Rock-a-bye baby: Children’s sleep habits and related factors

Ece Saykan Balatacı, Gizem Limnili, Nilgün Özçakar

Keywords: sleeping habits, school-aged children

Adequate sleep is important for both healthy development and optimum daytime functioning in children for all ages. School period in which positive preschool behaviors reinforced is essential for child development. Inadequate sleep in school-aged children has negative effect on mood, attention and school performance.

Research questions:
What are the sleeping habits and related factors of school-aged children in Izmir, Turkey?

This cross-sectional study was enrolled with 1152 parents who has elementary school-aged child. A form which consists children’s sociodemographic features and Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used.

Of the participants, 68.9% have sleeping problems according to CSHQ. Sleep problems were frequent if the child does not have a sibling, educates in upper grade at school, sleeps late, watches TV before sleeping, does not read a book before sleeping, has behavioral and emotional problems or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, emotional problems, peer problems and behavioral problems were found to be significantly higher in those with sleep problems(p<0.001).

Sleeping problems would decrease if parents are informed about sleep hygiene, regular and appropriate sleep, and if families and physicians are educated about emotional and behavioral problems that may accompany sleeping problems.

Points for discussion:
Family Physicians should be aware of sleeping problems in school-aged children can be related to behavioral disorders.

What should family physicians do with a school-aged childs if they have such a problem?