Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
As the father of children born before and during the digital age and the rise of internet use, tablets, mobile phones and online computer and online gaming I have experienced the two phenomena of children who seem to sleep all the time through to those who - due to constantly being online - never seem to sleep at all. But does it matter? The effect of amount of sleep on schoolchildren is the subject of an article from a Finnish study by Gustafsson et al. (2106) titled: 'Association between amount of sleep, daytime sleepiness and health-related quality of life in schoolchildren' and published in JAN.
The aim of the study was to: 'analyse the association between amount of sleep and daytime sleepiness
and health-related quality of life in schoolchildren during adolescence and to study the effect of age on this association' and this was a 5-year prospective study following over 500 children aged 10-15 years. Sleepiness was measured using a questionnaire and health related quality of life (HRQL) was also measured. There was a positive relationship between sleep and quality of life at all ages but the relationship became stringer at 15 than at 10.
In conclusion, the authors say: 'Daytime sleepiness is clearly associated with low health-related quality of life. The amount of sleep is clearly associated with low HRQL in age 15 but the association is not as evident in younger children. Clinical practitioners should systematically assess daytime sleepiness, amount of sleep and HRQL to promote health and well-being in school-aged children.
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GUSTAFSSON M.-L., LAAKSONEN C., AROMAA M., ASANTI R. , HEINONEN O.J., KOSKI P., KOIVUSILTA L., LӦTTYNIEMI E., SUOMINEN S. & SALANTERӒ S. (2016) Association between amount of sleep, daytime sleepiness and health-related quality of life in schoolchildren. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12911