Who Sleeps in Your Bed?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Love it? Hate it? Don’t understand it? It’s the "family bed," a place where parents sleep happily--or fitfully--with their kids. While there’s no clear research about whether a family bed helps or hinders sleep, in WNYC’s own sleep survey, people who sleep with their kids reported going to bed earlier, on average, than other research participants. To get a sense of what life is like for acolytes of the family bed, we went into the bedrooms of three New York City families. Here are their stories.



Xavier Orozco called into Brian’s show looking for advice for how to manage his two children’s sleep. Xavier and his wife Maria live in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx with their two children, 1-year-old Paola, and 3-year old Mateo. Sharing a bedroom makes keeping the kids out of mom and dad’s bed a challenge. 

"Worst thing about a family bed is, we don't have any more privacy," says Maria Theresa Orozco. The Orozcos put their kids to sleep every night in the family's full size bed and then move them into their crib and toddler bed. But the kids don't always stay put. "It's like a rollercoaster," says Washington Orozco about the machinations of who sleeps where.



 "I always describe it as the path of least resistance," says Alexandra Atkins. When her first daughter Ophilia was born, she slept in bed with her parents and when the next baby came, she did, too. Now Ophilia, spends most nights in her own bed but sometimes climbs in "with mommy and daddy." Dad Mike will occasionally sleep in his daughter's twin bed. 



"You know, when they were zero to five months, I found it very easy. I actually slept better," says Cori Pleune. "There's nothing better than cuddling with your family." But "if all 4 of us are in there--" "We're squished," Oliver, 5, interjects. And one of the adults ends up getting kicked out, usually ending up in Oliver's twin bed.



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Comments [1]

Harold Rosenbaum from Stamford CT

re: Sleep reporting
Your study appears to leave out a major sub-category of people suffering sleep deficiency:narcolepsy.I have suffered from this syndrome since I was in my twenties, but it went unrecognized until recent years. Probably some share of listeners who report sleep problems have undiagnosed or untreated narcolepsy. Nobody has developed a cure, but now there is medication that moderates the symptoms: Provigil. Sufferers should talk wth their doctor.

Also, your bar chart categories are folksy, but I suspect do not accurately reflect what the bars depict. They are not mutually exclusive and/or clear explanations.

May. 18 2014 01:03 PM

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