The lived experiences of parents, guardians, and caregivers managing sleep preparations in children ages six through twelve
Objective: The aim of this descriptive, phenomenological study was to explore, describe, and understand the lived experiences of the parents, guardians, and caregivers managing sleep preparation in children ages six through 12.
Method: Data were collected anonymously and exclusively online following a snowball sampling strategy. The survey consisted of separate child and caregiver demographic questionnaires and a descriptive questionnaire that included eight open-ended questions. Sixty-four participants accessed the survey between June 16, 2018 and November 12, 2018. The qualitative data analysis followed Collaizi’s steps to arrive at common themes and describe findings in rich detail. Scientific rigor and trustworthiness were maintained.
Results: Three main themes emerged that described the lived experiences of the caregivers. Bedtime routine, Sleep environment, Effects of child’s poor sleep. The themes are reinforced by evidenced from the literature and describes the impact on the child’s sleep quantity and quality and subsequent effects on other members of the household. Conclusion: The findings of the study parallel the problems experienced by the caregivers, the child, and siblings reported in the literature. The findings further elucidate the caregiver’s difficulties with the child’s sleep pattern, subsequent mood, and daytime dysregulation because of poor sleep. The findings also highlight the importance of preparing and maintaining an environment conducive to sleep and the direct impact of sleep disturbance on parents and siblings. The knowledge gained from the study supports the development of effective interventions for parents, guardians, and caregivers to help children achieve optimal sleep.