A recent study talks about the role genes plays in determining the sleeping pattern of infants. Researchers in Canada studied sleep records from nearly 1,000 identical and fraternal twins in Quebec, and realized that genes play a key roe in whether they sleep through night. Interestingly the morning naps are controlled by the environment and not the genetic makeup.
“The genetic influence is only part of the equation that controls sleep duration. One should not give up on trying correcting inadequate sleep duration or bad sleep habits early in childhood,” said study author Evelyne Touchette, a psychology researcher at Laval University in Quebec.
Only 5 percent of children in the study were considered “short-persistent sleepers,” which means that they need less than 10 hours of sleep nightly. “One should use caution before concluding that their child is truly a short-sleeper. More often than not, children do not get sufficient sleep for other reasons,” she said.
“From about [6 months], I recommend putting children to bed when they are drowsy but still awake, so that they can develop appropriate sleep-onset associations and learn to fall asleep on their own,” Touchette said, adding that this also helps children to fall back asleep quickly when they wake up at night.
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