Our results confirmed previous observations that shorter sleep duration is associated with a higher probability of being overweight. However, the association appeared to be much stronger in school children than in pre-school children. School children sleep on average 0.33 hours less than pre-school children. It was demonstrated that sleep duration differs between regions within Europe: children from Southern Europe sleep less than children from Northern countries. The age-specific percentile curves of sleep duration enable us to give more accurate recommendations concerning sleep duration.
The results of the IDEFICS cross-sectional survey enable us to recommend 11 hours or more sleep for pre-school children and 10 hours for school children (6-10 years). Promotion of sufficient sleep should be part of any health-related recommendations.
Following articles from our consortium show further results on sleep:
- Hunsberger M, Mehlig K, Boernhorst C, Hebestreit A, A Moreno L, Veidebaum T, Kourides Y, Siani A, Molnar D, Sioen I, Lissner L. Dietary Carbohydrate and Nocturnal Sleep Duration in Relation to Children's BMI: Findings from the IDEFICS Study in Eight European Countries. Nutrients. 2015 Dec 8;7(12):10223-36. doi: 10.3390/nu7125529.
- Michels N, Verbeiren A, Ahrens W, De Henauw S, Sioen I. Children's sleep quality: relation with sleep duration and adiposity. Public Health. 2014 May;128(5):488-90. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2014.02.003. Epub 2014 Mar 30.
- Michels N, Clays E, De Buyzere M, Vanaelst B, De Henauw S, Sioen I. Children's sleep and autonomic function: low sleep quality has an impact on heart rate variability. Sleep. 2013 Dec 1;36(12):1939-46. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3234.
- Börnhorst C, Hense S, Ahrens W, Hebestreit A, Reisch L, Barba G, von Kries R, Bayer O; IDEFICS Consortium. From sleep duration to childhood obesity--what are the pathways? Eur J Pediatr. 2012 Jul;171(7):1029-38. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1670-8. Epub 2012 Jan 12.
- Hense S. Sleep duration and its role in the aetiology of cardio-metabolic health outcomes. Universität Bremen, 2011 Sep. (PhD Thesis)
- Hense S, Barba G, Pohlabeln H, De Henauw S, Marild S, Molnar D, Moreno LA, Hadjigeorgiou C, Veidebaum T, Ahrens W. Factors that influence weekday sleep duration in European children. Sleep. 2011 May 1;34(5):633-9.
- Hense S, Pohlabeln H, De Henauw S, Eiben G, Molnar D, Moreno LA, Barba G, Hadjigeorgiou C, Veidebaum T, Ahrens W. Sleep duration and overweight in European children: is the association modified by geographic region? Sleep. 2011 Jul 1;34(7):885-90. doi: 10.5665/SLEEP.1120.