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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this explanatory sequential design study was to better understand caregivers' perceptions about and interest in evidence-based early childhood sleep health promotion recommendations.
METHOD: A purposeful sample of mothers of 20 1-5-year-old children (10 children exhibiting optimal sleep and 10 children exhibiting insufficient/fragmented sleep) attending a preschool serving a low socio-economic (SES) status metropolitan community were invited to participate in qualitative interviews. Data were coded according to a grounded theory approach and themes were identified within the optimal and suboptimal sleeper groups.
RESULTS: Mothers reported different approaches to managing electronics by optimal/suboptimal sleeper group, with mothers of optimal sleepers limiting access to electronics more than mothers in the suboptimal sleep group. Other themes of sleep health practices did not differ meaningfully between groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Maternal perspectives about early childhood sleep health were similar across optimal and suboptimal sleepers on most elements of child sleep health. Managing child sleep was contextually influenced and these results highlight the complexities of how families living in lower SES environments perceive common sleep recommendations. Thus, sleep health education efforts should be tailored to the needs and values of specific families and communities.