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Singapore Med J. 2006 Nov;47(11):957-9.

Co-sleeping and clinical correlates in children seen at a child guidance clinic.

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Department of General Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, 10 Buangkok View, Singapore.



Co-sleeping or bed-sharing is a common practice that has been little researched. While often viewed as being "cultural" in nature, there is a suggestion that it may be a parental response to sleep problems. Some studies link co-sleeping with behavioural and temperamental difficulties. The objectives of the current study were to determine the prevalence of co-sleeping and how they relate to sleeping problems among a cohort of children and adolescents seen in a child guidance clinic.


Parents or guardians of all new patients seen at the child guidance clinic were asked to complete a questionnaire upon their consent to participate in the study. The questionnaire included socio-demographical data and frequency of sleep problems in the past six months. A list of nine common sleep problems was included.


The prevalence of co-sleeping was found to be 72.7 percent. The children who co-sleep were significantly younger and there was a decrease in the practice with increasing age. Sleep starts and nightmares were significantly more among those sleeping alone.


Co-sleeping was not associated with significant sleep problems in our cohort. Co-sleeping may have been initiated in response to an existing sleep problem but eventually resolved the problem. If co-sleeping is not permitted, the sleep problem could be compounded, giving rise to a higher prevalence of sleep starts and nightmares among those in our cohort who slept alone.

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