Sleep habits and practices across the Asian region – Cross-cultural differences
Daniel YT Goh
Khoo Teck PuatNational University Childrens Medical Institute, National University Health System, Singapore Department of Paediatrics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Background and objectives
Optimal sleep is important for the health and development of the young. Sleep habits and practices can significantly impact on the quantity and quality of sleep in the child. Cross-cultural differences have been described in sleep around the world. This presentation will review the Sleep habits and practices in young children in Asia, highlighting some of the key differences between Caucasian and Asian children.
The Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire was administered to parents of children across the Asia-Pacific region as part of the work of the Asia Pacific Paediatric Sleep Alliance (APPSA). The findings were compared with those obtained in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
The sleep variables varied amongst Asian children and there were significant differences when compared with their Caucasian counterparts. These include bedtime, total sleep time and nighttime sleep. Room sharing and bed sharing as well as parental perception of sleep problems in their child were more common in Asia and these also varied significantly across the region. Bedtime routines and bedtime problems as well as sleep-onset latency also differed between Asian and Caucasian children.
Sleep variables in young children in the Asian region differ from those in Caucasian countries. Even within the Asian region, there are significant variations between countries. These observations are important in understanding variations in sleep habits and practices in different cultures and must be taken into consideration when evaluating sleep norms in children from different countries.
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