10/22/2012 08:01 am ET

Parents Need Sleep Help During Hours When Live Assistance Is Hard To Come By

Parents often need live advice on kids' sleep during the times when such advice is not available, a new study reveals.

Research presented at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics reveals that parents often have questions regarding their kids' sleep problems (like waking up at night, napping questions, bedtimes, etc.) during the nighttime hours … when professionals aren't working (or awake!) to provide assistance.

The researchers, from Saint Joseph's University/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, found that parents had the most questions about sleep in the middle of the night between midnight and 6 a.m. (37 percent of parents had sleep questions during this time) and 6 p.m. and midnight (22 percent of parents had sleep questions during this time).

"Our results found that the most common questions that parents ask pertain to sleep problems and night waking," study researcher Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D. said in a statement. "These questions are most often submitted in the evening and even overnight -- times when professional help is typically not available."

The study included 8,000 people who used an iPhone sleep aid app, 69 percent of whom were moms; study participants had an average age of 28. Most of the children of the participants were infants (68 percent of kids were between 3 and 11 months old).

Over three months, 4.6 percent of those people used the "Ask the Expert" function of the app. Questions most commonly regarded children waking up at night (comprising 22.7 percent of the questions), problems sleeping (comprising 22.2 percent of the questions) and general sleep inquiries (comprising 21.9 percent of the questions).

The findings indicate "that parents often seek sleep-related advice at times when information is usually not readily available, thus attesting to the need for accessibility of health-related information," the researchers wrote in the study.



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