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Rising Prevalence and Neighborhood, Social, and Behavioral Determinants of Sleep Problems in US Children and Adolescents, 2003–2012

DOI: 10.1155/2013/394320

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We examined trends and neighborhood and sociobehavioral determinants of sleep problems in US children aged 6–17 between 2003 and 2012. The 2003, 2007, and 2011-2012 rounds of the National Survey of Children’s Health were used to estimate trends and differentials in sleep problems using logistic regression. Prevalence of sleep problems increased significantly over time. The proportion of children with <7 days/week of adequate sleep increased from 31.2% in 2003 to 41.9% in 2011-2012, whereas the prevalence of adequate sleep <5 days/week rose from 12.6% in 2003 to 13.6% in 2011-2012. Prevalence of sleep problems varied in relation to neighborhood socioeconomic and built-environmental characteristics (e.g., safety concerns, poor housing, garbage/litter, vandalism, sidewalks, and parks/playgrounds). Approximately 10% of children in neighborhoods with the most-favorable social environment had serious sleep problems, compared with 16.2% of children in neighborhoods with the least-favorable social environment. Children in neighborhoods with the fewest health-promoting amenities or the greatest social disadvantage had 37%–43% higher adjusted odds of serious sleep problems than children in the most-favorable neighborhoods. Higher levels of screen time, physical inactivity, and secondhand smoke exposure were associated with 20%–47% higher adjusted odds of sleep problems. Neighborhood conditions and behavioral factors are important determinants of sleep problems in children. 1. Introduction Sleep problems in children have significant impacts on their health and well-being [1–4]. Inadequate sleep in children has been shown to be associated with poor academic performance, behavioral problems, poor mental and physical health, obesity and weight gain, alcohol use, accidents, and injuries [1–15]. Research also suggests that these adverse health effects vary in relation to the amount or duration of sleep problems [2–6, 12–15]. The US data show that, compared to children and adolescents who do not experience any sleep problems during the week, those who experience inadequate sleep during the entire week have 3-4 times higher risks of serious behavioral problems, 4-5 times higher risks of depression and anxiety, 2.5 times higher risk of ADD/ADHD, 3.2 times higher risk of migraine headaches, 1.5 times higher risk of being in fair/poor overall health, 1.6 times higher risk of repeating a grade or having a problem at school, and 2.8 times higher risk of missing >2 weeks of school during a year [16–18]. Past research has examined the impact of a number of sociodemographic and

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