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Sleep Habits and Sleep Problems in Healthy Preschoolers

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To describe the sleep patterns and problems in children aged between 12 and 36 mo of age.


This cross sectional survey was collected over a span of 1 y in Advanced Pediatric Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh and crèches of Chandigarh. Children in the age group of 12 to 36 mo were included in study. Children with chronic illness, developmental delay, seizure disorder and lack of consent were excluded. A total of 368 children were enrolled. Main outcome measures were sleep duration over 1 to 3 y of life; sleep behavior at onset, during and waking of sleep and parent reported sleep problems and their predictors.


The average duration of sleep was 12.5 h (S.D = 1.9). The mean total sleep duration and mean day time sleep duration decreased, while mean night time sleep increased as the age advanced from 12 to 36 mo. Following were the frequency of sleep habits seen in the index study; bed time routine was seen only in 68(18.5 %), a regular bed time ritual was seen in 281(76.4 %), 329(89.4 %) children frequently required 0–20 min time to fall asleep, 11(3 %) parents used sleep inducing drugs. Night waking (1 to 3 times a night) was seen in 297(80.7 %) and its frequency declined with age. Parent reported sleep problems were seen in 12.8 % (47/368). Lack of co-sleeping and night waking were considered as strongest predictors of parent reported sleep problems.


Toddlers’ sleep duration, night waking behavior, and day time naps decrease as the age progress while night time sleep duration increases with age. Lack of co-sleeping and night waking are considered as strongest predictors of parent reported sleep problems.

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SMCL: Data collection and analysis; BB: Study protocol and data analysis; PM: Data collection; AK: Final correction and data collection. BB will act as guarantor for this paper.

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Correspondence to Bhavneet Bharti.

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Murthy, C.L.S., Bharti, B., Malhi, P. et al. Sleep Habits and Sleep Problems in Healthy Preschoolers. Indian J Pediatr 82, 606–611 (2015).

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