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Res Nurs Health. 2011 Feb;34(1):7-19. doi: 10.1002/nur.20413. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Can modifications to the bedroom environment improve the sleep of new parents? Two randomized controlled trials.

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School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0606, USA.


Postpartum sleep disruption is common among new parents. In this randomized controlled trial we evaluated a modified sleep hygiene intervention for new parents (infant proximity, noise masking, and dim lighting) in anticipation of night-time infant care. Two samples of new mothers (n = 118 and 122) were randomized to the experimental intervention or attention control, and sleep was assessed in late pregnancy and first 3 months postpartum using actigraphy and the General Sleep Disturbance Scale. The sleep hygiene strategies evaluated did not benefit the more socioeconomically advantaged women or their partners in Sample 1, but did improve postpartum sleep among the less advantaged women of Sample 2. Simple changes to the bedroom environment can improve sleep for new mothers with few resources.

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