Background: Consolidated sleep through the night plays a critical role in the growth, development, and behavior of a child. There is a need to understand sleep practices in the region to enable parent counseling and developing guidelines for the healthy Indian infants.
Objective: The objective of this article was to evaluate sleep patterns and practices in healthy Indian infants.
Study design: The cross-sectional study method was used in this study.
Participants: Infants aged 1–18 months are the participants of the study.
Intervention: Survey using the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire (BISQ) was validated as the intervention activity conducted in the study.
Outcomes: Duration of night sleep, day sleep, and total sleep time; average bedtime; number and duration of night awakenings; position and location of sleep; sleep initiation process; and parental perception of sleep problem are the final outcomes obtained from this study.
Results: The average bedtime was 21:45 p.m., mean total sleep time 11.65 (±1.59) hours, night sleep time 8.58 (±1.70) hours and day sleep time 3.06 (±1.59) hours. The mean number of awakenings was 3.32 (±1.57). 43.6% of the babies slept on their back and 88% of the babies slept in their parents’ bed. 45.6% of the babies needed to be fed, 31.6% rocked, and 15.2% held to sleep. 41.6% of the parents perceived their baby to be having a sleep problem. The babies whose parents perceived no sleep problems, slept longer at night (p <0.001), had lesser night awakenings (p <0.001) and lesser nocturnal wakefulness (p <0.001) compared to those with a serious to small sleep problem.
Conclusion: Current sleep practices in India are different than those recommended for Western infants and follow cultural norms. Early problematic sleep habits can become a chronic problem. Early intervention is recommended to prevent that occurrence.
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