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date: 23 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Childhood sleep problems are common, occurring in up to one-third of young children. Although behavioral treatments are effective at decreasing night wakings and bedtime problems, parents and clinicians may have concerns about the impact of these interventions on the child and on the parent–child relationship. Empirical evidence of the impact of behavioral interventions on other domains of the child and family is less well documented. Thus, an investigation of child sleep interventions reporting outcomes beyond child sleep was conducted. Significant improvements in child domains including mood and daytime behavior were found post-intervention. Parental factors, including sleep, well-being, marital satisfaction, mood, and mental health were also found to be improved following treatment of young children’s sleep disturbances. Additionally, improvements in the parent–child relationships, bonding, and attachment were found. No systematic negative effects were described for parents or children. This review indicates that improving child sleep via behavioral interventions has implications that go far beyond sleep.

Keywords: sleep, bedtime problems, night waking, child sleep, behavioral intervention, treatment

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