Nav: Home

Ethnically diverse mothers, children living in poverty at risk for sleep problems

October 09, 2019

African-American and other ethnically diverse mothers know the value of a good night's sleep, but they and their young children are at risk for developing sleep problems if they live in urban poverty, a Rutgers study finds.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care, looked at the sleeping patterns of 32 women and their children ages, 15 months to 5 years, who were enrolled in a program for families at or below the poverty line in Newark, New Jersey.

The majority of the mothers said their children typically slept 10 hours a night on average and considered this normal, although that is slightly below the recommended amount for toddlers and preschool children, as more sleep is encouraged. The recommended sleep time for toddlers is between 11 to 14 hours, while that of preschoolers is 10 to 13 hours. Previous research shows that good sleep quality is critical to children's health, growth and development, and that children who live in poor urban neighborhoods are especially vulnerable to sleep difficulties.

"Many mothers know sleep is important for themselves and their children, which is why many learn sleep strategies from their own families -- whether effective or ineffective," said lead author Professor Barbara Caldwell, director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing at Rutgers School Of Nursing. "These mothers showed enthusiasm in improving sleep habits for themselves and their children, providing an opportunity for behavioral and educational interventions that meet their unique needs."

The findings showed that majority of the mothers' studied struggled with poor sleep quality. Eight four percent of them were overweight, 74 percent were at high risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea, and only 40 percent got seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

The study did not focus on primary sleep disorders or measure the prevalence of insomnia, but the findings showed that stress, poverty, excessive screen time, and noise outside the home contribute to sleep problems for both mother and child.

The researchers said strategies to reduce stress, electronic device time and increased daily exercise may improve mothers' sleep, while providing them with information about healthy sleep requirements, such as regular and early structured bedtimes, may improve their children's sleep. Health care practitioners who provide services for young mothers and their children need to assess sleep patterns, educate them on best practices for sleep, and refer them for further health services when necessary.
-end-


Rutgers University

Related Stress Articles:

How do our cells respond to stress?
Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS
How stress remodels the brain
Stress restructures the brain by halting the production of crucial ion channel proteins, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.
Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.
How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology.
Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
University of Freiburg researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.
Measuring stress around cells
Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to ''sculpt'' biological structures.
Cellular stress at the movies
For the first time, biological imaging experts have used a custom fluorescence microscope and a novel antibody tagging tool to watch living cells undergoing stress.
Maternal stress at conception linked to children's stress response at age 11
A new study published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease finds that mothers' stress levels at the moment they conceive their children are linked to the way children respond to life challenges at age 11.
A new way to see stress -- using supercomputers
Supercomputer simulations show that at the atomic level, material stress doesn't behave symmetrically.
Beware of evening stress
Stressful events in the evening release less of the body's stress hormones than those that happen in the morning, suggesting possible vulnerability to stress in the evening.
More Stress News and Stress Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.