Results from a study conducted in Australia reveals babies of parents who sleep for longer at night. Researchers at the Flinders University, Australia analysed data from over 1,500 American babies and their parents. Half the infants had their sleeping habits monitored at the end of 2019, before the ongoing pandemic struck. The other half was assessed between November and December 2020, when the lockdowns were in effect, and the novel coronavirus was at its peak.
The team of researchers claim it was possible the difference was down to their parents working from home. Parents were likely to spend more time with their children during the day when working from home, so were less inclined to keep them up longer. Lead author Dr Michael Kahn claimed it may benefit to allow parents to work from home once the worst of Covid-19 is over.
The team said it may help improve the well-being of both parents and infants as they “transition to post-pandemic times”. It was also found that older babies in the pandemic group had an extra 18 minutes of screen time per day. With parents trying to focus on work or domestic chores, they may have been likely to use TV and other devices to keep older infants occupied.
However, parents also reported being more likely to have symptoms of depression, despite appearing to have had slightly better sleep. Having three days at home and two in the office is set to become the new normal as a result of the pandemic.
Findings of the study were published in the journal Sleep Medicine