The association of urbanicity with infant sleep duration

Health Place. 2012 Sep;18(5):1000-5. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.06.007. Epub 2012 Jun 28.


Short sleep duration is associated with multiple adverse child outcomes. We examined associations of the built environment with infant sleep duration among 1226 participants in a pre-birth cohort. From residential addresses, we used a geographic information system to determine urbanicity, population density, and closeness to major roadways. The main outcome was mother's report of her infant's average daily sleep duration at 1 year of age. We ranked urbanicity and population density as quintiles, categorized distance to major roads into 8 categories, and used linear regression adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics, smoking during pregnancy, gestational age, fetal growth, and television viewing at 1 year. In this sample, mean (SD) sleep duration at age 1 year was 12.8 (1.6)h/day. In multivariable adjusted analyses, children living in the highest quintile of urbanicity slept -19.2 min/day (95% CI:-37.0, -1.50) less than those living in the lowest quintile. Neither population density nor closeness to major roadways was associated with infant sleep duration after multivariable adjustment. Our findings suggest that living in more urban environments may be associated with reduced infant sleep.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Urbanization*