Cumulative Socio-demographic Risk Factors and Sleep Outcomes in Early Childhood
STUDY OBJECTIVES: To examine associations between cumulative socio-demographic risk factors, sleep health habits, and sleep disorder symptoms in young children. METHODS: 205 caregiver-child dyads (child mean age ± SD: 3.3 ± 1.1 years; 53.7% girls; 62.9% Black, 22.4% non-Hispanic/Latino White, 4.4% Hispanic/Latino; 85.4% maternal caregiver reporter) completed caregiver-rated sleep measures (Brief Child Sleep Questionnaire [BCSQ]; Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire [PSQ] snoring subscale), which were used to generate indexes of poor sleep health habits, pediatric insomnia symptoms, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms. A cumulative risk index was created reflecting caregiver, family, and neighborhood risks. RESULTS: Overall, 84.5% of children had ≥ 1 poor sleep health habits, 62.9% had ≥ 1 insomnia symptom, and 40.0% had ≥ 1 OSA symptom. Poisson regression indicated that each increase in the number of cumulative risk factors was associated with a 10% increase in poor sleep health habits, a 9% increase in insomnia symptoms, and an 18% increase in OSA symptoms. Specific caregiver risks (depressive symptoms, lower educational attainment) and family risks (single caregiver, crowded home) were most predictive of poor sleep outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Poor sleep health habits and sleep disorder symptoms are highly prevalent in early childhood, particularly among families experiencing cumulative socio-demographic risks. Findings underscore the need for targeted screening and prevention for modifiable sleep behaviors and efforts to tailor such strategies for at-risk children and families, especially those living in crowded conditions, or with caregivers who are single or have a lower educational attainment or depressive symptoms.