Sleep pattern develops over time during childhood. Development
of sleep patterns is a complex process; it depends on maturity of the
Central Nervous System (CNS), and is influenced by environmental
factors. One of the characteristics of sleep during early infancy is
sleep fragmentation. After the sleep-wake cycle is established by the
age of four months, the length of nocturnal sleep duration expands.
It is reported that the longest sleep duration is 6 hours on average at
the age of 6-month, and 8-9 hours on average at the age of 12-month.
However, sleep problems, such as night crying and restlessness,
are likely to occur after establishment of sleep-wake cycle. It
was reported that 10-30 percent of children were assessed to have
behaviorally induced insufficient sleep. They have difficulty falling
asleep, and wake up frequently at night. Recently, it was reported that
sleep problems of infants and preschoolers are related to a lack of selfsoothing
(falling asleep independently). Also, parental involvement
and lack of self -soothing are highly associated with sleep problems.
Sleep practices are important environmental factors for sleep
development and are strongly influenced by cultures. Bed-share or cosleeping
is one of the sleep practices and it is defined as infants and
mothers/parents sleeping together in the adultâs bed. This sleep
practice is widely accepted in Asian countries including Japan.
It is reported that Japanese culture valued interdependence more than
independence. However, it has been pointed out that children who
sleep with parents have more sleep problems than those who sleep separately. (Asaka Y (2013) Sleep Pattern of Japanese Infants and Their Motherâs Parenting Stress)
Last date updated on July, 2014