HealthDay News Children who regularly obtain 10 or more hours of sleep per night, especially before the start of kindergarten (K), transition to K more successfully, according to a study published online July 11 in Pediatrics.

Douglas M. Teti, Ph.D., from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and colleagues used wrist actigraphy to examine three different measures of child sleep duration in seven-day bursts at pre-K (July to August), early K (late September), mid-K (late November), and late K (mid-to-late April). These measures included the mean amounts of child sleep per 24-hour period; the proportion of 24-hour periods when the child slept 10 or more hours; and the proportion of nighttime periods when the child slept 10 or more hours.

The researchers found that more favorable K outcomes in terms of socioemotional, learning engagement, and academic domains were predicted by regularity of nighttime sleep in which children slept 10 or more hours per night. Establishing healthy nighttime sleep habits before starting K was promotive of better adjustment across the full K year. These findings were consistent in analyses adjusted for income-to-poverty threshold ratios, child health status, and number of missed school days.


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“Findings suggest that family-based interventions to establish consistent patterns of sufficient nighttime sleep should begin well before (e.g., five to six months) the start of K,” the authors write.

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