Longitudinal differences in sleep duration in Hispanic and Caucasian children

Daniel Combs, James L. Goodwin, Stuart F. Quan, Wayne J. Morgan, Sairam Parthasarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Short sleep duration is associated with significant negative consequences, including poor school performance, behavioral problems, obesity, and hypertension. There is prior evidence that there are disparities in sleep duration related to ethnicity; however, there are no specific data on Hispanic children. We aimed to test the hypothesis that there are ethnic differences in parent-reported sleep duration in a community-based cohort of Hispanic and Caucasian children. Methods: We examined the parent-reported sleep patterns of a community-based prospective cohort (Tucson Children's Assessment of Sleep Apnea study [TuCASA]) involving 338 Hispanic and Caucasian children at two time points approximately five years apart. Results: In the initial phase of the TuCASA study with a cohort median age of 8.8 years (interquartile range (IQR), 7.6-10.1 years), parent-reported sleep duration during weekdays was shorter in Hispanic (median, 9.5 h; IQR, 9.0, 10.0 years) than in Caucasian children (10 h; IQR, 9.5, 10.0 h; p < 0.0001); however, this difference was not seen 5 years later when the cohort was older (median age, 13.3 years; IQR, 11.9-14.6 years; p = 0.43). In addition, Hispanic children had a significantly later bedtime at both time points (p < 0.02). In the initial phase, parent-reported sleep duration during weekends tended to be shorter in Hispanic than in Caucasian children (p = 0.06). Conclusions: Short sleep duration in Hispanic children may contribute to health disparities. Our research suggests that in Hispanic children, behavioral interventions toward improving sleep duration accomplished by earlier bedtimes or delayed school start times and mechanistic studies to unravel any inherent tendency toward a delayed sleep phase are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Health status disparities
  • Hispanic americans
  • Sleep
  • Sleep deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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