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Keywords:

  • school children;
  • sleep pattern;
  • problems

Abstract

The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of sleep patterns and sleep problems among Egyptian school-aged children and to compare sleep patterns and sleep problems among school children from urban, suburban, and rural areas. In this cross-sectional survey, parents of 629 school-aged children, aged 6 to 10 years, from 15 elementary schools in five rural, urban, and suburban areas in the Giza governorate, Egypt, completed the Arabic version of the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and questions about parents' level of education and significant medical problems and/or medication for the child. The mean (SD) of total sleep duration for all children was 8.96 h (SD, 1.20). The most prevalent CSHQ subscales were: bedtime resistance, daytime sleepiness, and night wakings. There were significant differences regarding bedtime (P= 0.006) and night-time sleep duration (P < 0.001) among school children from different areas, but there were no significant differences regarding wake-up time, total sleep duration, duration of nap, and the eight CSHQ subscale scores. The percentage of children who took a daytime nap was 52.9% (n= 184) and the mean (SD) duration of a nap was 1.5 h (SD, 0.92). Paternal illiteracy was associated with higher CSHQ total score and many subscales. In conclusion, sleep duration was shorter than that reported in previous studies. Sleep problems are fairly common among elementary school children in the Giza governorate, whether in urban, suburban, or rural areas. Paternal level of education has an impact on the prevalence of sleep problems.