Sleep Patterns and Myopia Among School-Aged Children in Singapore

Front Public Health. 2022 Mar 25;10:828298. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.828298. eCollection 2022.


Purpose: To evaluate the associations of sleep factors with myopia, spherical equivalent (SE), and axial length (AL) in elementary school-aged children from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) birth cohort.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included multi-ethnic children who participated in the GUSTO prospective birth cohort and were delivered in two major tertiary hospitals in Singapore (2009-2010). Sleep factors and myopia outcomes were assessed at the 8- and 9-year study visits, respectively. Parent-reported sleep quality was assessed with the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) total scores. Additionally, each child's sleep duration, timing (bedtime; waketime), and the consistency of sleep duration or timing (i.e., the difference between weekends and weekdays) were parent-reported. Outcomes included cycloplegic SE, myopia (SE ≤ -0.5 D) and AL. Eye measurements from both eyes were included in the analyses. Multivariable linear or logistic regression with Generalized Estimating Equations were used to account for the correlation between paired eyes and confounders in the associations of sleep factors at age 8 and myopia at age 9.

Results: A total of 572 multi-ethnic children (49.5% boys; 56.1% Chinese) aged 9 years were included in the analyses. Overall, 37.3% of eyes were myopic. Children reported a mean total CSHQ score of 46 [standard deviation (SD) = 6]. The mean duration of sleep was 9.2 (SD = 1.0) hours per day (h/day), with 59.9% of children reporting sufficient sleep (≥9 h/day) based on guidelines recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, USA. The mean bedtime and wake time were 22:00 (SD = 00:53) and 07:08 (SD = 00:55), respectively. In multivariable regression models, total CSHQ scores, the duration of sleep, bedtime and wake time were not significantly associated with myopia, SE, or AL (p ≥ 0.05 for all), adjusting for gender, ethnicity, time outdoors, near-work, parental myopia, maternal education levels (and additionally the child's height when the outcome was AL). Similarly, the consistency of both the duration and timing of sleep (across weekends and weekdays) were not significantly associated with myopia, SE, or AL (p ≥ 0.05 for all).

Conclusion: In this cross-sectional study, sleep quality, duration, timing, and the consistency of specific sleep factors were not independently associated with myopia, SE, or AL among elementary school-aged children in Singapore. Large longitudinal studies are warranted to corroborate these results.

Keywords: axial length; children; myopia; refractive error; sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myopia* / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Sleep