What Sleep Health Means for Kids in 200 Words

Just like nutrition and physical activity, optimal sleep health is a key component of child well-being. Poor sleep is associated with increased behavioral health concerns, physical health problems, and diminished quality of life in children and adolescents.

But sleep health is more than the absence of sleep disorders. It encompasses an array of sleep parameters, such as sleep duration, quality or satisfaction, and daytime alertness and behavior. Expanding on a previous definition of sleep health in adults, my colleagues and I recently proposed a definition of sleep health specific to children and adolescents. Our model considers socioecological factors, such as child age and temperament, family sleep beliefs, school start times, and neighborhood light and noise, which may influence sleep health. We also included critical pediatric sleep health behaviors, such as implementing a bedtime routine and avoiding caffeine. We proposed the framework Peds B-SATED to capture this multidimensional sleep health construct, which includes: Behaviors, Satisfaction (quality), Alertness, Timing, Efficiency (continuity) and Duration.

We hope that the Peds B-SATED framework can be used to guide clinicians in evaluating different aspects of child sleep and in treating sleep disorders. This framework can also inform research that examines multiple aspects of child sleep. Understanding factors associated with pediatric sleep health is a critical direction for future work, especially given that there are important racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. By defining and understanding these factors, we can help support interventions that reduce sleep health disparities and promote positive child development.

This post is part of our “____ in 200 Words” series. In this series, we tackle issues related to children’s health policy and explain and connect you to resources to help understand them further, all in 200 words. If you have any suggestions for a topic in this series, please send a note to PolicyLab’s Strategic Operations & Communications Director Lauren Walens.