Sleep, mental health and wellbeing among fathers of infants up to 1 year postpartum: A scoping review

Wynter, Karen, Francis, Lauren M., Fletcher, Richard, McBride, Nyanda, Dowse, Eileen, Wilson, Nathan, Di Manno, Laura, Teague, Samantha, Macdonald, Jacqui A., and The Australian Fatherhood Research Consortium, (2020) Sleep, mental health and wellbeing among fathers of infants up to 1 year postpartum: A scoping review. Midwifery, 88. 102738.

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Background Sleep disturbance among adults has consequences for their health and functioning. Among mothers of infants, there is evidence that fatigue and sleep disturbance are significantly associated with depression, anxiety and impaired relationships with partners and infants. It is not known whether consistent evidence of such associations exists for fathers.

Purpose The aim of this review was to describe what is known about fathers’ sleep and its associations with mental health and wellbeing, in the first 12 months postpartum.

Methods A scoping review was conducted, searching MEDLINE complete, Scopus, PsycINFO and CINAHL complete, from 1990 to 13 May 2019. Reference lists of relevant reviews were also searched. Articles were included if they were published in English, and reported on sleep among men cohabiting with their infants from birth to 12 months.

Findings Thirty papers reporting on 27 separate studies met inclusion criteria. Sleep constructs and assessment of these varied greatly. While some measures of fathers’ sleep improved, fathers’ fatigue increased significantly with increasing infant age. In adjusted analyses, fathers’ sleep problems were associated with poorer mental health, relationships with partners, and safety compliance at work.

Key conclusions Health professionals should consider a brief assessment of fathers’ sleep when they consult families with young infants. Psycho-education regarding management of poor infant sleep could help to prevent long-term fatigue and its consequences among fathers.

Item ID: 73658
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-3099
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
Date Deposited: 23 May 2022 02:02
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520101 Child and adolescent development @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200504 Men's health @ 100%
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