Deirdre Budd’s Blog

Co sleeping or sleeping in their own bed?

Posted on: March 26, 2010

 Jodi Mindell,Phd, Professor of Psychology at Saint Josephs University in Philadelphia,  as lead author, presented a study at the Annual meeting of the associated Professional Sleep Studies, which looked again at bed sharing.  Previous studies have always indicated that bed sharing is associated with increased sleep problems, primarily more night waking in young children. However it is now apparent that Parental presence at bedtime appears to have a greater negative impact on infant sleep, than actual co-sleeping.

Results indicate that children who slept in a separate room obtained more sleep, woke less at night, had less difficulty at bedtime, fell asleep faster, and were perceived as having fewer sleep problems. These clinically significant differences were mostly observed in children who lived in primarily Caucasian countries, and not in countries that were predominantly Asian.

“However, it is likely that it is not the bed sharing or room sharing per se, that leads to increased sleep issues,” says Mindell. “Rather, most young children who sleep in a separate room fall asleep independently of their parents. These children are able to return to sleep on their own when they naturally awaken during the night, and thus have fewer sleep problems. Children who sleep in the same room as their parents usually have a parent helping them to fall asleep at bedtime, and will need that help again throughout the night.”


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