Short sleep duration is linked to increased risk for pediatric mental health issues

  • Ranum BM & al.
  • JAMA Netw Open
  • 02.12.2019

  • von Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Short sleep duration during childhood is associated with increased risk for later symptoms of emotional disorders in children and behavioral disorders in boys.

Why this matters

  • Addressing sleep disturbances in children could reduce risk for later behavioral and psychological problems.

 Study design

  • Population-based cohort study of 799 Norwegian children from the Trondheim Early Secure Study.
  • Sleep duration was assessed using the triaxial accelerometer and clinical interviews biennially from ages 6 to 12 years.
  • Funding: Research Council of Norway; others.

Key results

  • Symptoms of emotional disorders 2 years later were predicted by shorter sleep duration at ages:
    • 6 years: unstandardized regression coefficient [β], −0.44 (P=.02); and
    • 8 years: −0.47 (P=.01).
  • Symptoms of behavioral disorders 2 years later were predicted (β) by shorter sleep duration at ages:
    • 8 years: −0.65 (P=.03) boys vs −0.14 (P=.48) girls; and
    • 10 years: −0.58 (P=.02) boys vs −0.05 (P=.84) girls.
  • The association between emotional disorders and short sleep duration was significant for boys vs girls at ages 8 and 10 years (P<.001>

Limitations

  • The generalization of findings to other regions may be limited.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm