Dr Nicole Hayes, postdoctoral research fellow:
My name is Nicole Hayes and I'm a postdoctoral research fellow at the Child Health Research Centre at the University of Queensland.
My research involves understanding sleep in children with FASD and exploring the impacts that sleep difficulties can have on children themselves, as well as their carers and family members.
In a recent study with over 160 carers internationally, we found that two-thirds of children with FASD experienced a sleep difficulty, and this included such things as difficulties with falling asleep, frequent night waking and waking early in the morning. We saw that these sleep difficulties had a significant impact on children's daily functioning with increases in conduct and emotional behaviour difficulties.
Importantly, also, these sleep difficulties were also related to poorer physical and emotional functioning of carers.
Text displayed on the screen: What are the real-world implications of this research?
Dr Nicole Hayes:
The implications of this research for children, carers, and their healthcare providers is that the identification and management of sleep problems in children with FASD may offer a potential avenue to not only improve children's sleep health, which is such an essential component to their overall health and development, but also have the potential to improve children's day-to-day functioning as well.
Carers also play such an integral role here, and so managing sleep difficulties is not only important for children's outcomes but can also have benefits for improving caregiver and family quality of life as well.
Text displayed on the screen: What is your ultimate research goal?
Dr Nicole Hayes:
My hope is that my research will further our understanding of the important role of sleep for children with FASD, and in doing so allow us to identify intervention opportunities where we can support children and families in their daily lives.