Mersky, J. P., Lee, C. P., Gilbert, R. M., and Goyal, D. (2020). Prevalence and Correlates of Maternal and Infant Sleep Problems in a Low-Income US Sample. Matern Child Health J. 24(2):196‐203.
Objectives: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of maternal and infant sleep problems among low-income families receiving home visiting services.
Methods: The study sample includes 1142 mother-infant dyads in Wisconsin, United States. Women completed a survey when their infants were between two weeks and one year old. Outcome data were collected using the PROMIS® sleep disturbance short form-4a and the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire. Correlates of sleep problems were assessed in two domains: maternal health and home environment quality. Descriptive analyses produced prevalence estimates, and multivariate regressions were performed to test hypothesized correlates of maternal and infant sleep problems. Subgroup analyses were conducted to examine the prevalence and correlates of sleep problems across different infant age groups.
Results: Approximately 24.5% of women reported poor or very poor sleep in the past week; 13% reported an infant sleep problem and 11% reported more than three infant wakings per night. Reported night wakings were more prevalent among younger infants but maternal and infant sleep problems were not. Multivariate results showed that poor maternal physical and mental health and low social support were associated with maternal sleep disturbance but not infant sleep problems. Bed sharing and smoking were associated with infant sleep outcomes but not maternal sleep. There was limited evidence that the correlates of maternal and infant sleep varied by infant age.
Conclusions for practice: The findings point to alterable factors that home visiting programs and other interventions may target to enhance maternal and infant sleep.