Monica Ordway, Guanghai Wang, Sarah Honaker, Michal Kahn.
Presented at World Sleep 2022 Symposium.
The recently published definition of pediatric sleep health highlights the advancement of our understanding of sleep as a multidimensional construct and the importance of recognizing sleep health as a pillar of children’s overall health, growth, and development. As reported in the literature, there is a high prevalence (25-40%) of sleep deficiency among children before they enter school and sleep deficiency in this age group is associated with increased adiposity, poor emotional regulation, impaired growth, and higher risk of injuries. Furthermore, sleep deficiency in early childhood often persists and contributes to long-term socioemotional, academic and chronic health problems that may limit the future success and well-being of children across their lifespan. Altogether, sleep deficiency in early childhood is a critical public health concern.
Since sleep habits are malleable during early childhood, the development of evidence-based sleep promotion interventions that have the potential to reduce the high prevalence of sleep deficiency may be of great public health benefit. Notably, the early years of life are characterized by dramatic developmental changes and sleep is one of the primary activities of the brain during this time. While there is evidence that behavioral sleep interventions (BSIs) have moderate to large effects on reducing sleep deficiency in young children, many are focused on addressing existing sleep problems and there is a lack of socio demographic diversity in the samples of most studies. Tailored sleep health promotion programs are needed that are culturally relevant for diverse populations. Moreover, existing BSIs primarily target the individual or interpersonal level, and are thus less likely to address disparities in children’s sleep health that may require multilevel interventions.
The presentations in this symposium aim to highlight innovative sleep health promotion programs that are scalable and thus capable of reaching a large population of very young children. This symposium will begin with a presentation from Dr. Ordway on a personalized multilevel sleep health promotion program for toddlers enrolled in federally subsidized child care programs. She will present data from a randomized trial that aimed to improve toddlers’ sleep health through facilitating tailored, personalized sleep health goals. Dr. Honaker will present data from programs that deliver targeted sleep guidance to address infant night waking, bedtime media use, and insufficient sleep in early childhood within urban primary pediatric healthcare clinics in the U.S. Dr. Guanghai Wang will present on how dyadic behavioral treatments could improve young children’s sleep and socio-emotional development in the Shanghai Mother-Infant Cohort, and explore scaling-up effects of positive bedtime routines with story reading in young children. Closing out the session, Dr Kahn will present findings on parents’ real-world implementation of behavioural interventions for infant sleep problems. Using auto-videosomnography metrics as well as parent-reports, she will illustrate the links between parental use of these interventions and infant sleep across different age groups.
About the Researchers
The researchers included Monica Ordway, Guanghai Wang, Sarah Honaker, and Michal Kahn.
Dr. Monica Ordway’s NIH-funded program of research is focused on the understanding of the biosocial relationships that determine health and development in early childhood. Her expertise in community-based participatory research, innovative and non-invasive biomarkers of stress, and objective sleep measurement has helped to generate new knowledge about the role of the multidimensional constructs of sleep health in mitigating the risk of toxic stress among infants and toddlers who experience adversity. Prior to completing her PhD and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, she worked as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner for 10 years in a large urban practice. She continues to work as a nurse practitioner at the Yale Pediatric Sleep Clinic.
- 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.