Third of Kiwi toddlers likely not getting enough sleep, study finds

Stuff 22 September 2020
Family First Comment: “This could be due to these children living in less “sleep-conducive environments”, such as crowded housing conditions, or bedrooms that are too cold, too noisy or too light. Those living in urban areas with heavy traffic, overweight children or those with poor health and who use visual media for more than two hours a day all get less sleep than other children,”

More than a third of Kiwi toddlers and a fifth of preschoolers are likely not getting the recommended amount of sleep, research has found.

The report, carried out by Massey University researchers, examined parent-reported sleep patterns for more than 6000 pre-school children in the Growing Up in New Zealand study – the country’s largest longitudinal study of Kiwi children and their families.

Ministry of Health guidelines say toddlers (aged 1-2) should get between 11 and 14 hours of sleep per day, and preschoolers (aged 3-4) should get 10-13 hours.

Researchers found 17 per cent of 24-month-olds in the study did not meet the sleep guidelines, with 15.6 per cent not getting enough sleep. At 45 months, 6 per cent were getting too little sleep.

Researcher and lead author, Dr Dee Muller, said when these findings were modelled for the New Zealand population it showed a third of toddlers and a fifth of preschoolers are not getting the right amount of sleep.

At 24 months, children sleep 10-and-a-half hours at night and two hours during the day, on average, with 83 per cent meeting recommendations.

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