Parents Who Don't Sleep Well Think Their Kids Don't Either

As if you need further evidence you need more sleep at night!

woman having trouble sleeping
Photo: Shutterstock

You know how when you're tired, everything is pretty much worse? Turns out this holds true for how we view the issue of our kids' sleep as well.

In fact, how well (or not) parents are sleeping at night may bias how they perceive their children's sleep issues, according to a new Finish study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers monitored the sleep habits of 100 kids between the ages of 2 and 6 using an actigraph (kind of like how your FitBit monitors your sleep). Their parents also filled out questionnaires about their quality of nightly rest and that of their children.

The data produced by the actigraphs suggested kids slept better than parents with poor sleep quality thought they did. In other words, parents tended to overestimate their kids' sleep-related issues if they themselves weren't getting enough shut-eye.

Marko Elovainio, a professor of psychology at the University of Helsinki, says the results of this study are significant because typically parental reports are a doctor's best source of information for understanding kid's sleeping problems.

It's worth mentioning actigraphs aren't typically considered reliable measurement tools in kids, and that there wasn't much diversity among the study participants.

But the takeaway here is that a good night's sleep is important for every member of the family, not just the kiddos! Yawn. Couldn't agree more. YAWN. I could definitely stand to get more snooze time at night.

Do you get enough sleep?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles