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Intervention Helps New Mothers and Babies Get More Sleep

Mothers and their newborns get more than 45 extra minutes of sleep per night

TUESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A behavioral-educational intervention program can help new mothers and their infants get more sleep, according to a small study in the Dec. 1 issue of Sleep. The intervention program includes a 45-minute initial meeting, an 11-page booklet and weekly phone calls.

Robyn Stremler, R.N., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 15 new mothers each to the sleep-intervention program or to a control group, to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and early postpartum effects of the intervention on the mother and child.

Women enrolled in the intervention program had an average of 57 more minutes of sleep per night compared to the control group. Infants in the intervention program also benefited, receiving an average of 46 more minutes of sleep every night and having fewer awakenings.

"Although the findings of [the study] are encouraging, they are unlikely to change current practice, given the small homogeneous sample and wide confidence intervals around group differences," the authors write. "Further evaluation of the intervention in a larger, more diverse sample is needed."

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