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You may be surprised by what’s keeping baby up at night

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 16-05-2011

Experts have long suspected there's a connection between strong marriages and well-adjusted children, but a new study suggests that parents who regularly fight may be causing sleep problems for their infants, which can have negative developmental effects further down the road.

The research was conducted by Anne Mannering, and she found that couples who were contemplating divorce or showed other signs of instability, their young children may have trouble falling, and staying asleep. The study, which was published in the journal Child Development, focused on 350 families starting when their children were nine months old.

"The quality of the parents' relationship can influence the quality of the parent-child relationship and vice versa," Mannering told MyHealthNewsDaily. "In addition, other research suggests that stress may negatively impact sleep, and we know that infancy is an important period for the development of sleep patterns."

Although further studies are needed to determine the root causes of sleep problems in babies, the research does highlight the importance of rest for young children. According to to the Centers for Disease Control, children between 3 and 11 months old need 14 to 15 hours of sleep, while children between 1 and 3 years old need 12 to 14 hours.