Sleep habits develop during childhood Sleep habits develop during childhood

If a mother has insomnia, her children are likely to get poor sleep as well.

This finding was part of a recent study published in the journal Sleep Medicine. The study found that children with mothers who have problems falling asleep, take longer to fall asleep themselves, do not stay asleep as long as others, and get less deep sleep.

“These findings are important because sleep is an essential part of children’s wellbeing and development,” states researcher Sakari Lemola, psychology professor at the University of Warwick (England). (Related article: Sleep hygiene).

For the analysis, the team of researchers used an electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the sleep quality of about 200 children ages 7 to 12, as well as that of their parents. An EEG registers the brain’s electrical activity.

The study found a connection between mothers who have insomnia and children who get poor sleep. In these cases, parents reported that children had difficulties going to bed and did not get enough sleep. The analysis, did not find this connection between fathers and their children however, most likely because mothers may have a greater influence on their children due to the fact that they spend more time together. (Related article: Getting replenishing sleep helps prevent heart and brain disease).

Another conclusion the study highlighted was that children learn their sleeping habits from their parents, which is why it is important to teach them good sleep hygiene.