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Sleep disorders massively ramp up stress among parents: study

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By Stephen Beech via SWNS

Sleep problems massively ramp up stress among parents, reveals new research.

The rate of parental stress was almost double among moms and dads who have sleep disorders themselves, or have children with sleep issues, according to the findings.

The study analyzed data from more than 14,000 American workers aged 18 to 64 with dependent children.

Study co-author Professor Ray Merrill, of Brigham Young University, explained that sleep and stress disorders are known to have a two-way correlation, with stress promoting sleep disorders and sleep disorders promoting stress.

He said: "Among parents, there is thought to be a complex interplay between their own sleep, stress, mood and fatigue and their children’s’ sleep."

The researchers found that 2.2 percent of the workers filed medical claims for treating stress and 12.5 percent filed claims for treating a sleep disorder, including insomnia, hypersomnia or sleep apnea.

Two percent of children filed one or more medical claims for a sleep disorder.

The findings showed that, after adjusting for age, sex and marital status, rates of stress are 95 percent greater in employees with a sleep disorder.

Rates of stress were three times greater for those with insomnia and 1.88 times greater for those with sleep apnea.

The rate of employee stress was 1.9 times greater if their child has any sleep disorder, and 2.89 times greater if their child has insomnia.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, also found that if a child has a sleep disorder, the rate of parental insomnia and sleep apnea are both nearly doubled.

Merrill added: "A better understanding of the connections between parent and child sleep quality and parent stress may help improve treatment and lower the risk of these disorders."

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