Overall, 34.9 percent of children aged 4 months to 17 years sleep less than recommended for their age, according to research published in the Sept. 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D., and Angelika H. Claussen, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, examined the prevalence of short sleep duration among children aged 4 months to 17 years in the United States using data from the 2016 to 2018 National Survey of Children’s Health.
The researchers found that 34.9 percent of persons aged 4 months to 17 years slept less than recommended for their age, based on parent report. A higher prevalence of short sleep duration was seen for those in Southeastern states and among racial- and ethnic-minority groups, persons with low socioeconomic status, and those with special health care needs. The prevalence of short sleep duration varied from 31.2 to 40.3 percent among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years and infants aged 4 to 11 months, respectively. The likelihood of getting enough sleep was increased for persons aged 4 to 17 months with a regular bedtime.
“Clinicians and educators can guide parents about the importance of sleep at all ages and discuss sleep routines and sleep problems with parents, children, and adolescents, paying attention to those with special health care needs,” the authors write.