We examined the nighttime sleep habits associated with insufficient sleep quantity and poor sleep quality among healthy preschool-aged Taiwanese children. Materials and Methods: The study population of this cross-sectional survey was a stratified random sample of 3 to 6-year-old preschool children from 19 cities and counties in Taiwan. A caregiver-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on preschooler sleep quantity (sleep duration and sleep latency) and sleep quality (sleep disturbances and disruption) and potentially related sleep habits. Results: Of the 1253 children for whom analysable survey data were collected (children’s mean age: 5.03 ± 1.27 years), more than half (53.07%) engaged in bedtime television (TV)-viewing, 88.95% required a sleep reminder, 43.85% exhibited bedtime resistance, 93.6% engaged in co-sleeping (bed-sharing or room-sharing), and only 33.72% slept in a well darkened bedroom. Bedtime TV-viewing, co-sleeping, bedroom light exposure, and bedtime resistance were the primary predictors, without a bedtime TV-viewing habit was the strongest predictor analysed; it explained 15.2% and 19.9% of the variance in adequate sleep quantity and improved sleep quality in preschool children. Conclusion: Sleep loss and poor sleep quality in preschool children could be alleviated, at least partly, by curtailing bedtime TV-viewing, limiting light exposure during sleeping, and reducing bed-sharing habit.
Both the quantity and quality of sleep affect the normal development of preschool children. Insufficient sleep quantity and poor sleep quality—defined as short sleep duration, long sleep latency, and low sleep efficiency— are common among schoolchildren and also preschool children. Studies from Asia have shown that delayed bedtimes, reduced nighttime sleep duration, or increased sleep disturbances are common among preschoolers in China,3-4 Japan,5 Singapore,6 and Taiwan.
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