Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Sleep Hygiene in Nigerian Childen

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Sleep Hygiene in Nigerian Childen

Article excerpt


Background: Sleep hygiene significantly affects quality of sleep in children. Poor sleep hygiene is associated with disorders of sleep which can produce significant cognitive and behavioural consequences in children. However, not much is known about sleep hygiene African children. This study therefore sought to evaluate sleep hygiene in school children in Benin City, Nigeria.

Design: This is a questionnaire based cross sectional study.

Subjects and Methods: Parents report on sleep hygiene was evaluated in School Children aged 2 - 12 years attending 3 schools in Benin City using the Children's Sleep Hygiene Scale. The total population mean was computed and subjects with means above the population mean were considered to have good sleep hygiene.

Results: One hundred and sixty-one children were evaluated. Forty-three (26.7%) were in kindergarten, 71 (44.1%) in primary while 47 (29.2%) were in junior secondary school class 1. The total mean score of the study population was 4.5. Eighty-four (51.9%) children had good sleep hygiene compared to 78 (48.1%) with poor sleep hygiene. Children with poor sleep hygiene had lower mean scores on the cognitive, bedtime and sleep stability subscales compared to those with good sleep hygiene.

Conclusion: The prevalence of poor sleep hygiene in this pioneering study is high. The potential for negative impact on these children is enormous particularly as it affects their cognitive development. Further study to evaluate the specific areas of disturbance of sleep in these children is recommended.

Key words; Sleep, Hygiene, Children, Nigeria.


Sleep hygiene refers to a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness (Hoban, 2004). The quality of sleep in children is significantly affected by the level of sleep hygiene practice. Poor sleep hygiene practices results in sleep disorders which can lead to significant cognitive and behavioral consequences in children ( Fallone, Owens and Deane, 2002, Hoban, 2004, Blunden, Hoban and Cervin, 2006, Kheirandish and Gozal, 2006). While sleep medicine has advanced in developed countries, sleep hygiene practices and disorders in children have attracted little or no attention in developing countries of Africa including Nigeria. We decided to evaluate sleep hygiene practices in children aged 2-12 years in Benin City Nigeria as a result of paucity of reports on sleep hygiene in African children.

Subjects and Methods

The study was conducted in Benin City between April and May 2007. Benin City is the capital of Edo State of Nigeria. It is cosmopolitan though the major inhabitants are Benins. The University of Benin and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital are two major institutions located in Ugbowo. Parents of children aged between 2 and 12 years were randomly selected from 3 schools within this area (The University of Benin Staff School, University of Benin Teaching Hospital Group of Schools and Russell International Group of Schools). The parents were recruited after informed verbal consent as they dropped off their children in school. The parents were requested to complete the Children Sleep Hygiene Scale (CSHS) caretaker-report form for 2 to 12 years old children (developed by the University of Southern Mississippi Sleep Research Laboratory, 2003) for the index child being dropped off in school. The questionnaires were collected by of research assistants after completion. Where there was more than one child within the age group of 2 - 12 years being dropped in school, the parent was asked to randomly choose the child to report on by ballot. The CSHS is a 22 item scale comprising of 6 subscales; physiological, cognitive, emotional, environmental, bedtime routine and sleep stability. The response options on the CSHS were scored on a scale of 1 - 6 with reverse scoring applied as necessary. The mean scores of each of the 6 subscales were computed and added up to form the total sleep score for each subject. …

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