Classification of young children's sleep problems: a pilot study

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;40(1):61-7. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200101000-00017.


Objectives: This study examines videotaped sleep in infancy in an attempt to predict the development of disturbed sleep during toddlerhood. In addition, a tentative classification scheme that quantifies night waking and sleep onset problems in young children is proposed.

Method: The sleep patterns of 33 children were assessed at two points in time. At 12 months of age (time 1), sleep was videotaped on two consecutive nights. A self-soothing/signaling index for 12-month-olds was constructed. At time 2 (mean age = 39 months), a follow-up telephone interview assessed current sleep patterns and the presence or absence of sleep problems.

Results: The data suggest that the self-soothing/signaling index obtained at 12 months of age predicts night waking approximately 2 years later.

Conclusions: The preliminary classification scheme for night waking and sleep onset problems in young children warrants further study. Night waking in toddlers might be predictable from sleep behaviors at 1 year of age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prognosis
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / classification*