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J Pediatr. 2012 Sep;161(3):520-525.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.03.018. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Sleep problems, fatigue, and cognitive performance in Chinese kindergarten children.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



To examine sleep problems and fatigue and their associations with cognitive performance in Chinese kindergarten children.


A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from Jintan Child Cohort Study was conducted, which includes a cohort of 1656 kindergarten children in Jintan City, Jiangsu Province, China. The sample used in the current study consisted of 1385 children (44.8% girls, mean age 5.72 [SD = 0.42] years) for whom data on sleep problems or cognitive performance were available. Child Behavior Checklist was used to measure child sleep problems and fatigue, and Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised was used to assess child IQ.


Sleep problems were prevalent, ranging from 8.9% for difficulty maintaining sleep to 70.5% for unwilling to sleep alone. Other reported sleep problems were difficulty initiating sleep (39.4%), nightmares (31.6%), sleep talking (28%), sleeping less (24.7%), and sleep resistance (23.4%). Fatigue was also prevalent, with 29.6% of children reported to be overtired and 12.6% lack of energy. Children with difficulty maintaining sleep, sleep talking, sleep resistance, or nightmares scored 2-3 points lower in full IQ than children without sleep problems. Children reported to have fatigue scored 3-6 points lower in full IQ than those children without fatigue.


Sleep problems and fatigue are prevalent in Chinese kindergarten children. Furthermore, sleep problems and fatigue are associated with poor cognitive performance.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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