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new research in baby sleep

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yvonneh Thu 24-Apr-03 19:49:05

The HUSH babies research project into sleep in infants would like to hear from parents with young babies or mums-to-be.

HUSH babies stands for Helping to Understand Sleep Habits in Babies and is based at Liverpool John Moores University. The project was set up last year with funding from the charity SPARKS (Sports Aiding Medical Research for Kids) and will continue until early 2004. Our main aim is to ask why some babies settle early into a day/night sleep pattern whereas other struggle for months, or in extreme cases, even years before sleeping through the night. We’re looking specifically at what happens between the ages of 6-12 weeks as this seems to be the time when many babies start to sleep through the night. Parents keep a record of baby’s daily activities including periods of waking, crying, sleeping, eating, trips out, bathing etc. In addition to this we also measure light exposure using a small light meter attached to a teddy. The teddy has velcro paws and is attached to baby's seating or cot. This is an unusual measure and is being used for the first time in infant sleep research but may provide important information about the relationship between how much light the baby is exposed to during critical times of the day. It's becoming clear that bright light plays an important role in the mechanisms controlling the body's natural clock and is nowadays used more and more in adults for conditions involving poor sleep - such as jet lag, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Finally, we monitor baby's movement using a small ankle monitor - about the size of a small wrist watch. This tells us about periods during the day or night when the baby is naturally active or more awake. I would stress that all this takes place in your own home, with you and your baby following a normal routine.
If you are interested in finding out more and would like a fact sheet with full details please contact Yvonne Harrison, School of Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Campus, Liverpool, L3 2ET. Tel : 0151 231 4348, Email : or (from 28th april 2003 onwards) visit our website

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