Sleep pattern and sleep disorders in school-going children aged 6-12 years and its association with screen time: a cross-sectional study from South Kerala during the COVID-19 pandemic




Screen time children, Sleep disorders, Sleep duration, COVID-19, CSHQ, Children


Background: Poor sleep quality in school children can negatively impact their neurocognitive abilities and academic achievement. Increased screen time was shown to interfere with children’s sleep habits and disrupts their sleep pattern. This study aimed to understand the sleep patterns and sleep disorders in school children and the influence of screen time on sleep in children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This cross-sectional observational school-based study was done on 443 children aged 6-12 years. Data was collected through parent filled online questionnaire having a proforma and child sleep habit questionnaire (CSHQ), a validated questionnaire to assess sleep disorders in children

Results: Out of 443 children studied, the average sleep duration of the study population was 9:06 hours ±42:18 min and, 34.3% of the children slept less than 9 hours per day. The prevalence of sleep disorders was found to be 76.52%. Significant screen time after 8 PM was observed in 65.9% and 62.2 % of children had a total screen time of more than 2 hours. Increased screen time after 8 PM, delayed bedtime and wake-up time in children and also contributed to sleep disorders. Bedtime resistance and daytime sleepiness were more commonly observed in children with increased screen time.

Conclusions: Sleep disorders in children are more predominant than sleep deprivation. Increased screen time before bed was found to alter sleep patterns in children and increases bedtime resistance, daytime sleepiness, and sleep disorders.


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