To Sleep or Not to Sleep: A Repeated Daily Challenge for African American Children

Karen Spruyt*, Calista U. Alaribe, Odochi U. Nwabara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims Sleep is important for children, because of the impact on their development and well-being. Previous survey research suggested that poor sleep occurs more frequently in minorities. However, objective data characterizing their sleep patterns are lacking. MethodsChildren enrolled in a 1-year cross-sectional sequence designed study centered on a 14-day objective sleep recording, which was repeated three times. Children lived on the South Side of Chicago and were self-defined as being African Americans. ResultsFindings reflect data of 24 children with a mean age of 5.41.7years of which 54.2% were girls. They slept at night 6.51h and during the day changeably 1.42h, likely being noon naps during the week and afternoon naps on Saturday and Sunday. Variability in quality of sleep, and also nighttime sleep duration, especially on Friday and Saturday, was characteristic. The highest variability was noted in sleep onset and offset latency, and in the quality of napping. The interrelation of daytime and nighttime sleep changes was suggestive of catch-up daytime sleep. ConclusionAt nighttime children habitually obtained few hours of sleep with diurnal sleep fluctuations likely being a need and a chance. Interventions might emphasize on creating optimal opportunities to sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
JournalCNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Actigraphy
  • African American
  • Child
  • Longitudinal
  • Nap
  • Sleep

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