Young children's sleep patterns and problems in paediatric primary healthcare settings: a multicentre cross-sectional study from a nationally representative sample


Journal of Sleep Research, vol.31, no.6, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jsr.13684
  • Journal Name: Journal of Sleep Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: breastfeeding, child, maternal anxiety, maternal depression, sleep, sleep initiation and maintenance disorders
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 European Sleep Research Society.Studies describing paediatric sleep patterns are needed by taking culture into consideration. The aim of this study was to identify parent-reported sleep–wake patterns in young children and explore possible factors influencing sleep problems. The mothers of 2,434 young children enrolled from well-child outpatient clinics in Turkey completed an online survey including sociodemographic variables, Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Generalised Anxiety Disorder scales. Overall, young children in Turkey go to bed late (10:00 p.m.), awaken twice per night for 30 min, and obtain 11.5 h of total sleep, showing no sex-specific differences. Distinct night-time sleep patterns emerged after 18 months of age. Importantly, although currently breastfed healthy children were 3.8-times less likely to sleep through the night, total sleep duration and exclusive breastfeeding duration were higher in children who were not sleeping through the night. Overall, bedsharing was identified in 11.5%, and only room sharing was reported in 52.9%. Parental perception of a child's sleep as problematic was 35.8%. Mothers with higher educational attainment were more likely to perceive their children's sleep as a problem. Maternal depressive and anxious symptoms and a history of excessive infant crying were the determinants predicting the likelihood of both parent-perceived sleep problems and poor sleepers. The present analysis of sleep structure in infancy and toddlerhood provides reference data for well-child visits. These findings highlight the importance of considering maternal anxiety, depression and behaviour management techniques to cope with fussy infants in addressing childhood behavioural sleep problems.