Disturbed sleep: effects of sociocultural factors and illness
- Dr Roberto J Rona, Division of Public Health Sciences, UMDS, St Thomas’ Hospital, London SE1 7EH.
- Accepted 8 September 1997
To assess the prevalence of sleep disturbance and associated risk factors, sleep patterns were analysed in 14 372 English and Scottish children. Approximately 4% of children aged 5 experienced disturbed sleep more than once a week, but this decreased to 1% from age 9. Less than 25% of the parents with an affected child consulted a doctor. Sleep disturbance was associated with persistent wheezing compared to non-wheezing children (odds ratio 4.42; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.17 to 6.13), and more frequent in children of Indian subcontinent descent than in white children (odds ratio 2.20; 95% CI 1.34 to 3.60), and in children whose mother reached no more than primary education compared with those with higher education (odds ratio 2.41; 95% CI 1.51 to 3.84). Sociocultural factors associated with ethnicity and respiratory illness are important risk factors for sleeping disorders in childhood.