Sleep/Wake patterns and parental perceptions of sleep in children born preterm

Sarah N. Biggs, Lisa J. Meltzer, Ignacio E. Tapia, Joel Traylor, Gillian Michelle Nixon, Rosemary S. C. Horne, Lex W. Doyle, Elizabeth Asztalos, Jodi A. Mindell, Carole L. Marcus, Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity-Sleep Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


To compare sleep/wake patterns in children born preterm in Australia vs Canada and determine cultural differences in the relationship between parental perception of sleep and actual sleep behaviors. METHODS: Australian and Canadian children born preterm were recruited from the Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity trial (N = 188, 5-12 y) and underwent 14 days actigraphy monitoring. Parents completed the National Sleep Foundation 2004 Sleep in America questionnaire. Cross-cultural differences in sleep characteristics assessed by actigraphy and parent-reported questionnaire were examined. Correlational analyses determined the associations between parental perceptions of child sleep need and sleep behavior. RESULTS: Actigraphy showed preterm children obtained, on average, 8 h sleep/night, one hour less than population recommendations for their age. There was no difference in total sleep time (TST) between Australian and Canadian cohorts; however, bed and wake times were earlier in Australian children. Bedtimes and TST varied by 60 minutes from night to night in both cohorts. Parent-reported child TST on the National Sleep Foundation questionnaire was 90 minutes longer than recorded by actigraphy. Both bedtime and TST on weekdays and weekends were related to parental perception of child sleep need in the Australian cohort. Only TST on weekdays was related to parental perception of child sleep need in the Canadian cohort. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that short sleep duration and irregular sleep schedules are common in children born preterm. Cultural differences in the association between parental perception of child sleep need and actual sleep behaviors provide important targets for future sleep health education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711 - 717
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this