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Sleep. 2011 May 1;34(5):633-9.

Factors that influence weekday sleep duration in European children.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiological Methods and Etiologic Research, Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine (BIPS), Germany .

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To compare nocturnal sleep duration in children from 8 European countries and identify its determinants.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

SETTING:

Primary schools and preschools participating in the IDEFICS study.

PARTICIPANTS:

8,542 children aged 2 to 9 years from 8 European countries with complete information on nocturnal sleep duration.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MEASUREMENTS:

Nocturnal sleep duration was assessed by means of a computer based parental 24-h recall. Data on personal, social, environmental, and behavioral factors were collected by means of standardized parental questionnaire. Physical activity was surveyed with accelerometers.

RESULTS:

Nocturnal sleep duration in the participating countries ranged from 9.5 h (SD 0.8) in Estonia to 11.2 h (SD 0.7) in Belgium and differed significantly between countries (P < 0.001) in univariate as well as in multivariate analyses, with children from northern countries sleeping the longest. Sleep duration decreased by about 6 min with each year of age over all countries. No effect of season, daylight duration, overweight, parental education level, or lifestyle factors could be seen.

CONCLUSION:

Sleep duration differs significantly between countries. Our findings allow for the conclusion that regional affiliation, including culture and environmental characteristics, seems to overlay individual determinants of sleep duration.

KEYWORDS:

Epidemiological study; lifestyle; pre-school children; school children; sleep

PMID:
21532957
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3079943
Free PMC Article
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