"At that amount, it could be that coffee drinking is more likely a problem for the mother than for the infant," she added. "The child's sleep patterns might not be disrupted. But it could actually be disrupting the mother's sleep patterns at a time when it's already difficult for the mother to get adequate rest."
Dr. Aparajitha Verma, medical director of the Methodist Hospital Sleep Disorder Center in Houston and an assistant professor in the neurology department at Methodist Neurological Institute, cautioned that nailing down maternal caffeine consumption's specific impact on newborns is an extremely tricky endeavor.
"Nighttime wakening among babies that age can be due to so many different things," she said. "So to tease out caffeine's role is going to be very difficult. I think it's a valid concern, and there certainly might be a connection. Caffeine's half-life is typically five to seven hours, and it's well known to cause sleep disruption among adults. But whether that translates into trouble among these women's infants is something that clearly we just don't know yet."
For more about caffeine's impact on sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation.
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