Researchers to study the developmental implications of toddlers' sleep patterns
ZZZs don't always come easy for children still learning their ABCs.
Accordingly, a research team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is studying the developmental implications of toddlers' sleep habits—and the factors that might determine whether they sleep like babies.
Victoria Molfese, chancellor's professor of child, youth and family studies, will lead a longitudinal study of sleep among 200 children from the age of 2 1/2 through 3 1/2. Using parental diaries and actigraphs—wristwatch-like devices that monitor sleep patterns via motor activity—the researchers will measure the quantity, quality and variability of toddlers' sleep at six-month intervals.
The five-year study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and headed by Indiana University, with $1.4 million supporting collaborative research at UNL and its Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior. UNL's objective is to identify links between these sleep habits and toddlers' social adjustment in home, child-care and preschool settings. The research team will also examine whether sleep affects how toddlers regulate their cognition and behavior, specifically their ability to direct attention, maintain focus and follow instructions.
According to Molfese, research findings have shown that developing these skills in early childhood charts a course for future social and academic success. However, she emphasized the need for greater understanding of sleep's role in this transformative stage.
"Since toddlers are establishing their sleep habits and developing better self-regulation, toddlerhood is a critical period to study sleep," Molfese said.
"We know from studies of adults, and the growing body of research on school-age children, that sleep quality, quantity and variability are related to daytime functioning and psychological adjustment. Less is known about sleep in young children. We are interested in understanding the development of toddlers' naturally occurring sleep habits."
Molfese's research partners include Dennis Molfese, a Mildred Francis Thompson professor of psychology, and Kathy Rudasill, associate professor of educational psychology.
The researchers are recruiting study participants from Lincoln. Parents interested in participating can contact Victoria Molfese by email.
Because sleep habits develop in the home, Molfese and her colleagues will also investigate the potential impacts of domestic factors such as parenting practices and family stress on toddlers' sleep. In addition to gauging these dynamics through observations and self-reports, the study will break new ground by assessing the possible effects of bedtime routines.
The researchers also said they believe the study will help establish more functional measurements and definitions of sleeping issues. They will attempt to show that sleeping too little, waking in the night and varying sleep schedules can have measurably distinct impacts on toddlers' behaviors.
"Studying sleep quality and quantity using clear definitions and measures will enable the results of our studies to be compared across labs," Molfese said, "and lead to more accurate information on sleep in young children."
Molfese said she hopes that the study, which also includes researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Virginia, will eventually help caretakers and practitioners identify the sources and symptoms of early childhood sleep problems.
"If our own findings fit our predictions, we believe that more complete information will be available on how sleep deficits affect toddlers' social and cognitive development," she said. "These findings may provide practical information that can be used by parents and child development professionals—such as pediatricians, child psychologists and family mental health counselors—in addressing ways to establish good sleep habits for young children."
Provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Sleep, baby, sleep: parents' behavior has direct impact on children's slumber Apr 08, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Prenatal drug exposure linked to sleep problems in children Jun 10, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Parents' conflicts affect adopted infants' sleep Aug 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Young children in mostly Caucasian countries obtain more sleep than those in Asian countries Jun 11, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents May 17, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Question of reflection and transmission of TEM wave in normal incidenc
3 hours ago Suppose TEM wave in +z normal to a boundary on xy plane at z=0. We know *E* & *H* are tangential to the boundary. Let ##\vec E_i=\hat x E##, be the...
the rudyak-krasnolutski effective potencial
4 hours ago Hi ... anyone now how to calculate or the formula of the rudyak-krasnolutski EFFECTIVE potencial ? the effective potencial includes the angular...
Normal force for a lever model
5 hours ago My model is a lever on a table top. One arm is horizontal on the table, while the other arm is raised at an angle alpha. I'm assuming the weight of...
gravity is std. therefore can we rate a 'mass at height' by watts?
10 hours ago For example.... wind turbines are primarily listed by their wattage (1.5MW etc.) Presumably their output is varied according to rotational speed, so...
Calculating on-axis elements of a solenoid
22 hours ago I wanted to mention that this solenoid has many winds over many layers. The thickness of the windings is 2.4 inches coming off of the engineering...
latitude & longitude & air pressure
May 22, 2013 Hi there, I have a peculiar question. Imagine that you are in a earth position, obtained by google, that gives you the latitude and longitude....
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Existing research shows that bicyclists who wear helmets have an 88 percent lower risk of brain injury, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that simply having bicycle helmet laws in place showed a 20 percent ...
Pediatrics 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Over the last decade, the number of American children who die each year awaiting an organ donation dropped by more than half, new research reveals. And increasing numbers of children are receiving ...
Pediatrics May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
Pediatrics May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 1 |
A study by Alexandra L. C. Martiniuk, M.Sc, Ph.D., of The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues suggests less sleep per night is associated with a significant increase in the risk for motor ...
Pediatrics May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Whole-cell pertussis vaccines were more effective at protecting against pertussis than acellular pertussis vaccines during a large recent outbreak, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in Pediatrics.
Pediatrics May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Glucosamine supplements that millions of Americans take to help treat hip and knee osteoarthritis may have an unexpected side effect: They may increase risk for developing glaucoma, a small ...
38 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
2 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
International efforts to combat a new pneumonia-like virus that has now killed 22 people are being slowed by unclear rules and competition for the potentially profitable rights to disease samples, the head ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0