Self-reported sleep duration as a useful health measure in children

Parent report or child report is commonly used to obtain information on sleep in children. Data are lacking comparing the validity of parent-reported versus child-reported sleep parameters.


Parent report and child report of total sleep time and other sleep parameters is commonly used in research and clinical practice. In general, parent report and child report agree equally with polysomnography. Both parents and children tend to overestimate total sleep time, sleep latency, and sleep efficiency.

While sleep surveys are generally finished by kids and their folks, there has been an absence of information looking at the legitimacy of these self-reported rest parameters. Another investigation shows that these sleep characteristics are moderately precise contrasted with each other, and they shift just somewhat from objective sleep measures.

Results demonstrate that when contrasted and target sleep characteristics recorded amid overnight polysomnography, there was a strong agreement between both youngster report and parent report: Children overestimated sleep span by the middle of 32 minutes, and guardians overestimated their tyke’s rest length by 36 minutes.

Similarly, kids overestimated the time it took them to fall asleep – known as “sleep latency”– by four minutes, and parents overestimated their child’s sleep latency by two minutes.

Scientists noted that comparative differences have been found in past investigations that utilized actigraphy to evaluate sleep parameters in correlation with overnight polysomnography. In earlier research, grown-ups additionally have been found to overestimate their very own sleep duration.

Dr. Daniel Combs, lead author, and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and Banner – University Medical Center Tucson said, “Simple sleep measures such as sleep duration have been shown to be important predictors of health in children and adults. Our results suggest that while not perfect, parent or child report of sleep is a useful and very inexpensive tool to measure sleep in children.”

285 children- aged from about 9 to 17 years, with a mean age of 13 years. Fifty-two percent of participants were boys, 68 percent were Caucasian, and 32 percent were Hispanic.

Objective measures were assembled utilizing full polysomnography amid one night of rest at home. Children and their parents finished sleep polls the next morning. Eighty-seven percent of parent polls were rounded out by moms.

The creators noticed that in cases with high disagreement between parent report and child report, the child report would, in general, be increasingly precise for sleep span. Interestingly, the parent report was increasingly exact for sleep latency.

Dr. Combs said, “We also performed a stratified analysis of children from 9 to 12 years of age, compared to children 13 to 17 years of age.”

“We expected that for teenagers, parent report of sleep would be less accurate compared to parent report for younger children. Surprisingly, there was no difference in parent versus child report about sleep in teenagers.”

The study results are published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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