Parental stress is greater among parents who have sleep disorders themselves or who have children with sleep disorders, according to a new study published this week in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Ray Merrill and Kayla Slavik of Brigham Young University, USA. , and colleagues.

Sleep and stress disorders are known to have a mutual correlation, with stress promoting sleep disorders and sleep disorders promoting stress. Parents think there is a complex interplay between their own sleep, stress, mood and fatigue and their children’s sleep.

In the new work, the researchers analyzed data from 14,009 employees insured by Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrator (DMBA) in 2020, all of whom had dependent children. Overall, 2.2% of employees filed medical claims for the treatment of stress and 12.5% ​​filed claims for the treatment of a sleep disorder, including insomnia, hypersomnia, or sleep apnea. 2.0% of children filed one or more medical claims for a sleep disorder.

The researchers found that, after adjusting for age, gender and marital status, stress rates are 1.95 (95% CI 1.67-2.28) times greater among employees with a sleep disorder. Specifically, stress rates are 3.00 (95% CI 2.33-4.85) times greater for people with insomnia and 1.88 (1.59-2.22) times greater for people with sleep apnea. In addition, the level of stress among employees is 1.90 (95% CI 1.33-2.72) times greater if their child has a sleep disorder, and 2.89 (95% CI 2.20-3.80) times greater if their child has insomnia. The study also found that if a child has a sleep disorder, rates of parental insomnia and sleep apnea both nearly doubled.

The authors conclude that a better understanding of the links between parent and child sleep quality and parental stress may help improve treatment and lower the risk of these conditions.

Magazine reference

  1. Merrill RM, Slavik KR (2023) Linking parental stress to sleep disturbances in parents and children. PLOS ONE 18(1): e0279476. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279476