A study (ID# 0185) being presented as an oral presentation this morning at SLEEP 2008 compares the sleep patterns of young children from 12 different countries. Results are based on questionnaires completed by the parents of 21,273 infants and toddlers from zero to 36 months of age.
The study indicates that young children in predominately Caucasian countries have earlier bedtimes and obtain more overall sleep than young children in predominately Asian countries. No differences were found in night wakings or napping behaviors.
Children in New Zealand went to bed the earliest with an average bedtime of 7:16 p.m. Children in Hong Kong went to bed the latest with an average bedtime of 10:10 p.m. U.S. children had an average bedtime of 8:52 p.m.
Japanese children had the lowest total sleep time (i.e., nightly sleep plus daytime naps) of 11.6 hours of sleep per day. Children in New Zealand had the highest total sleep time of 13.3 hours of sleep. U.S. children averaged 12.9 hours of total sleep time per day.
Seventy-six percent of Chinese parents perceived that their child has a small or severe sleep problem. Only 11 percent of parents in Taiwan responded similarly.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, newborns up to three months of age need about 16 to 20 hours of total sleep time per day, while infants between three and 12 months old need 14 to 15 hours of total sleep time. Toddlers between the ages of one and four years need about 12 to 14 hours of total sleep time.
The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at http://www.journalsleep.org/PDF/AbstractBook2008.pdf.