Longitudinal association between short sleep, body weight, and emotional and learning problems in Hispanic and Caucasian children

Sleep. 2011 Sep 1;34(9):1197-205. doi: 10.5665/SLEEP.1238.

Abstract

Study objective: To determine the impact of lower amounts of childhood sleep assessed by polysomnogram on development of obesity, being anxious or depressed, or having learning problems 5 years later.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Participants: Subjects were 304 community participants from the Tucson Children's Assessment of Sleep Apnea study, aged 6-12 years old at baseline.

Measurements and results: Children were classified according to baseline sleep as those who slept ≥ 9 h/night, those who slept > 7.5 to < 9 h/night, and those who slept ≤ 7.5 h/night. Odds of overweight/obese (≥ 85(th) BMI percentile), obese (≥ 95(th) BMI percentile), anxious or depressed, and learning problems at follow-up were assessed according to baseline sleep categories. Children who slept ≤ 7.5 h/night had higher odds of being obese (OR = 3.3, P < 0.05) at follow-up than children who slept ≥ 9 h/night. Borderline significance for overweight/obese (OR = 2.2, P < 0.1), anxious or depressed (OR = 3.3, P < 0.1), and having learning problems (OR = 11.1, P < 0.1) were seen for children who slept ≤ 7.5 h/night as compared to those who slept ≥ 9 h/night. A mean increase in BMI of 1.7 kg/m(2) (P = 0.01) over the 5 years of follow-up was seen for children who slept ≤ 7.5 h/night compared to those who slept ≥ 9 h/night. These relationships did not differ between Hispanic and Caucasian children.

Conclusions: Children with reduced amounts of sleep (≤ 7.5 h/night) had an increased risk for higher body weight in early adolescence. Similarly, children who slept ≤ 7.5 h/night had higher risk of being anxious or depressed or having learning problems in early adolescence.

Keywords: Sleep time; body mass index; childhood; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / ethnology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / ethnology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / complications
  • Learning Disabilities / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / ethnology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / ethnology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / psychology