Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
88
Cultural Differences in Maternal Sleep-Related Cognitive Biases
July 18, 2022

Found in age groups

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Introduction

A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you.

Blog 88Cultural Differences in Maternal Sleep-Related Cognitive Biases

In 2020, a study compared Israeli Arab and Jewish infants and toddlers (3 to 36 months). They observed that the Arab children had later bedtimes, shorter night sleep duration, and longer periods of nocturnal wakefulness. There were no group differences in daytime sleep (naps) duration, so the Arab children also had shorter total sleep duration

 A 2021 article by the same authors on the same group of children compared maternal sleep-related cognitions between Israeli Jewish and Arab mothers. “Several studies have shown that parental cognitions that reflect difficulties in limiting parental involvement-emphasizing child’s distress upon night waking and the need to assist the infant in settling back to sleep-are associated with higher levels of parental active involvement at bedtime (e.g., rocking, cuddling, feeding). These practices in turn predict more infant night-waking. Expectant mothers who strongly tended to interpret infant night-waking as a sign of infant distress that requires immediate intervention were more likely to get actively involved in settling their infants to sleep, and their infants had more night-wakings, compared to infants of mothers who were more likely to endorse cognitions emphasizing the importance of promoting infant self-soothing. Arab mothers were more likely to hold sleep-related cognitions reflecting their difficulty in limiting nighttime intervention in response to their child’s. awakening [Emphasis added].”  

The 2021 results showed that Arab children had longer periods of nocturnal wakefulness but the actual number on night-wakings was the same in both groups. 

Parental sleep-related cognitive biases (Blog Posts 3942) may vary in different cultures within a country or vary in different countries (Blog Posts 64 and 65) and contribute to differences in how parents help their child sleep. 

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