Predictors of Changes in Sleep Duration in Dutch Primary Schoolchildren: the ChecKid Study

Nina L. Komrij, Maartje M. van Stralen*, Vincent Busch, Maj Britt M.R. Inhulsen, Maaike Koning, Elske de Jong, Carry M. Renders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Healthy sleep duration is essential to health and well-being in childhood and later life. Unfortunately, recent evidence shows a decline in sleep duration among children. Although effective interventions promoting healthy sleep duration require insight into its predictors, data on these factors are scarce. This study therefore investigated (i) which individual (lifestyle), social and cultural factors, and living conditions and (ii) which changes in these factors might be associated with the changes in sleep duration of Dutch primary schoolchildren observed over time. Method: Data from the ChecKid study was used, a dynamic cohort study among 4–13-year-old children living in the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands. Associations between changes in sleep duration and individual (lifestyle) factors (i.e., age, sex, physical activity behavior, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, screen behavior), social and cultural factors (i.e., parental rules, ethnicity), and living conditions (i.e., parental education, presence of screens in the bedroom, household size) were analyzed using multivariable linear regression. Results: A total of 1180 children participated, aged 6.6 ± 1.4 years in 2009. Mean sleep duration decreased from 11.4 ± 0.5 h/night in 2009 to 11.0 ± 0.5 h/night in 2012. Older children, boys, children who used screens after dinner, children with greater computer/game console use, and children whose parents had low levels of education had a greater decrease in sleep duration. Conclusions: This article reports on one of the first large, longitudinal cohort studies on predictors of child sleep duration. The results of the study can inform future interventions aimed at promoting healthy sleep in primary schoolchildren.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank our partners in the ChecKid monitoring study: the Zwolle city council, the local health services, and several welfare organizations in the city. We are greatly thankful to all the students who helped with the measurement, the participated schools, and sponsorships.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, the VU University, and the local health services in Zwolle. Acknowledgments

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Child health
  • Determinants
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Home environmental factors
  • Sleep
  • Socioeconomic factors


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