Simard (2013) Infant attachment, sleep, actigraphy

Infant Attachment and Toddlers’ Sleep Assessed by Maternal Reports and Actigraphy: Different Measurement Methods Yield Different Relations
Valerie Simard,1 PHD, Annie Bernier,2 PHD, Marie-Eve Belanger,2 BSC, and Julie Carrier,2,3 PHD
Objective To investigate relations between children’s attachment and sleep, using objective andsubjective sleep measures. Secondarily, to identify the most accurate actigraphy algorithm for toddlers.Methods 55 mother–child dyads took part in the Strange Situation Procedure (18 months) to assessattachment. At 2 years, children wore an Actiwatch for a 72-hr period, and their mothers completed a sleepdiary. Results The high sensitivity (80) and smoothed actigraphy algorithms provided the most plausiblesleep data. Maternal diaries yielded longer estimated sleep duration and shorter wake duration at night andshowed poor agreement with actigraphy. More resistant attachment behavior was not associated withactigraphy-assessed sleep, but was associated with longer nocturnal wake duration as estimated by mothers,and with a reduced actigraphy-diary discrepancy. Conclusions Mothers of children with resistant attachmentare more aware of their child’s nocturnal awakenings. Researchers and clinicians should select the bestsleep measurement method for their specific needs.