Young Child and Maternal Sleep in the Middle East

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Abstract: Background: This study aimed to characterize sleep patterns and sleep problems in a large sample of infants and toddlers (from birth to three years) and their mothers in Arabic-speaking families in the Middle East and compare the results to those living in predominantly Asian and predominantly Caucasian countries/regions. Methods: Mothers of 669 young children (from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Kuwai, Oman, Palestinian territories, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Bahrain, Israel, and other Arab countries) completed an Internet-based expanded version of the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire, Daily Infant Mood Scale, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results: Overall, children and their mothers in the Middle East slept on a shifted schedule, with late bedtimes and waketimes compared to those from predominantly Asian and predominantly Caucasian countries/regions. Almost all families room-shared with their children, although less than half bed shared. A significant percentage of parents perceived that their child had a sleep problem (37%), with a high prevalence of poor sleep in mothers (72%). Parent-reported child mood was modestly associated with sleep patterns but more so with parent-perceived sleep problems. Parent-perceived sleep problems in their young child were predicted by bedtimes, prevalence of a bedtime routine, and night wakings. Conclusions: Overall, both young children and their mothers in the Middle East have a delayed sleep schedule, going to bed late in the evening and waking up late in the morning. Sleep was associated with mood outcomes, with bedtimes, bedtime routines, and falling asleep independently predicting sleep outcomes. The high prevalence of sleep problems in both the infants and toddlers and their mothers supports the need for sleep to be addressed by pediatric and adult healthcare practitioners. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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