Parents everywhere are only too aware of the negative side-effects of not being able to get your child to sleep, and now, new research has shed more light on just how dangerous this can be.
According to the study, infants who get less than 10 hours’ worth of sleep a night, or who wake frequently, can be more susceptible to emotional and behavioural problems when they get older.
The research, carried out across Norwegian mothers and their children, found that infants who don’t reach the above requirements when it comes to their sleeping patterns may experience behavioural issues by the time they reach five years of age.
As part of the study – an ongoing piece of research carried out across 32,662 pairs of mums and children – mothers were asked to fill out questionnaires relating to their children’s sleep and behavioural patterns at 18 months old, and then again at five years old.
Commenting on the findings, researcher Borge Sivertsen told Reuters: “While only an experimental study can determine causality, our study does suggest that there is an increased risk of developing such problems, also after accounting for a range of other possible factors.”
Having said this, Sivertsen urged parents not to stress over the issue of tackling sleep problems, saying that being able to fall asleep on your own is a “developmental milestone” for children.