Article

Child sleep – The finnish birth cohort study

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Abstract

Introduction Sleep need is large and highly variable in infancy and early childhood, but the factors that moderate the developmental changes in sleep are not well characterized. This cohort was set up to study prospectively the factors that moderate the sleep development and its disturbances and to study whether the large variability has an impact on child’s development. Materials and methods The CHILD SLEEP cohort is based on a random sample of 2245 families from Tampere, Finland during 2011–2012. Parental questionnaires with a focus on development of sleep, emotions, and family environment were collected prenatally, at 3, and 8 months of age; the 24 month -survey is currently ongoing. A sub-sample of infants was assigned into two sleep registration groups (actigraphy with/without ambulatory polysomnography). Blood/saliva samples were collected for genetic analyses. A protocol for prevention and treatment of children’s sleeping difficulties was developed and a systematically selected sample of families was assigned in the prevention group and its control group. After the labor the mothers were interviewed about their labor experiences. All data was stored in one database maintained by Institute for Health and Welfare at secured net system of Technology Center of the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM). Results 75% (1678 mothers, 1645 fathers) of the families from the initial recruitment agreed to participate to the study. The cord blood samples were gathered from 1501 babies and blood or saliva samples were collected from 1589 mothers and 1519 fathers. The PSG + ACG group covers 92 and the ACG group 283 infants. The registrations are performed at 1, 3 and 8 months. The prevention study consists of 406 families (199 in the prevention program, 207 in the control group), and half of them are followed up by ACG and sleep diary (98/199 (49%) and 98/207 (47%)), and the rest with sleep diary. Conclusion The CHILD SLEEP birth cohort will provide a unique possibility to evaluate multiple biological, developmental, prenatal and environmental factors that affect the sleep development in the childhood and the intertwining sleeping difficulties in the family. Acknowledgements We are grateful to Tarja Stenberg for her continuous help and advice during our study and to Dr. Hannu Turunen for his help in establishing the data base.

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