Sleep and bedtime behavior in preschool-aged children

Pediatrics. 1983 Feb;71(2):153-8.


Age stage-specific changes in patterns of sleep and bedtime behavior were examined in 109 normally developing preschool-aged children who were the subjects of the New York Longitudinal Study of Temperament and Development. The data were derived from information abstracted from interviews conducted with parents about the behavior of their children in daily life situations at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years of age. The following age trends were found: older children were significantly more likely to exhibit a prolongation of bedtime routine, insist on sleeping with the light on, take a treasured object to bed, request parental attention after being told good night, and experience delays in falling asleep than were younger children. The frequency of occurrence of night awakening was not different at the different age levels examined, although older children were significantly more likely to experience nightmares. The fathers of older children were significantly more likely to participate in bedtime routines, and older children were also significantly more likely to share a bedroom with a sibling. No sex differences were found.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Paternal Behavior
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep*