Sleep of mothers, fathers, and infants: a longitudinal study from pregnancy through 12 months

Avel Horwitz, Yael Bar-Shachar, Dar Ran-Peled, Omer Finkelstein, Hamutal Ben-Zion, Eran Bar-Kalifa, Gal Meiri, Liat Tikotzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: This study assessed and compared mothers' and fathers' sleep trajectories from pregnancy and throughout the first year of the infant's life. We also examined associations between maternal, paternal, and infant sleep. Methods: Two hundred and thirty-two couples were recruited for the study during pregnancy. Data were collected during pregnancy and at 4, 8, and 12 months postpartum. Maternal, paternal, and infant sleep were monitored at home for seven nights, using actigraphy, sleep diaries, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Results: Mothers showed more impaired sleep quality than fathers, at all assessments, whereas fathers had shorter sleep duration. Based on the ISI, about 70% of mothers and 50% of fathers showed at least subclinical insomnia at the different assessments. Trajectory analyses (controlling for feeding method and sleeping arrangements) demonstrated a significant deterioration in diary-based and actigraphy sleep quality for both parents, from pregnancy to 4 months. Both parents and infants had an increase in sleep quality from 4 to 12 months, though some parental sleep variables showed a quadratic pattern with a decrease in sleep quality at 8 months. Statistically significant triadic associations at the different assessments were found between mothers', fathers', and infants' sleep. Maternal and infant sleep measures were more strongly correlated than paternal and infant sleep. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of considering the family context of sleep, by demonstrating similarities and differences in the changes that sleep undergoes in new mothers and fathers and by showing how sleep is interrelated between all family members.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsad029
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • actigraphy
  • family
  • father
  • infant
  • longitudinal
  • mother
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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