Nocturnal awakening is the most frequent insomnia complaint in the general population. In contrast to a growing knowledge based on adults, little is known about its prevalence, correlated factors, and associations with subjective sleep perception and daytime sleepiness in children. This study was designed to assess the prevalence and the correlate factors of frequent nocturnal awakening (FNA) among Chinese school-aged children. Furthermore, the associations of FNA with subjective sleep perception and daytime sleepiness were examined.
A random sample of 20,505 children aged 5.00 to 11.92 years old (boys: 49.5% vs. girls: 50.5%) participated in a cross-sectional survey, which was conducted in eight cities of China. Parent-administered questionnaires were used to collect information on children’s sleep behaviors, sleep perception, and potential influential factors of FNA from six domains. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were performed.
The prevalence of FNA was 9.8% (10.0% for boys vs. 8.9% for girls) in our sampled children. The prominent FNA-related factors inclued biological health problems, such as overweight/obesity (OR = 1.70), chronic pain during night (OR = 2.47), and chronic respiratory condition (OR = 1.23), poor psychosocial condition, such as poor mental and emotional functioning (OR = 1.34), poor sleep hygiene, such as frequently doing exciting activities before bedtime (OR = 1.24) and bedtime resistance (OR = 1.42), and parents’ history of insomnia (OR = 1.31). FNA was associated with subjective poor sleep quality (OR = 1.24), subjective insufficient sleep (OR = 1.21), and daytime sleepiness (OR = 1.35).
FNA was associated with poor sleep and daytime sleepiness. Compared to sleep environment and family susceptibility, chronic health problems, poor psychosocial condition, and poor sleep hygiene had greater impact on FNA, indicating childhood FNA could be partly prevented by health promotion, by psychological intervention, and by improving sleep hygiene routine.
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