:

8. Learn how to handle nightmares and night terrors.

Both nightmares and night terrors can cause sleep disruption. But they are very distinct phenomena. 

Children having nightmares usually appear to be asleep. They might twitch; they might sigh. But they are usually lying in bed, eyes closed. And they are relatively quiet. When they wake up, they may remember the nightmare.

By contrast, children having night terrors often appear to be awake. They might scream, cry, or talk. The might open their eyes. They might sit up, or walk around. But they aren’t fully conscious, and they rarely remember these experiences later.

If nightmares or night terrors are the problem, you need to learn more about them. For more information, see this Parenting Science article on nightmares and night terrors in children.

More reading

For more evidence-based information, see this index to Parenting Science articles about sleep.

References: Night wakings in children

Anders TF. 1978. Home-recorded sleep in 2- and 9-month old infants. Journ Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 17: 421-432.

Ball HL, Taylor CE, Thomas V, Douglas PS, and SBY working group. 2020. Development and evaluation of ‘Sleep, Baby & You’-An approach to supporting parental well-being and responsive infant caregiving. PLoS One. 15(8):e0237240.

Barbato G, Barker C, Bender C, et al.1994. Extended sleep in humans in 14 hour nights (LD 10:14): relationship between REM density and spontaneous awakening. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 90:291-297.

Bonnet MH and Arand DL. 2007. EEG Arousal Norms by Age. J Clin Sleep Med. 3(3): 271–274.

Carotenuto M, Guidetti V, Ruju F, Galli F, Tagliente FR, and Pascotto A. 2005. Headache disorders as risk factors for sleep disturbances in school aged children. J Headache Pain. 2005 Sep;6(4):268-70.

Chang YS and Chiang BL. 2018. Sleep disorders and atopic dermatitis: A 2-way street? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 142(4):1033-1040.

Crittenden AN, Samson DR, Herlosky KN, Mabulla IA, Mabulla AZP, McKenna JJ. 2018. Infant co-sleeping patterns and maternal sleep quality among Hadza hunter-gatherers. Sleep Health. 4(6):527-534

Dement W and Vaughan C. 1999. The promise of sleep. New York: Random House.

Eckert DJ and Younes MK. 2014. Arousal from sleep: implications for obstructive sleep apnea pathogenesis and treatment. J Appl Physiol 116(3):302-13.

Ekirch AR. 2005. At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past. New York: WW Norton.

El-Sheikh M, Buckhalt JA, Mize J, and Acebo C. 2006. Marital conflict and disruption of children’s sleep. Child Dev. 77(1):31-43.

El-Sheikh M, Buckhalt JA, Keller PS, Granger DA. 2008. Children’s objective and subjective sleep disruptions: Links with afternoon cortisol levels. Health Psychol. 27(1):26-33.

El-Sheikh M, Hinnant JB, Erath SA. 2015. Vi. Marital conflict, vagal regulation, and children’s sleep: a longitudinal investigation. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev. 2015 Mar;80(1):89-106.

Fagnano M, Bayer AL, Isensee CA, Hernandez T, Halterman JS. 2011. Nocturnal asthma symptoms and poor sleep quality among urban school children with asthma. Acad Pediatr. 11(6):493-9.

Fishbein AB, Vitaterna O, Haugh IM, Bavishi AA, Zee PC, Turek FW, Sheldon SH, Silverberg JI, Paller AS. 2015. Nocturnal eczema: Review of sleep and circadian rhythms in children with atopic dermatitis and future research directions. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 136(5):1170-7.

Fukumizu M, Kaga M, Koyama J, and Hayes MJ. 2005. Sleep-related nighttime crying (Yonaki) in Japan: A community-based study. Pediatrics 115: 217-224.

Garthus-Niegel S, Horsch A, Bickle Graz M, Martini J, von Soest T, Weidner K, Eberhard-Gran M. 2018. The prospective relationship between postpartum PTSD and child sleep: A 2-year follow-up study. J Affect Disord. 241:71-79.

Gregory AM and Eley TC. 2005. Sleep problems, anxiety and cognitive style in school-aged children. Infant Child Dev. 14:435-444.

Grimes M, Camerota M, Propper CB. 2019. Neighborhood deprivation predicts infant sleep quality. Sleep Health. 5(2):148-151.

Hiscock H, Canterford L, Ukoumunne OC, and Wake M. 2007. Adverse associations of sleep problems in Australian preschoolers: national population study. Pediatrics 119(1):86-93.

Honaker SM, Meltzer LJ. 2014. Bedtime problems and night wakings in young children: an update of the evidence. Paediatr Respir Rev. 15(4):333-9.

Holley S, Hill CM and Stevenson J. 2010. A comparison of actigraphy and parental report of sleep habits in typically developing children aged 6 to 11 years. Behav Sleep Med. 8(1):16-27.

Jenni OG, Fuhrer HZ, Iglowstein I, Molinari L, Largo RH. 2005. A longitudinal study of bed sharing and sleep problems among Swiss children in the first 10 years of life. Pediatrics 115(1 Suppl):233-40.

