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Classification of young children's sleep problems: a pilot study.

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Family-Infant Development Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Davis, 2230 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.



This study examines videotaped sleep in infancy in an attempt to predict the development of disturbed sleep during toddlerhood. In addition, a tentative classification scheme that quantifies night waking and sleep onset problems in young children is proposed.


The sleep patterns of 33 children were assessed at two points in time. At 12 months of age (time 1), sleep was videotaped on two consecutive nights. A self-soothing/signaling index for 12-month-olds was constructed. At time 2 (mean age = 39 months), a follow-up telephone interview assessed current sleep patterns and the presence or absence of sleep problems.


The data suggest that the self-soothing/signaling index obtained at 12 months of age predicts night waking approximately 2 years later.


The preliminary classification scheme for night waking and sleep onset problems in young children warrants further study. Night waking in toddlers might be predictable from sleep behaviors at 1 year of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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