Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2014; 3(3):(111-318)


Objectively measured sleep patterns in obese youth

Emily Hill Guseman, Joey C. Eisenmann, David Scott, Curtis Hanba, Arthur B. Atlas

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe sleep patterns in obese children and adolescents seeking treatment at a pediatric weight management program. Methods: Participants were 163 patients between the ages of 7 and 17 year (71 males, 92 females; mean 11.8 ± 2.6 year; mean body mass index percentile 97.8 ± 2.2), who were seeking treatment at a multi-disciplinary pediatric weight management program between June 2008 and January 2011. Participants wore the SenseWear Armband continuously for 7 days as part of baseline assessments. In order to be included in the analysis, participants were required to wear the armband for at least 14 h on at least 4 days of the week. Descriptive statistics were determined for the total sample and both sexes. Participants were classified based on sleep time according to three cut-points: 9 h/day, 10 h/day, and 6 h/day. Intra-individual variation was determined from the coefficient of variation (CV). Analyses were performed in October 2011. Results: Average daily sleep was 6.8 ± 1.1 h with no differences between sexes. Only 3.1% of the sample slept ≥9 h/day, while 1.2% slept ≥10 h/day. Conversely, 18.4% slept <6 h/day. The mean CV for sleep time was 16.9% and did not differ between sexes. Conclusions: These results suggest that few treatment-seeking obese youth meet sleep recommendations. Objective assessment of sleep characteristics is superior to self-report in that it allows for quantification of periods of wakefulness throughout the night that cannot be captured via self-report. Future studies should include evaluation of sleep efficiency and sleep latency to further characterize sleep habits and quality among obese youth.

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