Curtailed Sleep Is a Pattern in Minority Children

DECEMBER 01, 2004

A survey of 755 children showed that minority children do not get enough sleep, compared with Caucasians. The findings suggested that less sleep makes the children more susceptible to poorer school performance and behavioral problems. The results demonstrated that nearly half of the 10- and 11-year-old minority boys—most of whom were African American—received less than the 9 hours of sleep a night recommended for the 8- to 11-year-old age group. The survey revealed that roughly 1 out of 10 minority boys got less than 8 hours of sleep.

The study, reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (October 2004), noted that a majority of African American children went to bed later at night, compared with Caucasians. Almost one third had bedtimes after 11 PM. On average, minority boys went to bed 30 minutes later than nonminority children but got up at approximately the same time—7:40 AM.