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J Rural Health. 2018 Nov 28. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12341. [Epub ahead of print]

Sleep in Farm Adolescents.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, Wisconsin.



The objectives were to: (1) describe sleep timing and patterns among adolescents who live or work on farms; (2) compare these sleep characteristics to those of nonfarm adolescents; (3) explore whether the above sleep and farm versus nonfarm differences varied by age and gender.


Participants were aged 11-16 years and were abstracted from the 2014 Canadian Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. Records from 2,160 farm adolescents were frequency matched (by school, gender, and grade) to records from 2,210 nonfarm adolescents. Participants self-reported their bedtimes and wake-up times on weekdays and weekends.


Among farm adolescents, average nightly sleep duration (hours:minutes) ranged from 08:34 among 14- to 16-year-old girls to 09:21 among 11- to 13-year-old girls. Approximately 24% to 32% of farm adolescents did not meet minimal sleep duration targets. For 11- to 13-year-olds, sleep characteristics did not differ according to farm status. However, for 14- to 16-year-olds, farm adolescents had shorter sleep durations than nonfarm adolescents (23 minutes for boys, P = .02; 20 minutes for girls, P = .06). Furthermore, a greater proportion of 14- to 16-year-old farm boys had sleep duration values less than the recommended 8 hours/night (27.7% vs 19.6%, P = .05).


This study profiles the sleep experiences of 11- to 16-year-old farm adolescents. Almost 1 in 3 of these adolescents did not get adequate sleep. Older adolescents who lived or worked on a farm slept less than comparably aged nonfarm adolescents. This may reflect their participation in morning chores essential to the farm operation and may increase their injury risk.


adolescent; epidemiology; farmers; health surveys; sleep


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