A Systematic Review of Sleep Associations in Parents and Children

Prerna Varma, Russell Conduit, V. Vien Lee, Melinda L. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic review aimed to examine sleep associations in a) typically developing children and their parents, and b) children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents. Literature search was conducted on PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Scopus databases for articles examining sleep associations between parents and children. Thirty studies were included in the final review. Based on the first aim, sleep associations between parents and typically developing children were observed for sleep quality, sleep duration and sleep efficiency. However, evidence for associations between sleepiness levels in parents and children and sleep schedules related to bedtime or waketime was limited. Based on the second aim, children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents reported greater sleep disturbances in comparison to typically developing children and their parents. The review concluded that sleep in parents and children is interrelated across a number of sleep parameters. It also revealed some preliminary evidence on bidirectionality in parent-child sleep, which warrants further examination. The review highlights the need to examine the mediating role of environmental factors on the interactions between parent-child sleep. Rigorous, longitudinal designs should be employed to explore the pathways through which parents may impact their children’s sleep and functioning and vice-versa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2276–2288
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Autism
  • Bedtime
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Sleep disorder
  • Waketime

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