Sleep Disruption Linked to Lower HRQOL in Children

Reduced health-related quality of life is associated with sleep disruption for children.

HealthDay News — Sleep disruption is associated with reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for children, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Rachael W. Taylor, Ph.D., from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and colleagues examined the impact of mild sleep deprivation on HRQOL in children without major sleep issues in a prespecified secondary analysis of the Daily Rest, Eating, and Activity Monitoring randomized crossover trial. One hundred children aged 8 to 12 years underwent alternating weeks of sleep restriction and sleep extension with a one-week washout between.

During the sleep restriction week, children went to sleep 64 minutes later and wake time was 18 minutes later, resulting in 39 minutes less of total sleep per night. The researchers found that with sleep restriction, both parents and children reported significantly less sleep disturbance at night, with a reduction in the number of awakenings and wake after sleep onset and a small improvement in sleep efficiency. During sleep restriction, children reported significantly lower scores for physical well-being (standardized mean difference [SMD], −0.28) and ability to cope well in the school environment (SMD, −0.26), resulting in significantly lower total HRQOL scores when tired (SMD, −0.21). In the per-protocol sample, differences in HRQOL were generally magnified, and there was also a significant reduction in social and peer support (SMD, −0.24).

“These findings highlight that ensuring children receive sufficient good-quality sleep is an important child health issue,” the authors write.

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