Kushnir J and Sadeh A. 2011. Sleep of preschool children with night-time fears. Sleep Med. 12(9):870-4.

Kushnir J and Sadeh A. 2013. Correspondence between reported and actigraphic sleep measures in preschool children: the role of a clinical context. J Clin Sleep Med. 9(11):1147-51.

Lim KG, Morgenthaler TI, Katzka DA. 2018. Sleep and Nocturnal Gastroesophageal Reflux: An Update. Chest. 154(4):963-971

Long AC, Krishnamurthy V, and Palermo TM. 2008. Sleep disturbances in school-age children with chronic pain. J Pediatr Psychol. (3):258-68.

Meltzer LJ, Avis KT, Biggs S, Reynolds AC, Crabtree VM, Bevans KB. 2013. The Children’s Report of Sleep Patterns (CRSP): a self-report measure of sleep for school-aged children. J Clin Sleep Med.  9(3):235-45.

Mindell JA, Du Mond CE, Sadeh A, Telofski LS, Kulkarni N, and Gunn E. 2011. Efficacy of an internet-based intervention for infant and toddler sleep disturbances. Sleep. 34(4):451-8.

Mindell JA and Williamson AA. 2018. Benefits of a bedtime routine in young children: Sleep, development, and beyond. Sleep Med Rev. 40:93-108.

Moore M, Allison A, and Rosen CL. 2006. A review of pediatric nonrespiratory sleep disorders. Chest 130(4): 1252-1262.

Moore M, Meltzer LJ, and Mindell JA. 2007. Bedtime problems and night wakings in children. Sleep Med Clin 2: 377-385.

Park J, Kim SY, and Lee K. 2022. Effectiveness of behavioral sleep interventions on children’s and mothers’ sleep quality and maternal depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 12(1):4172.

Petit D, Touchette E, Tremblay RE, Bolvin M, and Montplaiser J. 2006. Dyssomnias and parasomnias in early childhood. Pediatrics 119: e1016-e1025.

Peever J, and Fuller PM. 2017. The Biology of REM Sleep. Curr Biol. 27(22):R1237-R1248.

Rhoades KA, Leve LD, Harold GT, Mannering AM, Neiderhiser JM, Shaw DS, Natsuaki MN, Reiss D. 2012. Marital hostility and child sleep problems: direct and indirect associations via hostile parenting. J Fam Psychol. 26(4):488-98.

Sadeh A. 1996. Stress, Trauma, and Sleep in Children. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 5(3):685-700.

Sadeh A, Raviv A, and Gruber R. 2000. Sleep patterns and sleep disruptions in school-age children. Developmental Psychology 36: 291-301.

Samson DR, Crittenden AN, Mabulla IA, Mabulla AZ, Nunn CL. 2017a. Hadza sleep biology: Evidence for flexible sleep-wake patterns in hunter-gatherers. Am J Phys Anthropol. 162(3):573-582.

Samson DR, Manus MB, Krystal AD, Fakir E, Yu JJ, Nunn CL. 2017b. Segmented sleep in a nonelectric, small-scale agricultural society in Madagascar. Am J Hum Biol. 29(4).

Shur-Fen Gau S. 2006. Prevalence of sleep problems and their association with inattention / hyperactivity among children aged 6-15 in Taiwan. Journal of Sleep Research 5(4): 403-414.

Tikotzky L, Bar-Shachar Y, Volkovich E, Meiri G, and Bar-Kalifa E. 2022. A longitudinal study of the links between maternal and infant nocturnal wakefulness. Sleep Health. 8(1):31-38.

Tikotzky L and Volkovich E. 2019. Infant nocturnal wakefulness: a longitudinal study comparing three sleep assessment methods. Sleep. 42(1).

Tran DP and Spierings EL. 2013. Headache and insomnia: their relation reviewed. Cranio. 31(3):165-70.

Worthman CM and Melby M. 2002. Toward a comparative developmental ecology of human sleep. In: Adolescent Sleep Patterns: Biological, Social, and Psychological Influences, M.A. Carskadon, ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 69-117.

Yetish G, Kaplan H, Gurven M, Wood B, Ponzer H, Manger PR, Wilson C, McGregor R, and Siegel J. 2015. Natural sleep and its seasonal variations in three preindustrial societies. Current Biology 25(21):2862-2868.

Ystrom E, Hysing M, Torgersen L, Ystrom H, Reichborn-Kjennerud T, Sivertsen B. 2017. Maternal Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression and Child Nocturnal Awakenings at 6 and 18 Months. J Pediatr Psychol. 42(10):1156-1164

Zarowski M, Młodzikowska-Albrecht J, Steinborn B. 2007. The sleep habits and sleep disorders in children with headache. Adv Med Sci. 2007;52 Suppl 1:194-6.

Content last modified 1/2024. Portions of the text derive from earlier versions of this article, written by the same author.

large image of eagle owl in tree by sirtravelalot/ shutterstock

Related Posts