Current Projects: Sleep Patterns in Families

sleep families

How much sleep is needed for parents of newborns to function effectively?

  • How are sleep patterns (duration, timing, awakenings) related to perceived symptoms of fatigue in new parents? Is there a relationship between sleep patterns and depressive symptoms in postpartum mothers and fathers?
  • How do parents of twins manage their need for sleep?
  • What strategies are used by parents to minimize sleep loss and are they effective?

With clinical expertise in high-risk maternal and infant populations, Dr. Damato’s research interests have included exploration of parenting adjustment including maternal-infant attachment, postpartum depression, and the effects of sleep deprivation in new parents. She has a special interest in families with twins and has studied the effects of caring for twins on sleep and mood in both mothers and fathers. Her current work is focused on safe sleep in families with multiple infants and the testing of strategies that can enable all family members to obtain the amount and quality of sleep necessary for healthy living.

Relevant Publications

  • Damato EG, Brubaker JA, Burant C. Sleeping arrangements in families with twins. Newborn Infant Nurs Rev. 2012;12(3):171-178.
  • Damato EG Zupancic J. Strategies used by parents of twins to obtain sleep. Appl Nurs Res. 2009;22(3):216-220.
  • Damato EG Burant C. Sleep patterns and fatigue in parents of twins. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2008;37(6):738-749.
  • Damato EG. Toward safer infant sleep: Do pacifiers reduce SIDS risk? Nurs Women's Health. 2007;11(1):72-76. [Comment in Pacifiers and SIDS. Norton P. Nurs Women's Health. 2007;11(4):355; author reply 355-356.]
  • Damato EG. Parenting multiple infants. Newborn Infant Nurs Rev. 2005;5(4):208- 214.

Current Projects


Michael Decker, PhD, RN, RRT, Diplomate
American Board of Sleep Medicine
Associate Professor
School of Nursing