Impact of Daylight Saving Time Change on Parental Anxiety, Stress, and Infant Sleep Expectations

This study examines the associations between parental stress and anxiety before daylight saving change, and parental and infant sleep.
Behavioral Regulation and Sleep Duration in Infants and Toddlers: Insights from Videosomnography Reading Impact of Daylight Saving Time Change on Parental Anxiety, Stress, and Infant Sleep Expectations 5 minutes

Shambhavi Thakur, Maristella Lucchini, Michal Kahn, Natalie Barnett

SLEEP 2024



Daylight Saving Time (DST) transitions can disrupt infant sleep routines, and lead to temporary sleep disturbances, potentially contributing to heightened stress levels for parents. We hypothesize that these transitions can elevate parental stress, subsequently impacting the mental well-being of parents particularly during the perinatal period when parents are already at higher risk for stress, anxiety and poor sleep. This study examines the associations between parental stress and anxiety before daylight saving change, and parental and infant sleep. 

Material and Methods

602 parents of infants aged 0-24 months (11.45±5.5) from the US were recruited,79% mothers. A week prior to the spring DST transition, parents completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale-3A (EPDS-3A) to assess perinatal anxiety. Additionally, they reported concerns regarding the impact of the DST change on their child's sleep (How long do you think it will take your child to adjust to the new time? How stressed are you about the impact of daylight saving on your child's sleep?). Objective infant total sleep time (TST) was measured using Nanit autovideosomnography for 7 nights prior to the DST change. Logistic regression analysis was performed with anxiety as the predictor and stress and anticipation about DST as the outcomes. Furthermore, a Wilcoxon test compared the average sleep duration of infants and parents between the anxious and non-anxious groups. An EPDS-3A score ≥5 was considered anxious. Infant age was a covariate in all analyses. 


Parents experiencing anxiety before DST were 1.98 times more likely (CI 1.15-2.42) to report being stressed about the DST change (p<0.001), and were 1.66 times more likely (CI 1.15-2.42) to anticipate >3 days adjustment period for their child following DST (p=0.007) than those who did not experience anxiety. There was no significant difference in TST between infants of anxious and non-anxious parents, but non-anxious parents slept for an average of 11 minutes longer than anxious parents (p=0.017). 


This study demonstrates that parents experiencing anxiety exhibit higher stress levels and more negative expectations regarding their infants’ sleep during the DST transition than non-anxious parents. Moreover, anxious parents reported shorter sleep durations before the DST change compared to non-anxious parents. Notably, there was no significant difference in TST between infants of the non-anxious and anxious parent groups.

About the Researchers

The researchers included Shambhavi Thakur, Maristella Lucchini, Michal Kahn, and Natalie Barnett

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  • Shambhavi Thakur serves as Clinical Research Data Analyst at Nanit. She holds a Masters degree in Health Informatics and Life Sciences. She oversees the research collaborations with various universities and analyzes sleep data for internal as well as external studies.
  • Dr. Maristella Lucchini serves as Senior Clinical Researcher at Nanit. In her role, Maristella works to secure grant funding in collaboration with Nanit’s university research partners and supports the development of the company’s  research collaborations around the world. Previously, Maristella served as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Division of Developmental Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center where she led projects across several cohorts focusing on sleep health for pregnant and postpartum women and their children. Maristella’s research focused on underserved communities and sleep health disparities in the perinatal period. During her years as a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry, Maristella was selected to participate in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Young Investigator Research Forum. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano. 
  • Dr. Michal Kahn is a sleep researcher and licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in pediatric insomnia and sleep development. She is a senior lecturer (assistant professor) at the School of Psychological Sciences at Tel Aviv University, Israel.
  • Dr. Natalie Barnett serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

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