Children's Sleep During COVID-19: How Sleep Influences Surviving and Thriving in Families.

TitleChildren's Sleep During COVID-19: How Sleep Influences Surviving and Thriving in Families.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMacKenzie NE, Keys E, Hall WA, Gruber R, Smith IM, Constantin E, Godbout R, Stremler R, Reid GJ, Hanlon-Dearman A, Brown CA, Shea S, Weiss SK, Ipsiroglu O, Witmans M, Chambers CT, Andreou P, Begum E, Corkum P
JournalJ Pediatr Psychol
Date Published2021 09 27
KeywordsCanada, Child, COVID-19, Humans, Pandemics, Parents, SARS-CoV-2, Sleep

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to disrupt the lives of families and may have implications for children with existing sleep problems. As such, we aimed to: (1) characterize sleep changes during the COVID-19 pandemic in children who had previously been identified as having sleep problems, (2) identify factors contributing to sleep changes due to COVID-19 safety measures, and (3) understand parents' and children's needs to support sleep during the pandemic.METHODS: Eighty-five Canadian parents with children aged 4-14 years participated in this explanatory sequential, mixed-methods study using an online survey of children's and parents' sleep, with a subset of 16 parents, selected based on changes in their children's sleep, participating in semi-structured interviews. Families had previously participated in the Better Nights, Better Days (BNBD) randomized controlled trial.RESULTS: While some parents perceived their child's sleep quality improved during the COVID-19 pandemic (14.1%, n = 12), many parents perceived their child's sleep had worsened (40.0%, n = 34). Parents attributed children's worsened sleep to increased screen time, anxiety, and decreased exercise. Findings from semi-structured interviews highlighted the effect of disrupted routines on sleep and stress, and that stress reciprocally influenced children's and parents' sleep.CONCLUSIONS: The sleep of many Canadian children was affected by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the disruption of routines influencing children's sleep. eHealth interventions, such as BNBD with modifications that address the COVID-19 context, could help families address these challenges.

Alternate JournalJ Pediatr Psychol
PubMed ID34472600
PubMed Central IDPMC8522399
Grant List / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Team Grant (FRN-TGS 109221) /
/ / CIHR postdoctoral fellowship (FRN-CSR 164784) /
/ / Maritime SPOR Support Unit, Research Nova Scotia, Killam Trust, and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship /
/ / CIHR / Canada
FRN-TGS 109221 / / Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Team Grant /
FRN-CSR 164784 / / CIHR postdoctoral fellowship /
/ / Maritime SPOR Support Unit /
/ / Research Nova Scotia /
/ / Killam Trust /
/ / Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship /